English is held at the core of our curriculum. Our aim is for our pupils to be confident and enthusiastic speakers, readers and writers. We embed opportunities and activities for the development and consolidation of these skills throughout all aspects of each day. Included in this provision are opportunities for speaking and drama activities as well as reading and writing in different styles and for different purposes and across cultures.
We place a high priority on speaking and listening because children need a fluent command of language in order to understand the cultural, intellectual and spiritual aspects of the world. To develop this, they need exposure to language through first-hand experiences, quality conversations and access to quality literature.
Pupils learning to tell stories from memory is a great way to learn all sorts of essential skills and we use the Storytelling approach. Children who fill up with stories by listening and retelling create an inner store of language, ideas and imagination. They will then draw upon this store in their work and life. Speaking, listening, confidence, empathy, ideas, facts, sequences, plots … you name it, storytelling can teach it. Each class teacher links the current topic to a range of books and reads to the children at the end of the day. Topics are also chosen for their relevance and interest for our learners.
We use the RWI programme to teach our children to read, write and spell to successfully support our pupils to do well in the phonics screening check in Y1. This is built on in Y2 with the children learning to read with greater fluency and able to answer questions about the texts they read giving them the best chance of success in the KS1 tests. In Key Stage 2, children continue to develop and apply their phonic knowledge through a carefully structured and progressive programme of spellings. Intervention and differentiation are targeted for those children who require additional support.
Accelerated Reader is a computerised programme that has not only been speciﬁcally designed to improve children’s reading ability and continue to raise their reading age, but also to encourage and nurture a love of reading that will continue into adulthood.
The Accelerated Reader Program works by identifying a child’s ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) which is essentially a selection of books that will not only match their ability, but will also challenge them and develop their vocabulary. Each child in Y2-6 has taken a short online comprehension test in order to determine their ZPD. Using the outcomes of these tests, children will be directed to choose books from the school library that fall within this range and when they have ﬁnished the book, they will take a short, electronic quiz that assesses their understanding of what they have read. This enables us to have meaningful discussions about a child’s reading: what they have learnt and how we can help them to develop. It also enables us to closely monitor individual reading progress and ensure that children are selecting books that are challenging enough to meet their individual needs.
At Padstow School we want pupils to appreciate how valuable and rewarding reading can be and dedicated time is built into our curriculum for independent reading.
To access a parents guide on the scheme please click on the link below.