Our Vision for English
At St Peter’s CE Academy, it is our vision to create a community where children can express themselves and communicate confidently with others, developing their character and enabling them to flourish together. We aim to develop a lifelong love and passion for reading and writing by exposing children to a wide range of quality authors and genres.
English and Literacy contribute to the whole school curriculum by developing the abilities of our children to speak, listen, read and write for a wide range of purposes and audiences, using language to learn and communicate ideas, viewpoints and feelings confidently.
The children in our school are taught in safe, secure and stimulating environments, enabling them all to achieve their fullest potential. Every child will be revered and respected as part of our school family and loved and valued as one of God’s children.
For further information on how English is organised in our school, please see our English policy. Keep on reading to see what reading and writing look like at St Peter’s.
Reading at St Peter’s CE Academy
Children who read regularly, or are read to regularly, have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give children the tools to become independent life-long learners. We believe that reading is a key skill and are dedicated to ensuring that by the time our children leave us, they are competent and confident readers, ready for the next stage of their life.
All members of our teaching team are exceedingly qualified to deliver: high-quality phonics sessions, guided reading sessions, one-to-one reading sessions, shared reading and interventions where necessary. All staff respond and adapt their teaching to ensure our children are stretched and challenged and to identify those children who may require additional support. Our school is well resourced with high-quality texts in a wide range of genres to ensure children have opportunities to apply and develop their reading skills. We regularly review and update our resources to ensure that they are appropriate for our current cohorts. Staff training is updated regularly.
The teaching of reading in our school is coherently planned through the use of a DfE approved systematic, synthetic phonics programme. Through a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessment we support the individual learning journeys of all children.
Through the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics, our aim is for our children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This is evidenced through our phonics screening results in which our children always achieve highly. From this, we can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children speak extremely positively about reading and enjoy reading as part of their daily lives. They relish the idea of exploring a new book together or independently and understanding the importance of reading as a lifelong skill.
Fostering a Love for Reading
We develop a love for reading in a range of ways. These include:
- Regularly sharing high quality books with the children
- Giving the children the opportunity to visit the mobile library van regularly
- Family reading workshops
- Author visits
- Genre challenge in KS2
- Encouraging daily reading at home through a certificate system
- Continually updating our reading resources
Our Reading Books
At our school, the children are provided with a rich and varied range of texts to read at home and at school. They use these to practice and apply their reading knowledge and skills. They are encouraged to read a wide range texts – fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts – to support and consolidate their understanding of word reading and their comprehension skills.
Our reading scheme is fully book banded in line with age-related expectations (EYFS, KS1 and KS2) with explicit links to reading ages and phonics stages. We use the Oxford Reading Tree (ORT) as the main reading scheme to teach, assess and engage our children as readers. However, this is supplemented with a range of other high-quality schemes that feed directly into our book banding system outlined above.
Our aim with the reading books we provide
- Teach – using systematic, synthetic phonics using a DfE approved scheme with books that consolidate and embed this.
- Practise – with fully decodable books linked to the children’s phase in phonics.
- Offer richer reading – through a huge selection of stories and text types within our ‘Share with Me’ range.
- Make and evidence progress – through the carefully banded texts.
- Support parents – with engaging stories and texts that are accessible for all.
- Allow children the opportunity to choose their own texts within their reading level to promote and encourage excitement around books.
To enhance children’s reading further, we have produced a set of book banded bookmarks to help parents. Each has tips and questions to aid and extend understanding and enjoyment at each level.
‘Connectedness’ of Reading across the Curriculum
Reading experiences for our children are implemented throughout the whole of our curriculum. Within English and Guided Reading, children are exposed to key texts across a variety of genres and from a variety of high-quality authors. This is to allow our children to become writers through the eyes of a reader. The texts we explore stimulate and inspire all we do in English and Guided Reading: reading, group work, discussions, debates, role-play etc. However, reading is not limited to English and Guided Reading sessions, it is promoted and integrated in the whole of our curriculum. Through internet research skills during computing, geography or history, key texts explicitly linked to our history, geography or science units, mastery-style questioning in Mathematics, secondary sources for historical enquiry, research when thinking scientifically, theological underpinning during RE and to support our whole-school performances are just a few of the reading opportunities life at St Peter’s provides!
Family Reading Sessions
This year we will be holding some family reading sessions. As a school, we believe support from home plays a vital part in ensuring that your child is a happy and confident reader and writer. Reading with your child and as a family is a special time, where you can foster a love for reading and books that can last a lifetime! These will provide you with the opportunity to read with your child(ren) and their friends. We will provide a wide range of books for you to choose from. Remember you can also bring your own favourite book(s) from home to share with your child(ren). The children are also welcome to bring in their favourite books from home to share and read .
Phonics and Spelling
Children are supported to blend letters and to read and segment words to spell accurately and confidently across each age range. At St Peter’s we follow the Twinkl Phonics scheme alongside the statutory curriculum objectives (for Early Years, KS1 and KS2). Consolidation and extension activities are used where required. Where possible a practical and investigative approach is adopted. Assessments are carried out regularly to identify next steps in learning. This approach gives the children the skills and the self-assurance to spell fluently and with increasing confidence, empowering them to become independent learners.
In Early Years children enjoy dough disco and funky fingers activities to improve fine muscle control. The movements develop children’s fine and gross motor dexterity, hand-eye coordination and self-esteem. When children are taught to form individual letters a pre-cursive style is used when appropriate. As soon as digraphs and trigraphs are taught children are shown how to join their letters when they are ready to do so. This approach is linked to and supports good spelling.
Writing Opportunities in School
Throughout their time at St Peter’s children are given many and varied writing opportunities. This might be ‘free’ writing in a role play area or our story shed, or part of a structured process where children plan, write and edit their work. Where possible children are encouraged to write for a real purpose, for example writing letters to a range of audiences or entering a writing competition. Children work hard to develop their writing stamina and from a young age are given the chance to write at length.
Speaking and Listening is developed through:
Describing and listening to events and experiences;
Speaking and listening appropriately to different audiences including peers; teachers and other adults;
Speaking and listening appropriately in a variety of contexts across the curriculum;
Group discussion and interaction;
Drama and role-play activities;
Debate and presentation;
Worship and music;
Free websites that your child might enjoy:
All children in school have a login to Education City and Purple Mash, they can access these and play a range of games at home or school. Some children also have Reading Eggs logins.
Click here to read our English Policy
Click here to read Early Years Policy
SUAT supports and leads in the set-up of new academies joining the partnership. The sevices provided by the central support function cover both educational and non-educational support. In terms of educational support, SUAT is linked to the School of Education of Staffordshire University, which is an outstanding ITT provider.