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At The Crescent Primary School we strive for children to be a ‘Primary Literate Pupil’. We aim to develop pupils’ skills within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing, and then extended through all areas of the curriculum.

The Power of Reading

At The Crescent we follow a scheme of work called 'The Power of Reading'. The Power of Reading is about teaching Literacy through high quality texts and by using creative teaching approaches. By using such tools children are able to engage and connect deeper with a text. Studying one text over a longer period of time children are given greater contexts for writing and are able to immerse themselves in the world of the book.

Each half term the class teacher chooses a selection of high quality texts and then delivers lessons based on this text. The children are exposed to many different genres of writing and skills are developed in order to write independently at length. 

Alongside 'The Power of Reading' basic skills lessons are taught every Monday which focus on the key skills for writing - Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation. Each week culminates in 'Big Write' which is where the children have a chance to show of the skills learnt during the week. 'Big Write' starts with a VCOP lesson and then the lights are dimmed and the music starts up whilst the children focus on their writing.

Cross-curricular literacy opportunities

The skills that children are taught in Literacy underpin all other subjects.  They enable pupils to communicate and express themselves in all areas of their work.  Teachers will always make cross-curricular links wherever appropriate and will plan for pupils to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding that they have acquired during Literacy to other areas of the curriculum.

Reading

Foundation and Key Stage 1 classes enjoy and participate in story time sessions reguarly.  Teachers in Key Stage 2 regularly share a range of narrative and non-narrative texts with the whole class.

Each class has a book corner.  Foundation and Key Stage 1 have equipment for listening to a story and other texts.  As part of home reading, children should be selecting and reading a book appropriate to their level 3 times a week.  We encourage parents/carers to hear their child read unless they are at a level where the pupils can assess their own reading.  Feedback on home reading is made by parents/carers or pupils within the Home Reading Records.

Guided reading sessions take place for 20-30 minutes each day.  Pupils read with the teacher in a guided group session once a week.  The group will be given a follow up activity linked to the guided group text during the next couple of days.  Other activities the groups will take part in during a week include; silent, independent reading, phonics and comprehension.  Children who require additional support with reading normally receive more regular opportunities with another adult.

Phonics

Research shows that teaching Phonics in a structured and systematic way is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.  Almost all children who receive good teaching of Phonics will learn the skills they need to decifer new and unfamiliar words. At The Crescent Primary School Phonics in the Early Years is taught on a daily basis and follows the Letters and Sounds programme. Children are taught the skills for segmenting and blending words and are introduced to new phonemes as part of a systematic synthetic approach. The teaching of Phonics continues in Years 1 and 2 as children are introduced to alternative graphemes, lesser known sounds and begin to learn some of the more complicated spelling rules. At the end of Year 1 children are required to sit the Phonics Screening Check to assess their ability to segment and blend words. Children are presented with 40 words – a mixture of real and pseudo words and they are expected to apply their Phonics knowledge to read the words. If children are unsuccessful in Year 1 they have the opportunity to retake the test in Year 2. Intervention groups are set up for those children struggling with their Phonics learning and this additional support will continue in Key Stage 2 if necessary. As a school we use Letters and Sounds in association by Jolly Phonics.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar

A good spelling programme gradually builds pupils’ spelling vocabulary therefore, when children enter Key Stage 2 they will have discreet ‘Support for Spelling’ lessons three times a week. During these lessons children begin to understand the principles underpinning word construction, recognise how to apply these principles in their writing and develop the skills for proof reading. In Year 6 children are required to take a 'Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar’ test. We endeavour to prepare children for this test as early as possible and therefore make spelling and grammar a key priority in all curriculum areas.

Drama and role play

At The Crescent Primary School we strongly believe that the more experiences children have the better writers they become. We therefore place a strong emphasis on bringing drama and role play into our literacy lessons, allowing the children to recreate those fantasy worlds that they so often read about.  Hotseating, teacher in role and freeze frames are just some examples of the types of activities your children will experience through our diverse literacy curriculum. 

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