READING READING READING - We are a reading school!
Reading is vitally important. It is closely linked to academic success and future learning and earning potential. It is also really important to children’s self-esteem, confidence and motivation. Being able to read is the key to independent learning and living and so it's given a very high priority by all staff at Seahouses primary school. Learning to read is a joy and a gift but it is also a complex, multi-faceted process.
In essence children need to decode the words that they see before them and also understand what they are reading in order to answer a range of questions successfully. We first set out to make sure all of our children are confident readers by providing them with a word and book rich learning environment and by providing them with a wide range of positive and engaging reading experience from inspirational shared texts; author and illustrator visits to parent drop-ins and shared read-alongs (bedtime stories in the school hall, cosy blankets and hot chocolate for all of the family – to name just one).
At Seahouses primary school we use a systematic approach to teaching phonics as part of our Read, Write Inc. programme. At the end of Year 1 all children currently take the National Phonics Screening Test. Alongside phonics teaching, an emphasis is placed on learning to read, interpret, enjoy and comment upon a wide variety of books, magazines, newspapers and information texts – all readily available in our awe-inspiring library and accessible to the children in each classroom. We also use the Literacy Shed reading VIPERS programme to support the acquisition of a diverse range of reading skills. This programme develops children’s comprehension, vocabulary, writing, critical thinking and discussion skills.
Each year group is provided with a list of stories for whole class shared reading time, tailored to the interests and curriculum of the children and adapted each year to ensure we remain current and up to date with fabulous new authors and illustrators who are recently published and thus most relevant. We read such high quality texts to children as a class every single day, which encourages their listening skills and often allows them to access a book they may not read themselves. All classes have a well-stocked book area. Children are supported by members of staff to select appropriate books to be sent home on a daily basis. Children all have a reading scheme book and a book to read for pleasure in school and at home and we ask you to make sure they record this in their home/school diary.
Reading at home is really important and reading to your child is a good way to share stories and other books. We work together as a team to support parents when reading with their child and run parent teacher sessions to discuss reading support techniques. Our English leader updates parents half termly on ways in which they can make reading at home fun, pleasurable and conducive to lasting learning.
Developing a positive reading and writing culture within our wider school community:
At Seahouses Primary school we work in partnership with our local community and ensure we plan for the inclusion of a meaningful English curriculum routed in the belief that we can truly make a difference.
- We have worked in partnership with CoastCare Northumberland to protect our beautiful beaches and write about our endeavours.
- We work in partnership with the woodland trust to protect our forests and woods and, you guessed it, we read and write about it!
- Teachers take every opportunity that arises to write letters, emails and text messages to business leaders in our community . We have recently worked to educate them as to the harmful nature of plastics.
- Children at our school work alongside national and local top authors such as Dan Smith, illustrators such as Daniel Weatheritt and Liz Millions and local heroes like Daniel Smith to learn more about the importance of literacy skills.
- We work closely in partnership with the hub cinema to experience classic texts brought to life on the big screen.
- Our children love performing awesome poems, each year, to parents and members of the community to share our passion for words and the poetic form.
- At Seahouses primary school the children work to compose many of our own press releases to tell the world about all of the fantastic things we do here.
- W invite local story tellers into school and volunteers to read with the children. Some have included NUFC staff, air ambulance and RNLI volunteers.
- Each year during the summer term - every child from year 2-6 is offered the opportunity to surf! We link this to our shared texts and writing.
Writing at Seahouses Primary School
The ability to write well is linked to children's experience of story and other texts. We use a wide range of up to date and research backed writing programmes to ensure your children have the very best start in writing.
- The "Talk for Writing" approach, which involves the adults and children storytelling, talking about the story, drama activities and then shared writing.
- RWI phonics
- Alan Peats
- Read, write perform
- Literacy shed
- We work very closely with seven stories
Gradually the children become more proficient as writers, because they have the vocabulary and the skills. In this way we teach the writing process and support the children in planning, composing and revising their work. Children write every day, across the curriculum and for a range of purposes,
We also teach spelling, punctuation and fluency in handwriting.
We help our children develop a neat legible and fluent style of handwriting. We use the Pen pals handwriting and from the time children can correctly form their letters, they are taught continuous cursive (joined up) handwriting. Short, focused handwriting sessions are taught on a regular basis. When they achieve success they feel a sense of pride, are more motivated to write and tend to be better at spelling. We have regular handwriting assessments in school and all children have the chance to earn a pen licence once they have mastered their skills. They are very proud of their achievements when they receive their pen licence and new pen!