At Southborough, high quality texts are at the heart of our English learning; to develop a love for reading is the gateway to creativity, greater knowledge and universal exploration.
"The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more you learn, the more places you will go."
The Power of Reading is the programme we have adopted to inspire, motivate and develop the teaching of English through engaging teaching approaches and promoting a love of reading. Writing is seen as a journey which evolves from purposeful activities, where children are immersed in speaking and listening. This leads to accomplished outcomes with the use of adventurous vocabulary, varied grammatical structures and high expectations that are transferred to all other areas of the curriculum. This approach is developing a community of children and adults who confidently communicate with each other.
To ensure rapid progress when learning to read, Read Write Inc (a robust phonics programme) is delivered until children are confident and able readers. The following link will take you to the Read Write Inc web site where there is useful information for parents including a support resource on how to pronounce the phonic sounds.
Through the discrete phonic sessions delivered in Read Write Inc, we teach our children to decode, whilst building a greater understanding of comprehension. Children develop skills through listening to books being read aloud, investigating them together in pairs and guided groups and sharing a variety of activities.
The Power of Reading explores the core components of developing a vibrant reading community and has transformed our reading culture at Southborough Primary School. The excitement of revealing the text through to reading the final page is palpable; classes have been known to create drum rolls, applaud and even give standing ovations!
In addition, classes also undertake discrete reading sessions which develop core reading skills, in particular comprehension, whilst also supporting those children who need to further develop their fluency. This includes skills such as summarising, predicting and teaching children how to answer and understand comprehension style questions. To compliment this, staff teach reading in bespoke 1:1 or small group reading sessions which is personalised to target key areas the children/child needs to develop.
Engaging texts act as a springboard for a plethora of teaching approaches to hook the children into lessons including: conscience alley; freeze frames; hot-seating characters; role on the wall; reader’s theatre; and outdoor learning.
“When we were reading the book ‘The Wild’ we went to the woods to explore –
listening, looking, feeling and using our senses to describe the setting.”
George (Year 1)
“My favourite activity of the term was when we used freeze frames because it really helped me to understand how the main character, Zoe, was feeling; this impacted the quality of my writing.”
Sophie (Year 6)
Children at Southborough love writing because
“Teachers never cease to create imaginative and in-depth opportunities for us to write and they are always striving to help us do even better.”
Luka (Year 6)
Our aim is to create accomplished and confident writers; from the point at which they start at Southborough to the moment they leave, talking for writing is made a priority. Through retelling of stories, drama, role-play and discussion, children first imitate, then innovate and invent their own masterpieces.
The Power of Reading is integral to our teaching of writing, as the breadth of teaching approaches motivate and engage our pupils.
Our inspirational learning environment supports children with the process of writing as
“there are lots of resources around to help us: wizard words, working walls, terminology trees and modelled examples.”
James and Monnine (Year 6)
“Good pieces of writing can become ‘award-winning’ pieces of writing and feature as a WAGOLL (what a good one looks like) on the working wall, in our golden frames and earn us lots of dojos.”
Charlie (Year 6)
Handwriting and presentation are of paramount importance at Southborough C of E Primary School. From reception children are taught the formation of letters through Read Write Inc. and this continues through the scheme in both year 1 and 2.
Children in Years 1-6 develop their handwriting skills regularly through a variety of activities set up by the class teacher. This includes explicit teaching of handwriting as well as regular practice sessions.
Children may write in pen in their blue book when they show that they are:
Children up to year 4 record maths work in pencil however, In year 5 and 6 children record in pen but all diagrams, margins, underlining and drawings must be in pencil.
Southborough Primary School assess, monitor and track all children’s progress from Reception to Year 6. Assessment is woven into daily practice, where both children and teachers take responsibility for knowing what they have been successful in and how to progress further. This can be in various forms: self-assessment, peer assessment, discussions or formal written feedback. Progress is formally reviewed termly to establish academic achievements and whether children are on track to meet end of year targets; this then informs next steps and additional support a child may receive.
To track the progress of reading and writing, Southborough use a digital monitoring system (Target Tracker) which is used to record objectives that children have achieved or are working towards. This informs teacher’s planning and year group focus areas. Parents receive a printed copy of these targets with their child’s report which they can then discuss with teachers at parent consultation, facilitating clear communication between home and school.
At Southborough we work tirelessly to ensure all children in our care reach the highest levels of personal achievement. Staff work closely in year groups and with colleagues to share expertise in order to best support all learners. Teachers plan lessons that promote self-worth and enthusiasm by encouraging independent learning at all levels. In English, there are a range of strategies regularly employed to support and challenge all pupils.
Within class, adults and additional provision are used carefully to support identified children with particular reading and writing focus areas. In addition, resources such as Clicker 6 and talking tin lids (which support the process of writing) as well as specialist programmes including SpeechLink, Fresh Start and Early Literacy Support are employed to support children where appropriate.
Our core texts provide a strong and meaningful springboard to develop a deep understanding of spiritual, moral, social and cultural values. They explore a range of characters, settings and experiences in depth, meticulously unpicking key messages. Speaking and listening is used as a platform to provide opportunities for rich discussion and to further broaden their understanding of the British Values.