Vocabulary development is central to our teaching of Reading and Writing at East Acton and this is taught explicitly in Reading lessons and reinforced through all subjects. Through the core quality text studied, the pupils at East Acton will learn to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage and by the end of their primary school journey be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
The writing curriculum is carefully planned alongside the aims of the National Curriculum guidance for Key Stages 1 and 2 with clear progression across year groups. Pupils are provided with lots of opportunities to engage in drama and roleplay to help generate creative ideas for their writing. Spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting lessons are taught discreetly. Students are encouraged to actively use and apply their knowledge of spelling, punctuation and grammar rules when editing and proof- reading their work. There are ample opportunities for teachers to model writing skills by teaching pupils how to create, improve and revise their writing through shared writing sessions.
Reading is a significant life skill and the development of reading strategies will enable our children to read and write confidently throughout their school career and on into adult life. Children who read for enjoyment every day, develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
At East Acton Primary School we passionately encourage and require our children to read every day and aim to nurture a love of reading through carefully selected texts, which inspire and motivate pupils to become life-long readers. Children learn to read easily and fluently through daily phonics in Key Stage one, following the Essential Letters and Sounds programme. They read regularly to adults through daily guided small group sessions using books that are matched exactly to their phonic knowledge. In addition to this, they also have access to recommended books, core texts and home readers. They also get to choose a book from the school or class library- this book is read to them by an adult at home.
From Year 2, children develop skills in reading through the understanding of high quality texts. During whole class sessions, they study books which are more challenging than those which they might not be able to read independently. They use these whole class texts as the basis for reading, writing, speaking and listening tasks and links are made to foundation subjects where possible.
Our classrooms and school reflect a literature-rich environment. Our working walls show tiered and subject specific vocabulary used in oral and written work. Children enjoy choosing a variety of reading materials from their reading corners as well as recommending texts for their peers.
Pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure during daily quiet reading time. They hear adults model fluent reading every day. They are given opportunities to borrow books from our well stocked school library every week and benefit from additional fiction and non-fiction texts provided by Hounslow Library Service.
How Reading is taught at East Acton?
At East Acton Primary Reading is taught through whole class reading lessons from Y2-6 and through small focused groups from Reception to Y1.
Whole class reading lessons are built around the teacher reading high quality and challenging texts which are dissected by the class through high level questioning and discussion.
Lessons include a range of activities- not all of which have written outcomes- that enable pupils to develop their vocabulary and comprehension.
Children in KS1 benefit from reading with the class teacher in a smaller group each week and getting the opportunity to use and apply their phonics skills and reading strategies. Students make predictions, inferences and discuss the whole text but within smaller adult led groups.
By the time our children leave East Acton Primary School we aim for all of our pupils to leave as free, confident readers with a love of reading.
How to support your child at home
Reading daily to young children, starting in infancy, can help with language acquisition and literacy skills. This is because reading to your children in the earliest months stimulates the part of the brain that allows them to understand the meaning of language and helps build key language, literacy and social skills.
You are welcomed to borrow books from our school library. Children go to the library at lunch times to read and change their books. Get your child a library card. They’ll be able to get their hands on hundreds of fantastic books, as well as the latest video games, blu-rays and DVDs. Let them choose what they want to read to help them develop their own interests
One great way to introduce kids to literacy is to take their dictation. Have them recount an experience or make up a story.
Young children don’t hear the sounds within words. To become readers, they have to learn to hear these sounds (or phonemes). Play language games with your child. For instance, say a word, perhaps her name, and then change it by one phoneme: Jen-Pen, Jen-Hen, Jen-Men. Or, just break a word apart: chair… ch-ch-ch-air.
When your child starts bringing books home from school, have him/her read to you. If it doesn’t sound good (mistakes, choppy reading), have them read it again. Or read it to your child, and then have him/her try to read it. Studies show that this kind of repeated oral reading makes students better readers, even when it is done at home.
When your child reads, get him/her to retell the story or information. If it’s a story, ask who it was about and what happened. If it’s an informational text, have your child explain what it was about and how it worked, or what its parts were. Reading involves not just sounding out words, but thinking about and remembering ideas and events.
Bedtime stories- Regularly read with your child or children at bedtime.
– Don’t rule out non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, magazines or leaflets. These are great materials to get children engaged and motivated to read
In early reading and writing, children are taught to develop their phonological awareness through the Essential Letters and Sounds Programme, which is a systematic and structured approach to phonics. These daily phonics lessons enable children to use their phonic knowledge to read and spell. Once children have acquired the skills to segment for spelling and blend for reading they are taught to develop their comprehension skills.
Essential Letters and Sounds is validated by the Department of Education and is designed to teach children how to read through the act of decoding and blending. Essential Letters and sounds teaches children the link between the sounds of our language (phonemes) and the written representations of these sounds (graphemes), or the spellings of the sounds contained within the English language.
Only the essential elements are included in Essential Letters and Sounds. Sounds are distilled to their purest form and every phonics lesson is taught to the highest standard. The principles of Essential Letters and Sounds are based upon:
Children learn the common sounds in the English language and how to sound-blend words for reading (de-coding) at the same time as developing handwriting skills and spelling (encoding). They read lively Storybooks and Non-fiction books with words they can decode, so they achieve early success in reading. Students also engage in daily story time, singing, poetry and rhyme- this supports their oracy, fluency and love of reading.
You can support at home by reading with your child as often as possible - by helping your child develop a love of reading you will be helping to prepare them for success at school and in life! The school library is open every Wednesday after school for you and your child to browse and select a book to be read at home. There are a wide variety of fiction and non- fiction books as well as books in different languages.