Literacy

  • Rationale:

    Children should be given opportunities to:

    • Speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities;
    • Use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum;
    • Be surrounded by an environment language rich and with possibilities for communication.

    Literacy has three areas of attainment:

    • Speaking and listening – this includes talking to others, talking with others, talking within role play and drama, talking about talk.
    • Reading- this includes individual, paired, shared, guided, whole class and performing. Also comprehension and interpretation.
    • Writing – this includes spelling, grammar, punctuation, comprehension, handwriting and independent writing: fiction, non-fiction, poetry.

    Speaking and Listening:

    • Pupils have a language-rich environment where their opinions are valued and opportunities given to participate in talk within formal and informal situations.
    • Regular shared reading and guided reading takes place where pupils are encouraged to listen, discuss, re-enact and develop their own ideas in co-operation with others.
    • ‘Talk Homework’ is sent home the evening before a Big Write session to allow the students opportunities to talk about their writing, gain ideas from family and friends and to assist in making the most out of their Big Write session.

    Reading:

    • Use of CAFÉ Strategies and Independent Reading.
    • Big Books and interactive books are used within classrooms to encourage reading.
    • Each classroom has a selection of appropriate reading books and the child must show evidence of completing the previous book before selecting a new one.
    • Guided reading lessons allow for the development of comprehension, expression, intonation and vocabulary.
    • These texts are selected to challenge the children and to allow for in-depth analysis of language, characters and plot.
    • Texts are often chosen that relate to the cross curricular theme or to study a particular aspect of reading comprehension.
    • Pupils practise reading in a variety of ways, the use of technology provides opportunities to reinforce reading skills in an enjoyable way.
    • Library books are available for the children to borrow.
    • Visiting performers, authors and speakers all engage the children and encourage them to read.
    • The pupils are encouraged to take their reading book home daily to enable parents and carers to share the experience of learning to read along with their pupil.

    Writing

    • Children have opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences, adapting their language and style according to purpose.
    • Big Write sessions allow the children the opportunity to talk about their writing.
    • Big Write is a celebration of students’ learning and is scheduled every second week after a VCOP session.
    • The classroom has a different atmosphere, the lights are dim, we use LED candles and quiet music is playing.
    • Students are not allowed to talk to each other and the teacher takes this time to conference with students one to one and look at their individual goals.
    • Prior to most Big Write sessions, ‘Talk Homework’ goes home to allow the students opportunities to talk about their writing.
    • Teachers give students individual feedback about their work through thorough marking and next steps.
    • Up-levelling opportunities, peer and self -assessment and shared writing time is used to help the children to know their next steps to help them improve.
    • Pupils are encouraged to use self-evaluation and to check their work independently for sense, accuracy and meaning in all literacy tasks.
    • Pupils are given opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to write collaboratively and to produce their final drafts, sometimes on the computer when suitable.