At E-Act Blackley Academy, we reinforce the strong links between reading, writing, speaking and listening in our approach to teaching English. The ethos within our Academy is to ensure children have plenty of time for discussion to develop and enhance their reading and writing skills within the context of a growth mindset environment.
In our Curriculum, we use a range of genres and topics to immerse our children into a world of creative language, imagery and enjoyable experiences in order for them to achieve their full potential in English.
Our aspirations for our young children are that they enjoy and achieve with reading and become lifelong readers.
Reading is a priority here at E-Act Blackley Academy and it is at the heart of everything we do! Reading is a core skill that allows children access to all areas of our Curriculum and is in fact an essential and rewarding life skill. Books are placed at the heart of every topic and reading is integral to everyday school life.
For children who are developing their reading skills we have a range of reading schemes and books for them to use. As children progress through different levels of reading and move towards becoming a free reader, we have a wide variety of classic and more modern texts available for them in each class for them to read and be enthused by.
Through reading and having stories read to them, children should learn about different audiences and purposes as well as improving their understanding of language and increasing their vocabulary whilst exploring a wide variety of texts.
We are really lucky to have a wonderful library within our Academy where Mrs Wall, our librarian is on hand to assist the children with all their reading needs and questions.
Each week, every class has the chance to go to the Academy library and enjoy the variety of text types and authors available. The children have the opportunity to read their chosen book in the classroom or to the other children.
Reading in the community
We have started Library visits to Blackley Library this half term. By now, every child should’ve sent their library membership application form back to school ready to pick up their library card when they visit the library with their class. The aim of these sessions is to encourage all children to develop a love of books and have access to a rich, variety of texts that they can enjoy.
The children can also access an array of teaching and learning resources over the holidays, as well as reading a book in a safe, warm and fun environment.
Throughout the Academy, every class has an assigned author for each term. The children research their class author and learn about their background into how they became an author.
Every class has an author display in their reading corners too.
At the start of every term, children are immersed into the stories of their author by doing something exciting and engaging linked to the books and then this enjoyment and author study continues throughout the term. They also experience teachers modelling reading when they hear some of the stories being read to them in the class novel time at the end of each day.
During Guided Reading, the teacher works with small groups where they learn to apply their phonics and decode the words, use the pictures, segment and blend words, read around the tricky word, etc. They learn to ask and answer questions about the book to develop their comprehension of the text.
Each class runs a carousel of activities which includes dictionary work related to a text to help develop the children’s understanding of vocabulary, a chance to pre-read a text, reading with their teacher and some follow up questions based on what has been read and also simply enjoying their reading by choosing their own texts and reading for pleasure.
We plan for set questions that can improve inference skills to support the children with their reasoning skills. Children need to use inference in many aspects of their life and in other subjects also. They will make logical suggestion of what might be happening in the story or how a character may be feeling on the basis of what they have already read or observed in the text.
Reading at home:
We encourage all the children in our Academy to read at home daily with their adults. This year, all children received a brand new reading bag and since October, we have been operating a system where we have asked the adults at home to both help the children get better at decoding unknown words as they read, but also to help them develop their comprehension skills by asking them questions about a text and then comment on it in the children’s reading diaries.
Back at school, every class has a record as part of their reading corners showing how many times each child has read at home with their grown-ups. The children will highlight the record sheet every time they have read at home and their adult has signed their reading record.
What should reading look like at home?
- Establish a regular time and place for daily reading, such as before bed. Switch the television or games console off and listen to your child read in a calm, quiet environment. Use the reading prompts sent home to support your child with their reading and comprehension skills.
- Keep a variety of reading materials available (picture books, fiction, non-fiction, chapter books, atlases, dictionaries, magazines, newspapers, join the library and visit regularly).
- Role models – share your own experiences of books (eg. talking about favourite book) and read yourself – children will want to follow your example.
- Lots of talk! Ask questions encouraging children to think and make predictions about what they are reading.
- Involve children in reading/ writing for specific uses as well as pleasure (eg. shopping list).
- Respond positively to children’s reading and help them with things they find difficult.
- If you need any help with any aspect of reading with your children at home, then please either speak to your child’s class teacher, Miss Spencer or Miss Hampson, but we cannot stress enough how important it is for children to read at home every night with their adults, so please support your child and help them make progress.
This is a relatively new project that we have set up in the Spring term to promote reading for enjoyment. We believe that children will make more progress with their ability to understand and enjoy a text when they enjoy the experience. Each class has chosen 2 reading buddies to take part in the project. The older children have been partnered with a class of younger children so that they have the opportunity to spend some time in the library together, listening to each other read and talking about stories and books that they both enjoy. They have each had some training and have reading buddy prompt cards to help them. We set up a cosy, quiet area outside the library so that the children can read in a quiet, calm environment. The feedback from the children on this project has been very positive and the children involved have made good progress with their reading.
KS2 Family Detective Project:
This is a new project that is taking place in Year 5 where Miss Burnett has started to work with some Year 5 children and their parents. The aim of the project is to engage children and parents in reading together, through a six week program. They will work together to complete mysteries and solve a crime getting different clues and tasks every week.
This will be rolled out to other year groups in Key stage 2, so if this sounds like something you may be interested in, watch this space!
Each week, a class delivers a class assembly about something they have been learning about to the whole Academy. Parents are invited to the assembly and are invited back to the classroom to share some reading time with their children. This is becoming increasingly popular with more and more parents attending each week. Please try and join us next time your child has a class assembly – we would love to see you!
Special Reading Events:
Whenever there are special reading events being held, E-Act Blackley Academy takes part!
So far this year we have dressed up for Roald Dahl’s birthday back in September. Every class chose their favourite Roald Dahl book to focus on and then used it for some really creative English lessons. Have a look at the class pages to see what everyone got up to.
As the year progresses, we are looking forward to taking part in a Readathon and we will definitely be celebrating World Book Day on 2nd March 2017. Check out the World Book Day website for what will be coming up soon. http://www.worldbookday.com/
Reading plays a huge part in all of our learning at the Academy, but it is especially important to the development of writing and helping children to enjoy the writing process. Books and stories are of central importance to the children’s writing.
The Writing Process:
Creating interest: The writing process of each unit involves a stimulating and creative hook to excite the children about the process of writing a new genre.
Reading: The next part of the process involves identifying the features of each genre; Reading a variety of different texts; Responding to discussion about the texts and features; Exploration of the illustrations and author’s choice of language.
Gathering content: This involves capturing the children’s ideas and using their imagination from a variety of books and authors. Alongside this, grammar is studied in more detailed and contextualised.
Planning and Writing: Children go through three stages in the writing process of imitation, innovation and invention. This involves a straight retelling of stories; developing, extending and changing elements of a story to make it their own; and creating a “new” story.
One of the main focuses of the new National Curriculum is to be able to independently proof-read, redraft and make suggestions about how children can improve their own work and the work of their peers.
Spelling is an integral part of children’s reading and writing development. As children develop spelling competency, their confidence and independence in writing will increase.
Reception – children will be taught phonics for 20 minutes each day as per Letters and Sounds. This will be reinforced throughout the day.
Year 1 – Children will be taught phonics for 20 minutes each day as per Letters and Sounds. This will be reinforced throughout the day.
Years 2-6–Children will be taught spelling rules and conventions using the material in the Silcock Spelling scheme document. Children will also be taught phonics where appropriate.
Additional Writing Opportunities:
In order for our children to implement the English skills they have learned, they are given opportunities to apply them in a variety of cross-curricular contexts.
Through both the English and cross curricular writing opportunities, children are given the chance to produce a variety of different outcomes by using and revisiting previously taught skills and features of different genres.
Handwriting and presentation:
Throughout the Academy, we use books with blank pages with line guides to develop a cursive, legible style of handwriting with a focus on high standards of presentation. This feeds into our displays which are proudly exhibited around the Academy.
Click here to view our Year 1 long term English plan
Click here to view our Year 2 long term English plan
Click here to view our Year 3 long term English plan
Click here to view our Year 4 long term English plan
Click here to view our Year 5 long term English plan
Click here to view our Year 6 long term English plan