At Choppington Primary School we value reading as a fundamental skill that all children need to develop to prepare them for life. We place a strong emphasis on reading in school, across the curriculum and at home.
We use the Accelerated Reader scheme into KS1 and KS2 classes. AR is a reading program that helps teachers support and monitor children’s reading practice. Your child picks a book at their own level and reads it at their own pace. When finished, your child takes a short online quiz to measure how much of the book they understood. There are also activities to consolidate and extend vocabulary. Reward systems are in place to celebrate achievement in reading. In line with the recommendations from the Dfe Reading framework 2023, we place a huge emphasis on children seeing good reading being modelled by our enthusiastic, book loving teachers. At the end of each day, children enjoy listening to a good quality text being read to them. In addition to this, they also have 15 minutes per day of independent reading of a book of their choice in line with their own interests. Alongside this, we also have a whole class reading session each day where children read, discuss and comprehend texts.
At Choppington Primary School, we are committed to providing our students with a high-quality education that fosters excellence in writing. To achieve this, we have adopted the renowned Jane Considine 'Write Stuff' approach. This innovative method is centered around developing a deep understanding of writing across all genres, incorporating key elements of spelling, punctuation, and grammar, as outlined in the 2014 National Curriculum in England.
A Lesson Structure That Inspires Creativity and Mastery
In the 'Write Stuff' approach, each writing lesson is carefully structured to engage and motivate students towards achieving mastery. These lessons follow a consistent framework, ensuring students understand the small steps of learning required to enhance their writing skills.
Each lesson begins with the introduction of a 'learning lens' – a specific aspect of writing that is the focus for that particular session. This could be character development, descriptive language, or using conjunctions effectively, for example. By honing in on one skill at a time, students are able to develop a deeper understanding and transfer this knowledge across different writing tasks.
Throughout the lesson, explicit teaching of spelling, punctuation, and grammar is naturally interwoven into the writing process. Students learn to apply these skills purposefully and with precision, enhancing the overall quality of their work. For example, when exploring descriptive language, students may be prompted to think about the use of powerful adjectives and how they can be positioned within a sentence using commas.
Each writing unit is based on a text linked to the topics being covered in class and cover a range of genres including both fiction and non-fiction
Children in Key Stage 1&2 also complete handwriting cards at the beginning of each half term which they refer to whenever they complete independent pieces of writing. This helps them to ensure their presentation is their best possible at all times.
Improving children's understanding and use of vocabulary is a major focus for us here at Choppington. There are a number of reasons for this including:
It gives your child the ability to say what he or she means. By having several words at their disposal for describing an event or emotion, they can be explicit when sharing their ideas and opinions.
It helps your child understand what other people are saying and what she/he is reading. Vocabulary is the foundation for comprehension. Unfamiliar words become holes in the text, preventing your child from completely understanding what he or she has just read.
It bolsters their ability to grasp ideas and think more logically. The greater number of words your child has, the more he or she can interpret ideas from others, and express their own ideas.
It boosts your child’s power of persuasion. Having a rich vocabulary will help your child communicate in a more engaging way. Relying on one or two words to describe an idea will be repetitive and not as persuasive, as relying on a vocabulary of 10-15 similarly descriptive terms.
It helps your child make a good impression on others. How articulate your child is constitutes a big part of the impression she or he makes on others.
We use a variety of approaches to include vocabulary in our day to day lessons, not just in Literacy but also in Maths, Science, History etc too.
All children in Key Stage 1, and some from Key Stage 2, take part in a daily phonics session (Read Write Inc), as well as individual reading.They are given opportunities to develop their spelling, punctuation and sentence structure during English.
Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK's primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Lessons are supported by a range of engaging texts along with an emphasis on partner work and communication activities.
Reading and Writing is assessed in a number of different ways which all feed into a final assessment from the class teacher. Regular assessment is important as it shows where children currently are at and which areas they may need additional support in.
In reading, children undertake a STAR Reading assessment each half term. These are online tests which focus on a number of different reading skills. The tests give an indication of where a child is currently at, how quickly they are making progress and also areas of development.
In writing, teachers assess children's writing half termly and identify areas of strength and development which are then shared with both parents and pupils at half termly assertive mentoring meetings.
We have also recently begun using a system of writing assessment called 'No More Marking' which involves children producing pieces of writing (1 per year group per year) which is then marked by comparing it to others from across the UK. This provides us with a wealth of information which teachers use to inform their assessments.
You can find links to all of the above information below.