Reading and Writing
At Sudley Junior School, reading and writing are instrinsically linked and we use reading to inform and influence our writing. We teach children to write through exploration of high quality literature; the very best of fiction and non-fiction that is available. In this way we aim to empower teachers to provide high-quality lessons by exposing children repeatedly to engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a wealth of regular and varied writing opportunities.
In their daily lessons, children develop a strong understanding of the writing process; the need to immerse themselves in a text type before analysing it for it's strengths and identifying the 'bits' of knowledge needed to create their own writing in a similar style. They then explore examples of good examples of this writing in the form of WAGOLL (What a Good One Looks Like) before planning and writing their own. Children are encouraged to edit their writing regularly, including all of what they know is critical for this type of writing and ensuring sentence accuracy. They are encouraged to showcase their ever-growing bank of grammatical knowledge to appropriate effect, and to use vocabulary they have explored and examined from the texts they have read in a considered way.
Teachers model writing to the children at every stage, demonstrating how they use their 'reading toolkit' to make them effective writers. They make explicit to the children that every lesson can impact on their final writing outcome.
This model is developed using Read to Write which is an evidence-based approach to teaching writing.
Reading Around the Curriculum
At Sudley Junior School, reading is a whole school priority and we value the impact it has on children's lives. In the planning of our reading curriculum, we give equal priority to all aspects of reading development, not just comprehension. We focus on fluency as a step between phonics and comprehension, background knowledge and vocabulary development in equal proportions. We base what we do on cognitive research into how people learn to read.
Each half term, every class reads a novel. This is in addition to the high quality texts they are exploring as part of their Read to Write lessons. These books are usually a little beyond the grasp of the children and are lengthy, in order to develop children’s vocabulary, resilience and stamina. The reading is well paced ensuring that children feel momentum within the story and want to know what comes next. This aims to help children see reading and books as form of entertainment and therefore develops reading for pleasure. Guided reading sessions are based around these books, where grammar is taught in context and words are discussed and played with. Comprehension skills are also refined in these sessions, with a focus on referring the text to support answers. The books are carefully selected and are recognised for their quality and appropriateness to children of that age group. They are sometimes related to the wider curriculum and sometimes contemporary, addressing some of the real issues facing children today.
Nothing fosters a love of reading like setting aside a period of time each day to enjoy a brilliant book. As parents, sharing a book with your child and helping them grow as readers and is one of the most powerful things that you can do to help your child at school.
It is for this reason that we have a carefully selected Home Reader library and pupils progress through stages of reading books. We use a variety of texts including Oxford Reading Tree and an ever growing range of 'real’ books, accessible to children of all stages of reading development. This provides the children with the opportunity to read a variety of genres at their level but most importantly, to support families in helping their children see books as something they would choose to engage with as part of their leisure time.
We encourage parents to return their home readers daily as they will sometimes be used in lessons. These books can be changed as quickly as the book is finished.
As the children reach Year 5 and 6, their home reading books form part of each year group’s ‘Beloved Books’. This is a selection of 24 books which we feel all children should enjoy before they move into KS3. These books are shared in lessons, as teaching tools and as home readers.
If you have any questions about reading at our school, please do not hesitate to get in touch.