Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and promoting a love of reading is a key part of everything we do as St Chad’s. We aim to encourage a lifelong love of reading and take advantage of the moral and social messages that are raised by the texts we choose in order to encourage the children to become responsible members of the community. Our vision of teaching children to love learning is promoted through our use of high quality texts, the embedding of reading in all curriculum areas and through our reading celebration events.
We believe high quality texts are essential in inspiring the pupils to read and produce their own imaginative fiction and non-fiction texts. Picture books can be very powerful in engaging pupils in valuable discussions where they can debate moral decisions, share predictions and create imaginative ways of innovating the stories. As a result, we have developed a rich bank of picture books, which we use across KS1 and KS2 to inspire writing. Each term, the class’ English learning is centred around a class novel that has been carefully chosen to link to other curriculum areas and engage the pupils in reading and writing.
We believe that reading should be embedded across the curriculum in order for the pupils to understand its value in opening doors to all types of learning. For example, each class has a class set of high quality non-fiction books that link to their topics which can be explored to enhance geographical, historical and scientific understanding and encourage independent research skills. Furthermore, opportunities for children to create their own books are provided in many areas of the curriculum including Computing.
A range of events that celebrate reading also enhance our curriculum provision. Every child in our school has a Reading Buddy from another year group and they meet regularly to share stories that they are enjoying and to read to each other.
We have also introduced ‘The 100 Book Club’ into Year 5 and 6 where the pupils are challenged to borrow and read 100 of the most inspiring books for their age. We believe whole school reading events can be very effective in spreading a love of reading and we hold many throughout the year such as, ‘World Book Day’ and ‘Book at Bedtime’ where the children join us in their pyjamas to hear bedtime stories. These events encourage the pupils to develop their love of learning and celebrate reading at home and in school.
World Book Day
Book at Bedtime
Our writing curriculum is centred around the use of high-quality novels, non-fiction texts and picture books to inspire our children to become inventive authors and writers in line with our vision for the pupils to love learning. We believe that teaching the children to love writing is vital if they are to feel motivated to challenge themselves and produce engaging writing of their own.
The careful choice of novels is extremely important to us as we ensure that they are suited to the current classes, engage the pupils, address moral issues and link with other areas of the curriculum. Furthermore, we ensure, when we select the texts, that they will challenge the pupils by extending their vocabulary and providing a model to build on. These texts are shared with the children, discussed and used to inspire their writing. These are also supported by the provision of skilfully crafted modelled writes, which support them when working independently. Our text-based curriculum is also supported by the use of picture books to inspire children to write innovative and engaging stories on a weekly basis. We find that these books are extremely valuable in motivating the children and making them want to write.
The grammatical accuracy of children’s writing is also supported by the use of these high quality models of writing. However, the children are also taught the spelling and grammatical elements of writing during discreet sessions which are taught in a practical way to ensure the children master these skills. These grammatical elements are then reinforced through all the writing they produce during the week.
At St Chad’s, our focus on cross-curricular work ensures that all pupils see the purpose of their writing and that the links between writing and other aspects of the curriculum are always clear. These texts have a clear real world purpose and are used to link to the children’s learning in lessons such as, Geography, History, Religious Education, Science, Art and many others.
Overall, our children are provided with a rich text based approach to writing which focuses on grammatical skills, high quality model texts and on providing clear cross-curricular writing opportunities.