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English

Reading

At Alban City School, our aim is to inspire children to read for their pleasure and enjoyment. We want our children to be confident readers with a thirst for knowledge, who have good independent thinking skills and can develop their own interests through reading. Our aim is to provide an environment that encourages children to ask questions and explore the world around them through adventure, story and language. We believe that reading is a life enhancing skill that every child is entitled to learn.

Teaching children to read is of paramount importance at our school. We offer a balanced and creative, yet systematic, approach to the teaching of reading throughout the school; one which provides children with the systematic learning and application of phonics to be able to decode the words, alongside a focus on exploring vocabulary and comprehension, and an enjoyment of reading. Please see our phonics curriculum for more information about how we teach this aspect. We encourage children to love books, to love reading, to love finding out information and to love sharing stories together.

At Alban City School, we use a variety of approaches to develop children’s reading skills including 1:1, small group and whole class reading. ‘Let’s Read’ sessions take place every day which focus on the discrete teaching of reading, incorporating age-appropriate, challenging texts, which are rich in vocabulary. Discussion around the text is key, with teachers using a ‘tell me’ style of questioning to allow all pupils to respond. Reading is also prioritised in all other areas of the curriculum. We have a well-stocked and vibrant library, which is used by all the children, both formally and informally. Our children are supported to become fluent, expressive and confident readers who understand and can explain what they have read. They are also encouraged to become critical readers who can express opinions and preferences. Reading at home is valued and encouraged and children take home reading books that have been carefully matched to their ability.

Reading is a fundamental part of everything we do at Alban City School, as it is the skill that underpins everything that is taught and opens the door to learning across the curriculum, and to life in general. We want our children to develop a love of reading for pleasure by showing how highly we value it as part of everyday life. All staff are encouraged to read to the children regularly to ensure that they are familiar with both traditional and new texts, and to model to the children our belief that everyone is a reader.

Please see the links below for websites which have excellent guidance and reading lists  for children:

https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/bookfinder/

https://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk

Writing

At Alban City School, we aim to help our children develop into articulate and imaginative communicators, who are well-equipped with the basic skills they need to be successful at the next stage of their education and beyond; learning to communicate effectively in writing is an essential part of this. Careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that the opportunities that children have to write are purposeful, relevant and meaningful. Where possible we link writing with the topic that we are covering in other curriculum areas such as History, Geography and Science. We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.

Our intentions in writing are for children to:

  • Write for a purpose
  • See themselves as real writers
  • Take ownership of their writing
  • See writing as an interesting and enjoyable process
  • Acquire the ability to organise and plan their written work

 

At Alban City School, we plan our English lessons based on the National Curriculum, supported by a carefully sequenced progression in the skills and knowledge that are covered each year. We aim to help the children produce well-structured writing and we pay particular attention throughout the school to the formal structures of English: grammatical detail, spelling and punctuation. Teachers clearly model these writing skills, use working walls to help support children through their learning journey, have smaller guided writing groups to target specific needs and use learning stories to help guide children through their writing tasks.