Speaking and Listening
We strongly believe that speaking and listening skills are the building blocks of English. In order to succeed as writers, children need to cultivate a love of words and language. They need to build a bank of stories, which they can draw on for ideas and language patterns, and develop oral story telling skills that help them internalise the language they need. Therefore, developing talk in the classroom is a priority at Sir Thomas Abney, as well as developing the children's confidence in using and understanding subject specific vocabulary and concepts.
Developing a love of reading is the single most powerful attribute that can make a difference to our children’s future attainment. From Foundation Stage right up to Year 6, the children at Sir Thomas Abney are encouraged to develop an enjoyment of reading and books.
Children at Sir Thomas Abney are taught reading skills through a programme of synthetic phonics (Read Write Inc) and reading an excellent range of books to develop a life long love of reading.
Once they are on their way to reading, children are taught individually, in small groups and as a class to develop their reading further.
We follow the STA Loves Reading (Destination Reader) scheme approach to the teaching of essential reading skills. The children learn the scheme’s main strategies which include, Predicting, Questioning, Clarifiying, Inferring, Summarising, Making Links and Evaluating to deepen their understanding of different genres and texts.
Children in Early Years and Key Stage One read with an adult at least once a week and older children are involved in group reading tasks with an adult just as frequently. We also send home reading books every week for children to read with parents and carers. Sir Thomas Abney also encourages parents and carers to read more complex texts to their children at home and school. If you are interested in volunteering to read with some of our children please contact us on email@example.com.
We also offer the opportunity for parents/carers to read in class with their child every week in Early Years and Year 1.
Home School Reading
We all know that if children read at home, they are more likely to be successful learners at school. At Sir Thomas Abney, children take home a preferred book that is carefully matched to their reading ability. This is done through the Accelerated Reader system for years 2 – 6. The scheme provides an initial assessment of children’s reading and online quizzes on children’s books. It also provides a system for levelling books. This means that children can choose books that will provide exactly the right level of challenge while being accessible; their comprehension of the book can be checked and their progression in reading can be tracked.
We are continuously reviewing and adding to our collection of children’s books so that stimulating and attractive books are available at the right level.
For children in Nursery to Year 1, the teacher chooses a book at the right level for each child. We encourage children to regularly read with support from home and we welcome feedback about your child’s reading experiences.
Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader
On top of our daily reading session we teach “Pathways to Write”
We believe that all children have the capacity to become confident and articulate writers, we aim to give children access to a range of texts, genres and writers ranging from classic literature to modern writing which reflects the children’s own backgrounds and lives on top of this we aim to give our children every opportunity to participate in a wide range of learning experiences beyond their classroom. This includes but is not exclusive to trips to museums, the theatre, adventure centres and community projects providing our children with stimulating real-life experiences to enhance their reading, writing and speaking development giving them a sound and vibrant experience of the incredible city we live in.
They will meet and work with authors and build their knowledge of literature. English learning is practised and embedded across the curriculum. Speaking and writing outcomes draw from knowledge gained in other subjects and English skills are used to enhance learning elsewhere.
All staff are trained in teaching writing using core skills which are built on and embedded year on year, children are explicitly taught grammar and punctuation in each lesson and are taught how to use these skills in a combination of types of texts.
The books are chosen with deliberate care and attention to ensure that the children are exposed to a wide range of genres and authors. Links to the books used and the strands of the curriculum taught can be found here.
Progression document for tracking skills back.pdf
Impact of teaching literacy at Sir Thomas Abney
We use a variety of strategies to evaluate the knowledge, skills and understanding that our children gain as they progress from Nursery to Year 6:
- CPD to ensure that teacher pedagogy and assessment is secure.
- Regular feedback marking and pupil voice feedback.
- Subject monitoring, including book looks and learning walks.
- Regular low stakes knowledge assessments, using a range of creative approaches.
- Cross-federation moderation to ensure secure teacher judgements.
- NTS tests and to support our teachers’ assessment.
- Half-termly phonics and reading assessments to ensure our children are provided with appropriate challenge and support.