English at Attenborough School
‘Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow’ Anthony J. D’Angelo
At Attenborough School, we acknowledge reading and writing as the key to learning. We strive for our learners to be fluent readers who can make meaning of a range of texts, as well as confident and capable writers and articulate speakers. Reading is at the heart of everything we do, and we aspire for our pupils to develop a love of reading. Our goal is for all our learners to be equipped with the necessary skills to write grammatically correctly; we also encourage them to be creative and through a range of texts, use their imagination to convey what’s in their head onto to paper and to do this effectively. As well as this, we inspire our learners to write for impact and audience, through purposeful and engaging practices fostered within meaningful learning experiences.
‘Reading is the gateway that makes all learning possible’ Barak Obama
We promote enjoyment of reading through effective instruction of fluency and comprehension skills, so that Attenborough readers can access a range of texts with confidence now and in the future. Attenborough readers are equipped with the transferable skills that acknowledge reading as the friend to all other subjects and the master skill in learning.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme of synthetic phonics, published by the Department for Education. Letters and Sounds is an effective synthetics phonics programme, which combined with excellent pedagogy, ensures that our young learners are able to read and spell words with fluency and confidence. It builds on children’s speaking and listening skills and prepares them for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, phonics is taught daily through fast paced and rigorous instruction. In Year 2 and above, teachers are responsible for continuing the phonics programme with children who need extra support with their reading.
Our core reading scheme is ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ but we have a variety of books from other schemes to supplement these. In FS2, the children begin to read with a trained adult in school, using books that are matched to their current level of ability. All children take reading books home to be shared and enjoyed as well as to reinforce the child’s current learning. The children are also able to choose their own library book to share and enjoy at home. Once the children begin to read independently, they access the school’s Accelerated Reader programme which supports the children’s independent reading practice and development of their comprehension skills.
Reading Instruction at Attenborough School
Together, our team has worked to create an effective instruction for reading which is based on substantive research developed from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF). Our reading instruction is based on six key reading skills which have been empirically proven to gain results in both fluency and comprehension. These reading skills are summarising, predicting, clarifying, activating prior knowledge, inferring and questioning. Reading is taught through whole class, independent and small group learning, which allows pupils to become more confident in understanding the meaning behind a text.
We value modelling at the foundation of delivery and so teachers model comprehension strategies, across a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, through whole class reading sessions or during English lessons, as well as when sharing a class text at the end of the day. Pupils are encouraged to be ‘strategic readers’, using the six key reading skills to support their understanding of what they have read.
Our learners are taught to:
- Summarise what they have read.
- Predict what they think might happen next and use evidence to support their thinking.
- Use their prior knowledge and experiences to make meaning of a text.
- Clarify key words, phrases or sentences.
- Ask questions about the authors intent, purpose and meaning, as well as question the character, setting and plot.
- Make inferences from the text to make meaning of what is written.
We use question prompts for each of the six key reading skills to support reading:
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
Flipchart modelling supports the direct teaching of comprehension strategies thorough demonstrated and supported practice for all pupils. Teachers will display modelled flipcharts in their classrooms as a reinforcement of skills taught and to record children’s responses to a text.
At Attenborough, we use Accelerated Reader as a computer program to support independent reading practice. Each half term, children in Years 1-6 take a Star Reader quiz which determines their reading age, standardised score and zone of proximal development (ZPD). From this data, they can then choose from a wide range of books in our reading den to suit their ability and development. Once a child has finished their book, they are encouraged to take a quiz to assess their comprehension of that book. Our learners enjoy taking the quizzes as they are reading books which are at their appropriate level and interest level.
We have invested time in arranging and labelling our books to facilitate the Accelerated Reader programme. Children have choice in the books they would like to read and teachers regularly assist in choosing the books suitable the child’s level.
‘Putting pen to paper lights more fire than matches ever will’ Malcolm. S. Forbes
Every learner at Attenborough School is encouraged to become confident, capable and enthusiastic writers who will develop a love for writing. Through nurturing real and purposeful writing opportunities, along with the technical skills of grammar, spelling, punctuation and handwriting, our writers are encouraged to write in order to express themselves and communicate for a range of purposes. Through facilitating exciting learning opportunities, our writers are confident to read their writing aloud for enjoyment and to an audience.
Writing Instruction at Attenborough School
Coming soon! We are currently working together to review our writing provision.