At Lugwardine Primary Academy, we believe the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, overcome barriers, share in cultural experiences, and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. We are aware of the impact reading has on the cognitive, social, and linguistic development of children in addition to the children’s well-being and future academic success later in life. We aspire for every child to leave Year 6 as a fluent, confident reader with a thirst and true love for reading irrespective of their starting points, background, gender, needs or ability.
We strive to offer higher levels of support or extra challenge for those who need it so that all pupils can access learning during daily Reading and Phonics lessons. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and foster a habit of reading widely and often, both for information and for enjoyment. It is our shared staff vision that children develop an intrinsic motivation to read for pleasure and leave Lugwardine having cultivated a life-long love of books and discuss books with excitement and interest.
At Lugwardine, we believe that regular reading at home is an important tool in developing reading skills. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, so endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home. We ask all parents and carers to support their child reading at home with access to decodable reading books matched to the daily phonics programme.
The teaching of reading across the school consists of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension. We aspire for all readers to:
be secure in their phonic knowledge during early reading and develop strategies to independently decode unfamiliar words
develop accuracy and automaticity when reading
develop the comprehension skills of retrieval, inference, summarising, inference, prediction and making comparisons across a range of texts and genres
actively engage as a reader through contributing to ‘book talk’
adjust their approach to ensure understanding, e.g. re-reading sections if meaning is lost and using their knowledge of etymology to unravel the meanings of words
read for pleasure and information across a wide range of fiction and non-fiction
use reading to support their acquisition of knowledge and vocabulary across all subjects.
Teachers, with support from the Literacy Lead and Senior Leadership Team, draw upon careful observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are appropriately challenged as well as identifying children who need additional support. Timely intervention is planned for those children working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified. All children are heard read (either aloud during phonics lessons, while engaging in class reading sessions, or 1-1) to ensure that fluency is a priority and is practiced daily. In addition, some pupils may read more frequently with a teacher, teaching assistant, or reading volunteer; the focus being on the lowest 20% of each cohort.
At Lugwardine, building on the latest research, we teach reading as a whole class from Year 2 to ensure that all children are exposed to high-level, rich vocabulary and discussion within all lessons. We also teach reading through daily whole class comprehension sessions with a focus on developing pupils’ level of understanding of the text, through discussion, written and oral tasks and the exploration of new vocabulary. This is delivered using ERIC (Explain, Retrieve, Interpret and Choice).
We ensure time is given in each class to allow children to read independently, this is modelled by the teacher. During this time children have access to their school appropriate books but also have access to the class library reading books.
For those children who might find reading a challenge, as well as children who excel in the subject, we provide differentiated activities and challenges using age-appropriate texts as well as tailored reading interventions - in and out of the classroom - ensuring all children’s needs are catered for.
At Lugwardine Primary Academy we recognise that reading is the key that unlocks the door to knowledge in all areas of the curriculum. We provide a range of high-quality topic-based texts for classes so children can develop their understanding of the role reading plays in accessing all subjects – preparing the children for the requirements of education at high school and beyond.
It is our belief that through high quality teaching and learning, children grow into fluent, confident, and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as utilising their reading skills to unlock learning in all areas of the curriculum.
Through the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics and with decoding taught as the prime approach to reading, our aim is for children to become accurate and automatic readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Pupils will become familiar with this strategy and have the confidence to work out unfamiliar words in any new texts they encounter, even when they have come to the end of the ELS programme. Our outcomes for the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check show an improving trend (from 63% achieving the standard in 2021-22 to 71% in 2022-23) reflecting the impact of a consistent phonics scheme taught with fidelity. We believe this will enable children to move into Key Stage 2 with the tools needed to develop their fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary skills. Attainment is measured using statutory assessments in Year 1 and 6, and additional assessments for years 2, 3, 4 and 5. More importantly, we believe the impact of a love of reading goes beyond statutory assessments.
Pupils at Lugwardine are taught and encouraged to talk about books they have enjoyed or are currently reading and why they would recommend them to others. By immersing children in high quality texts during their literacy lessons, and story time sessions, we cultivate a lifelong love of books within our pupils. Parents and carers have a good understanding of how they can support pupils’ reading development at home and contribute regularly to their children’s Reading Records.
When our children leave Lugwardine, we want them to possess the reading skills and love of literature, which will help them to enjoy and access any aspects of learning they encounter in the future.
At Lugwardine Primary Academy, we believe that writing is an integral part of our curriculum. Our writing curriculum provides children with the opportunities to develop and extend their skills, and to express their individual interests, thoughts, and ideas through a wide range of writing purposes. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately, and can adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. Regardless of background, ability or need, we strive to meet the writing requirements of the Early Years Framework and National Curriculum.
At Lugwardine, we intend:
for children to write clearly, accurately, and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes, and audiences.
to create confident writers who develop stamina for writing throughout school.
for children to be independent writers, building on a range of grammar and punctuation skills every year.
for children to be exposed to high quality texts that model excellent writing practices across a broad range of genres.
for children to carefully select vocabulary with a focus on the desired effect on the readers’ thoughts and feelings.
to ensure that all pupils know how to effectively edit and improve their writing using feedback from peers and teachers.
to challenge our children to take risks and view mistakes as a positive part of the writing process.
for our children to correctly form their letters, joining with a cursive style so that they can write fluently and legibly.
for children to be able to accurately apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.
to be inclusive of all children, including SEND, by providing the appropriate scaffolding, support, and tools those children need in their writing lessons to experience success.
The teaching of writing across the school consists of two dimensions; transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). All children, from EYFS to Year 6, are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum.
In Reception, writing is taught through the Prime Areas of Communication and Language and Physical Development and the Specific Area of Literacy. At Lugwardine, we understand that the development of fine and gross motor skills is closely linked to a child’s ability to write. Before children can control the muscles in their hands, they must control the larger muscles of the shoulders and arms. Throughout Reception, children’s fine and gross motor skills are developed through purposeful fine motor activities and whole class P.E. sessions. Early writing is taught through meaningful mark making which takes place through a variety of sensory experiences in all areas of our Early Years provision, both indoors and outdoors; this helps our children to see writing as an integral part of their play and learning. When children begin the Essential Letters and Sounds phonics programme, they are taught the letter formations. We pride ourselves on ensuring that through our enabling Early Years environments, there is always a wide range of inviting mark making resources inside and outside to suit a range of interests and learning styles. The role of the practitioner plays a key part in a child’s writing journey: our adult interactions have a high quality, positive impact on children’s writing progress.
Through shared and guided writing opportunities, we equip children to develop the skills of writing clearly and legibly. When our children are confident with these basic skills, they work towards being able to write with a greater sense of purpose, learning to organise their writing according to these. Children are equipped with the necessary tools to do this through weekly opportunities to focus on spelling and/or grammatical structures. We believe having a sound knowledge of Grammar and Punctuation is important as it helps children to gain a solid understanding of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing which they build upon progressively each academic year, in line with the Early Years Framework and National Curriculum expectations. Where needed for a minority of pupils with SEND, adaptations are made to ensure all pupils access the writing curriculum.
All of our children experience a broad coverage of fiction and non-fiction genres. We structure our lesson sequences in a way that allows children to focus on one key writing purpose at a time – writing to entertain, persuade, inform or discuss. This approach means that children spend up to several weeks gaining a thorough understanding of how to write for a specific purpose and what skills to employ, which lead up to an extended piece of writing. A balance over the year is expected to be evidenced in children’s published writing books.
Working walls play a key role in our writing lessons and reflect our current learning; they serve to act as a strong visual aid to support and scaffold the learning of children during the writing process. Quality teacher modelled, shared, and guided writing takes place as children build up to an extended piece of writing. During these sessions, the teacher ‘thinks out loud’, purposefully referring to the skills/writing tools and spelling rules that they have been focusing on to model how to think like a writer and therefore make the invisible, visible.
In EYFS and Year 1, early spelling is taught using the Essential Letters and Sounds phonics programme. As children move from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2, the emphasis shifts from the teaching of phonics to more focused teaching of spelling strategies, conventions, and rules (in line with the National Curriculum) to build upon the children’s established phonic knowledge. We utilise the ‘Spelling Shed’ resource in these year groups to plan and deliver spelling sessions.
The cultural capital obtained through becoming an articulate user of a wide and rich range of vocabulary is one of the key drivers underpinning our English curriculum. Interwoven through all areas of the curriculum is a determination to support pupils develop confidence and fluency in using a wide range of vocabulary in a wide range of contexts. All classrooms are vocabulary-rich and reflect and exemplify the words and phrases which have been taught and explored over a sequence of learning. The pupils are encouraged to use and apply this ambitious vocabulary in their own writing. Cursive handwriting is taught through a sequential and progressive approach with teachers and teaching assistants modelling the correct cursive handwriting style. In EYFS and Year 1, children are taught letter formations as part of the ELS phonics programme.
Cursive handwriting is taught from Year 2 onwards. We believe that children’s self-esteem and pride in their work can be raised through ensuring presentation is of a high standard across all curriculum areas. In year 2, a specific handwriting English book is used to support high quality writing.
In all classes at Lugwardine, writing lessons are planned around high-quality, challenging texts which engage, inspire, and motivate; this helps to ensure that writing is contextualised and purposeful. Grammar and punctuation are taught within these lessons, carefully embedded in sequences to avoid it being taught as a detached, abstract part of the writing process.
As children progress through school, they build upon prior knowledge and skills. Our curriculum enables children to write across a range of forms and adapt their writing successfully, carefully considering the purpose. Children are confident to take risks in their writing and love to discuss and share their ideas.
Children’s writing shows positive development from their induvial starting points with children of all abilities succeeding in all lessons because work is appropriately scaffolded. It is important that our children enjoy writing and see themselves as writers. We aim to create a community of enthusiastic writers who take pride in their work and enjoy showcasing their knowledge and skills.
We have a rigorous assessment system which encourages children to incorporate specific writing skills twice each half term. Teachers and leaders work together to jointly standardise and moderate the children’s writing throughout the year. Summative assessments for writing are then analysed at the end of each term.