At Rawdon St. Peter’s C of E Primary School, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. Our aim is that every child, on leaving, can read for enjoyment and educational value. We aim to develop a love of books so that our children want to read for pleasure and to gain knowledge and understanding. We aim for our children to learn to read with independence, fluently and with expression. We recognise the importance of cultivating a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We aim to produce writers who can write for different purposes, in clear, legible handwriting, using standard English, and with good levels of punctuation and spelling. We want to inspire children to be confident in the arts of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to develop their learning. Our aim is that our children can express themselves orally to a range of audiences and can listen and respond to the views of others. We believe that a thorough grasp of literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children, and this changes to follow the interests and needs of different cohorts. We also provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities, from hosting author visits, to attending the Leeds Book Awards each year, to running poetry and creative writing competitions and culminating in our huge events for World Book Day.
As a result, we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Our attainment at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 is well above the national average, at both expected level and greater depth.
At Rawdon St. Peter’s C of E Primary School, we believe reading to be fundamental to your child's learning. Our aim is that every child, on leaving, can read for enjoyment and educational value. We ask that parents play an active part in supporting their child's reading skills. Please encourage your child to practise their books daily at home, as directed by the teacher.
Children have access to their class library on a daily basis where they can choose a book which they are able to borrow and take home. We aim that our children can appreciate literature: we introduce them to a variety of authors and reading material.
The school follows a carefully levelled range of books designed to meet the needs of the children as individuals and the requirements of the National Curriculum. Our children choose their own reading books from the appropriate level. The books are colour coded to help children select correctly.
What else can you do to help your child?
Sharing a book with your child is a valuable experience so make sure that you:
- are both comfortable
- are sitting so that you can both see the pages of the book
- are undisturbed
- let your child choose the book or text
- make use of the school and public library
Showing how much enjoyment can be gained from reading is very important for your child. Parents are welcome to come into the school to help with reading and we already have some fantastic Parent Reading Volunteers. Please ask your child’s teacher if you would like additional advice, or would like to be more involved.
Many of our children exceed the nationally expected levels in reading at the end of each year group at Rawdon St. Peter’s CE Primary School; though some of our children may not quite achieve these levels.
At Rawdon St. Peter’s we believe that the teaching and learning of synthetic phonics is of substantial value to your child’s ability to learn to read.
We follow the government’s approved scheme, which is Letters and Sounds.
Initially in Early Years we introduce phonics in a much more kinesthetic method where by children have a much more fun and hands on approach. This scheme is the Jolly Phonics.
Phonics is offered on a daily basis in E.Y.F.S. and KS1 and is continued as necessary into KS2.
Click on the images below for more information.
Not sure how to pronounce phonemes?
Click on the lips to listen to how to articulate the phoneme sounds.
Speaking & Listening
Speaking and listening skills not only develop oral fluency, pronunciation, expression and presentation skills; they underpin the development of ideas for writing and provide a means for understanding characters and situations in texts. This is nurtured in the foundation stage where a range of drama activities allows children to explore topics and themes in greater depth, giving them the opportunity to learn in role and explore the feelings of others.
As the children progress throughout the school, these skills are further developed with a range of opportunities to broaden oral skills within their English lessons: through drama activities such as hot seating and internal monologues; performing in collective worship; plays and stories; reciting and performing poetry and preparing for debates and discussions.
We believe these opportunities not only broaden children's knowledge and understanding of their learning but they also enhance their skills in articulation and presentation to an audience.
At RSP we believe it is essential for children to develop a love and flair for creative writing, as well as becoming confident writers who can write for a range of purposes. To achieve this aim, writing is embedded across the curriculum and opportunities for extended writing are provided not only in English lessons, but through all topics and genres.
English is at the heart of our creative curriculum. There are strong links between subjects and children see learning as being connected, relevant and purposeful. Teachers plan for pupils to practise the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired in English lessons through other areas of the curriculum. Mastery of English is developed through this approach and pupils have the opportunity to practise writing skills in extended pieces of English work, as well as in a range of other subject areas. Opportunities for writing are provided throughout the curriculum and opportunities for early mark making and emergent writing are provided as part of the continuous provision in Early Years and KS1.
Our approach ensures that opportunities for speaking and listening and familiarisation of quality texts are planned for through a phased planning approach. Writing is taught through shared writing, guided writing and peer assessment activities, which is underpinned by an appreciation of our rich and varied literature heritage. Each unit of work is taught in a set sequence: first we decide on what the children will write at the end of the unit – this may be a set of instructions, a story, an information text, a poem, a section of a myth etc. We then create a WAGOLL (What A Good One Looks Like) – this is an exemplar text which contains all of the features which we would expect the children to include, when they do their extended piece of writing at the end of the unit. We start the teaching sequence by reading quality texts, picking out key features and asking prediction and comprehension questions. Then, we plan a sequence of lessons designed to give the children a ‘toolkit’ of skills: for example if the unit is on story writing, we will spend time learning the skills of writing and punctuating dialogue, writing in the past tense, describing settings and characters, and structuring a story correctly. In this phase of writing we would also learn any key vocabulary or spellings which will be useful. Lastly, in the writing phase, children will complete an extended piece of writing (this may even be over several lessons) incorporating planning, writing, proofreading and editing. The National Curriculum (2014) focuses heavily on children’s editing and proofreading skills, so we use a system called TRACK to help children do this effectively. Peer work is often used here and you may find your child has an editing partner. This writing process is visible on classroom working walls, showing consistency and progression across the school.
Working walls display current learning and progression across the phased approach, as well as good examples of pupils' and the teacher's modelled writing, which is annotated with success criteria.
The 'Purple Polishing Pen' marking is used to inform the children of their next steps, and thus encourage them to reflect, edit and improve their writing.
Every child is also given the opportunity to respond to feedback and is aware of their writing targets. Through marking and assessment, teachers detail grammatical and spelling targets and inform pupils how to develop further creativity through interesting sentence structures and quality of vocabulary. These targets aim to continually inspire and challenge children to improve their writing.
Children are provided with resources appropriate to their writing development which can include alphabet/phoneme mats, word banks and examples of text types or spelling, grammar and punctuation prompts. This not only supports learning but also encourages independence and autonomy. Writing is celebrated in every classroom, with all of the children's writing displayed and valued, included in this is our whole school writing display which celebrates high quality writing for others to aspire to.
For further details of the English units your child will be studying, please see the Band Newsletter for that half term.