Reading and writing are essential skills in all of our lives because we use them every day. Here at Eureka Primary School, we work very hard at ensuring our Literacy lessons are purposeful and interesting; teaching our children the important skills that will make them fantastic readers, amazing writers and successful learners. These skills are vital for all subjects in the curriculum because they all have some form of reading and writing in them. We purposefully plan in opportunities for reading and writing in other subjects so the children are transferring their skills.
Literacy is taught everyday throughout the whole school. In these lessons, engaging texts and picture books, as well as cross curricular links to topics, are used to read and teach the key skills of writing. We learn new vocabulary that we ‘magpie’ from great authors to use and improve our writing. Modelled writing is used as an effective teaching strategy so the children can see and hear how a ‘writer’ (teacher) thinks and makes decisions about sentence structure, vocabulary choices and punctuation in order to have an effect on the reader. Speaking and listening, drama, annotating texts, talk partners, group work, debate, pictures, ICT, music, animation and short films are all used to enrich the learning and inspire our children. Editing and improving is taught so the children can develop these skills to independently improve and progress their writing.
Basic skills sessions are taught throughout the week focussing on spelling, handwriting, grammar and punctuation. We use 'No Nonsense Spelling' for our spelling curriculum as well as high frequency words and the statutory word lists. An online programme, 'Letter-join', is used for our handwriting curriculum.
We ensure that the children know what they have achieved well and what they need to do to improve and progress in their writing through marking, feedback and guided group work. Quality time is given in lessons for the children to be able to read marking comments and then improve some of their writing.
Reading and comprehension are equally an important aspect of our curriculum too. Children are heard read as often as possible and reading is in all subjects throughout our curriculum. Comprehending a text is integral to the pleasure of reading it – if you don’t understand what the text is about then it just becomes words on a page! Comprehension skills are taught in our curriculum as specific lessons and also through daily guided reading sessions. We really encourage the children to read as often as possible, including at home. Every teacher reads aloud a class story book, which the children thoroughly enjoy hearing and sharing.