“Write to be understood. Speak to be heard. Read to grow.”
Lawrence Clark Powell, American librarian, literary critic, bibliographer and author of more than 100 books
At Bedfont our aim is to provide a rich and engaging curriculum through high quality impactful teaching. Reading and writing are key life skills and are at the core of our curriculum, embedded across all subject areas within our school. We have a strong focus on building confident and innovative writers who can write for a variety of purposes and audiences. We teach grammar skills that link with the writing and enable our children to use these effectively, confidently and creatively within their own writing. The systematic teaching of phonics is a top priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, and it is our aim that children become fluent readers as quickly as possible. We follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code in order to segment words to support their spelling and blend sounds to read words. We also value and encourage our pupils to read for enjoyment and to become lifelong readers. Literacy is a fundamental life skill and proficiency in English enables pupils to communicate effectively at home, school and in the wider world. Our aim is for all of our pupils to develop a secure knowledge base in Literacy, demonstrating progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. The essential skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing enable our children to articulately express their own thoughts in a range of real-life situations, and become lifelong learners.
At Bedfont Primary we ensure that our English teaching and learning provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a range of quality texts which motivate and inspire our children.
Our English Padlet contains a range of the work that children at Bedfont have completed in their English lessons.
Early reading is taught through the DfE approved Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which launched in September 2021. “The programme provides a full progression through all commonly occurring GPCs, working from simple to more complex, and taking into account the frequency of their occurrence in the most commonly encountered words” (Little Wandle Website, 2023)
Phonics teaching begins in Nursery following guidance for “Foundations in Phonics”. These short activities and games then progress to formal phonics lessons in Reception. Daily phonics lessons take place in Reception and Year 1, and continue with a retrieval unit in Year 2, Autumn 1. Each half term contains five weeks of planning plus one week of review for consolidation. Half termly assessments help to identify gaps in knowledge which can then be addressed in the “review” week. Children who are at risk of falling significantly behind receive daily “Keep Up” interventions. Reading sessions take place three times a week (increasing from two times in Reception), in which the children read a fully decodable book matched to their current reading ability. The children read in small groups with an adult and each session has a different focus: decoding, prosody, comprehension. Each week, Reception and KS1 children take their Little Wandle book home, as well as an unseen book and a library book, which is selected by the child. Parents are encouraged to listen to their children read and write in their reading record. Reception and Year 1 Parents are invited to a Phonics zoom with the Phonics lead in order to support their own understanding of Little Wandle and how early reading is taught. A PowerPoint of the zoom is also shared with parents and carers, and can be accessed by other year groups. Parents and carers are also encouraged to explore the “For Parents” section of the Little Wandle website for further guidance.
Children who are not secure with their phonic knowledge receive Catch Up interventions in KS2, which includes a faster pace of progression as well as three weekly reading sessions. All teaching staff have received training so that the programme is delivered with fidelity and confidence. Consistency is monitored by the Reading Lead. Children ready to progress from Little Wandle, read levelled reading books to develop their reading skills and love of reading. A benchmarking assessment system is used termly to accurately track and assess children’s reading progress across KS2, ensuring consistent and accurate levelling in reading.
Each class from Year 1- Year 6 has a weekly visit to the school library, in order to promote pleasure for Reading. Daily story time also takes place in from Pufflings to Year 2, so that children can develop confidence participating in book talk, as well as experiencing text which may be beyond their current reading ability.
The National Curriculum forms the foundation upon which our English Curriculum has been built. Our progression maps and medium term plans demonstrate how learning is sequenced, and details where aspects of transcription, composition and vocabulary, punctuation and grammar are taught. In EYFS units are planned around appropriately levelled, high quality texts. In Reception children learn model texts orally in order to support their language and vocabulary acquisition as well as their understanding of sentence structure and composition. As the children progress through year 1 they are given increased opportunities to compose their own ideas and write their own texts. This ensures they are ready for more independent and creative writing in Year 2.
In KS1 and KS2, Writing is taught in specific meaningful and effective contexts. Children have effective, high quality daily English lessons and frequent opportunities to write across the curriculum. Years 1-5 follow the Ready Steady Write scheme and by Year 6, the children are exposed to further high-quality texts, preparing them for their journey in secondary school. All English units provide outstanding teaching of writing through children’s high-quality literature. The units of work centre on engaging, vocabulary- rich texts, with a wealth of writing opportunities. Each unit has been carefully mapped out so the entire statutory curriculum for writing is covered for each year groups.
Coverage has been designed to ensure that children cover a number of different genres and also gives them the opportunity to revisit those genres and build up their understanding of features. Writing is taught following a clear sequence, which allows teachers to cover many of the objectives.
The Writing Journey:
- Immerse – Children are immersed in the vehicle text through the process of enjoyment, exploring and responding. This includes drama/role play and speaking and listening activities. Children then determine the purpose, audience and form of the text. An example text is shared (WAGOLL- What A Good One Looks Like).
- Analyse- Children continue to deconstruct an example text (WAGOLL- What A Good One Looks Like), familiarising themselves with text structures and language features as well as the knowledge for the writer.
- Plan- Children gather ideas and plan a piece of extended writing (age-related), for a specific purpose and audience. This stage often takes place over a number of lessons, allowing children to draw upon the knowledge and vocabulary gained from the immerse and analyse stages of the writing journey.
- Write- Children are then exposed to a modelled and guided write. They then write a first draft, applying the skills and knowledge. Children are given the chance to edit, revise and then independently write.
- Evaluate – Children are given the chance to evaluate their work at regular intervals during the whole process, not just after the first draft. They will evaluate their writing on whether it meets their goals, achieves the purpose and is suitable for the proposed audience.