Inspiring a Love for Lifelong Learning
Learning at Ashford Park
English, Phonics, Reading, Writing
JUST WHO ARE THE MASKED READERS?
Ashford Park now has its own page dedicated to all things ‘Reading’.
On our page, you can find book lists for all year groups, ideas for reluctant readers, inspirational text ideas and much more. This page is password protected meaning anyone who wishes to view our school page will need a password to see it. Please access the page via Love Reading 4 Schools and the page password: AshfordPark. On your first visit you will need to enter this password to view the page and set up your own personal username and password.
Please find a link to the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for English:
At APPS, we are passionate about our creative and innovative English curriculum. English is the key to accessing all areas of learning; therefore, we aim for all of our children to leave us with a love of the English language, good vocabulary acquisition and the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in the written word.
We have worked hard to ensure that our English curriculum reflects our diverse community, whilst also providing our children with the opportunity to experience work from our rich literary heritage. Our curriculum places quality texts at its core. Throughout their time at APPS, children are introduced to a range of authors, forms, styles and text types, in order to broaden their skills and ignite their interests within the world of English.
Reading at APPS
Our aim at APPS is to create a ‘buzz’ around reading. We work hard to ensure we have an active reading community where our children are inspired and engaged by their reading lessons and teachers are actively recommending books and modelling key reading behaviours.
The teaching of reading, both the technical aspects of decoding language and the opportunity for pupils to develop a love of literature is one of the most important aspects of school life here at APPS.
Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary and material. They are able to recommend books to their peers and enjoy reading a wide range of genres, including non-fiction. Children enjoy participating in book talk, including evaluating an author’s use of language and how this can affect the reader. We encourage our pupils to see themselves as discerning readers and to be confident in discussing not only whether they enjoy a text but also the extent to which they agree with it.
Reading skills are taught in Years 1- 6 at least 5 times per week. We follow a text-based approach using the Literary Curriculum; therefore, many of our English lessons also focus on reading skills.
A range of teaching strategies and activities are used to develop the key reading skills of phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension, to foster a love of reading.
Our phonics learning is delivered through:
Reception and KS1:
- Little Wandle - Letters and Sounds Revised
- Collins Big Cat Phonics
KS2 (Years 3 and 4):
- Barrington Stoke
Our Infant Reading Schemes include:
- Little Wandle decodable texts
- Collins Big Cat
- Jelly and Bean, Rigby Stars, Ginn matched to the Little Wandle teaching progression.
- A rich variety of enjoyable books readily available from the school and class libraries.
We all understand the importance of a quality reading experiences to inspire and enrich young minds, preparing them to experience a love for lifelong learning. With this in The Department for Education have recently written a useful document to support the teaching of phonics and early reading in primary schools: The reading framework
How we teach Reading at APPS
- We use a mixture of whole texts and extracts in our reading sessions including poetry, classic texts and non-fiction using the Ashford Park Reading Spine.
- Texts included in our Reading Spine are closely linked with The Cornerstones Maestro Curriculum, in order to develop the children’s awareness of how English is interlinked with the wider curriculum.
- Texts are carefully chosen to reflect cultural diversity and so the children are able to see themselves and their world reflected within the words of the story.
- Literacy Shed ‘Reading VIPERS’ are consistently used across the school to teach and model key reading skills.
- Over a two-week cycle, each VIPERS reading skill is covered. A key component of every session is vocabulary acquisition. Often this will be vocabulary that the children are about to come across in the text being read.
- Fifteen minutes every afternoon are allocated for reading to the class and sharing stories. These might be the class text, other related texts or books recommended by the children to encourage reading for pleasure.
Reading Lessons will always include:
- An element of prosody (reading with feeling).
- Opportunities to read for pleasure.
- Phonics in small groups or interventions until no longer required.
- Regular, open ended discussions about stories and books.
- Opportunities to read and discuss a wide read of genres including poetry and non-fiction (including weekly newspapers to ensure children are aware of local, national and global issues).
We also have a number of reading enrichment activities, including:
- Visits to Ashford Library where children choose books to borrow and are read to by the Children’s Librarian.
- Regular visits from authors and poets throughout the school year.
- Celebrations for World Book Week including competitions and lots of amazing costumes!
In addition, 1:1 reading is put in place for children that need extra practise. Books that the children take home are carefully chosen to match the children’s interests and their level of fluency.
How we teach writing at APPS
Through the Literacy Tree ‘Literary Curriculum’, we follow an aligned approach to English using quality texts as a focus point of our writing. Please see our shared vision statement below.
Children explore literary texts and experience the works of numerous significant authors as they move through the school. Using these texts as a starting point, children engage in a wide variety of writing tasks, with grammar, spelling and punctuation objectives being taught in context within the books studied. We place great value in handwriting, teaching pre-cursive to our youngest children ensuring beautiful script from an early age. We want our young writers to master the English language with a strong control of grammar and punctuation but also a rich, imaginative bank of vocabulary. With these skills and experiences, we believe they can thrive as the authors, poets and journalists of tomorrow.
Our curriculum provides our children with a range of opportunities to:
- write for real or creative purposes and audiences.
- develop their own writing style and express their imaginative thoughts.
- develop cohesion and accuracy within their writing through their awareness of the craft of the English language.
- re-read and make improvements to their work by understanding that successful writing is a continuous process of drafting and editing.
- improve their motor skills to be able to write with increasing legibility and fluency.
At APPS we believe reading is essential for all future learning. Our library is central to the reading provision in school providing inspiration, opportunities for exploration and a lifelong love of reading. It is a relaxing and vibrant area where all children can browse, discover and share new authors and books regardless of their reading ability. In addition, we have strong links with Ashford Library where we encourage our children to apply their skills at their local library, so that when they move to secondary education they are independent learners.
Speaking and Listening
At APPS, we value the need to listen to others with compassion and understanding. Confident public speaking and the ability to listen with focus are incredibly important skills to possess.
The high quality books at the core of our English curriculum offer meaningful opportunities for empathy and philosophical enquiry. As a means of developing the spoken language requirements, our chosen texts provide plentiful opportunities for debate, drama and discussion using the issues raised through, and within, the text.
We plan frequent opportunities for our children to speak to wider audiences, be it to a group, a class or in assembly; we hold high expectations for all in terms of speaking with volume, clarity and confidence.
Sending our thanks to Mr Bodd for his BRILLIANT 'Home reading tips and advice': Mr Bodd
Tis The Season To Get Reading!
Encourage your child to keep reading over Christmas by completing our Christmas Reading Challenge.
If you’re looking for Christmassy books to share over the festive period, check out our Christmas reading lists.
Happy Christmas and Happy Reading.
Glossary of terms - National Curriculum reading and writing: The national curriculum in England - Glossary (publishing.service.gov.uk)
English National Curriculum, Appendix 2: The national curriculum in England - English - Appendix 2: Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation (publishing.service.gov.uk)