“The more you read, the more you will know, the more you learn, the more you will grow” (Dr Seuss)
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Children learn to read through encountering challenging texts, which form the basis of each half term’s English learning from Reception to Year 6.
All children at Whitkirk will be exposed to a wide selection of high-quality texts which will enrich their learning and inspire them to become lifelong readers. We encourage and support our children to read a wealth of books including fiction, non-fiction, classics, picture books, stories from other cultures and those with challenging themes. Our lessons are engaging and allow all children to participate in discussion and debate about texts.
Reception and KS1 – Read, Write, Inc:
We follow the Read Write Inc. (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their reading and writing. RWI is a structured programme, which integrates phonics, comprehension, writing, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and handwriting. It helps us to create a consistent approach across our school as we all work together to ensure our children are confident readers and writers. Children begin learning phonics from when they start in Reception, and all our staff members are fully trained. Whilst children are in the early stages of their reading, we teach children to decode, building their word recognition through phonics sessions, and we support children to develop a love of reading and build their language comprehension through whole class sharing of stories.
Reading beyond RWI:
Our pupils are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary through our selection of rich texts and our vocabulary focus in our Reading lessons. During these lessons, we use VIPERS. VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum. They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.
VIPERS stands for Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequence orSummarise
The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc. Therefore, our lessons also focus on developing fluency within increasingly challenging texts. Our reading lessons encourage high levels of oracy through the use of deep questioning, partner talk, and group work. Pupils are challenged to identify and locate unfamiliar words and are encouraged to find the meanings with increasing independence through learnt reading strategies.
Keep up and catch up:
We want to ensure that our pupils have the skills and desire to become life-long readers as this is the gateway to success in the wider curriculum. Throughout lessons, teachers refer to former learning and make clear links to earlier work to ensure that all children are able to build upon their prior knowledge. Through formative assessment, we identify children who are at risk of developing gaps in their learning and address these within lessons, or through interventions.
RWI sessions in action
Developing a love of reading
A selection of our class reading corners (more pictures in our gallery below)
We aim to instill a love of reading in our children and hope that they will leave Whitkirk as avid readers, who are able to access all areas of the curriculum confidently.
All pupils enjoy a daily storytelling session delivered by their class teacher.
Each classroom has its own special reading area.
Teachers share their love of books with the children, recommending new and old favourites, and showcase a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, which link with our core theme and curriculum focus.
Secret Reader - in KS1, family members are able to secretly sign up to come into school and share a story with the rest of the class. This causes lots of excitement as children eagerly await who will be entering through the door!
All pupils have a scheduled time to visit our school library.
As well as lots of practice at school, children are expected to read at home at least three times per week. We ensure that individual reading books are accurately matched to the sounds that children know.
Whitkirk Waterstones - our school library - click images to view larger
Our writing curriculum aims to develop ambitious and articulate authors. We use two processes to develop writing from Year 1 to Year 6. In KS1, the Talk for Writing programme is used to support children in being able to produce effective pieces of independent writing, through engaging the learners, learning a text by heart, planning clearly, and writing for a purpose. In KS2, writing is inspired by our half-termly class text, which expose our children to texts that are linked to historical periods; celebrate differences and include a range of male/ female authors.
Pupils are taught the writing objectives as set out in the National Curriculum. We plan for progression by considering when to teach specific grammar and when to focus on particular genres.
Vocabularly development and oracy are central to our writing lessons and are both developed through imaginative hooks, real-life experiences, discussions and debates. We have picked rich, varied texts to develop vocabularly further.
We understand the importance of fostering a love of writing for our children. At every stage of writing, they are supported by our encouraging and positive staff who model the writing process and help children build resilience and independence. Our children increasingly see themselves as authors and rightly so, are very proud of their learning.
We teach spelling to build on children’s knowledge and understanding of phonics. Each week, following the RWI Spelling scheme, children learn key spellings and rules, which they must apply to increasingly ambitious vocabulary.
Red Kite Learning Trust is a Multi-academy trust made up of 14 schools in North and West Yorkshire, serving more than 9,750 children and young people and their families, from nursery to sixth form. We are passionate about learning, providing a rich curriculum which releases potential and creates opportunity for all our pupils.
Whitkirk Primary School is part of Red Kite Learning Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 7523507, registered office address: Red Kite Office, Pannal Ash Road, Harrogate, HG2 9PH