Chesham Bois CE School
Our English curriculum focuses on nurturing children’s reading, writing, language and communication skills in all subjects. Our English curriculum is built around the idea of ‘purpose’; carefully sequenced and planned journeys to success create a cohesive link between reading, writing and spoken language, which enables children to explore different text types whilst making progress in their reading and writing through embedding key concepts and skills identified for each year group.
Through English, we engage and excite children with a wide range of high quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction, immersing all pupils in a language-rich learning environment, where they develop confidence in themselves as readers and writers. Writing always builds upon the foundations of reading and spoken language and is taught through English, as well as through writing opportunities in other curriculum areas where children can apply their skills.
The aims of our English curriculum are:
- to enable children to speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their audience;
- to encourage children to listen with concentration in order to be able to identify the main points of what they have heard, and respond appropriately;
- to enable children to adapt their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands;
- to develop children’s abilities to reflect on their own and others’ contributions and the language used;
- to enable children to explore and evaluate their own and others’ thoughts, feelings and beliefs, through a range of drama activities;
- to develop confident, independent readers through an appropriate focus on word, sentence and text-level knowledge;
- to encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers through immersion in challenging, texts and discussions;
- to help children enjoy writing and recognise its value;
- to enable children to write with accuracy and meaning in narrative and non-fiction;
- to increase the children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work;
- to develop children’s oracy and ability to speak publicly with eloquence and confidence for a range of purposes.
- to enable all pupils to have access to our full curriculum and learn alongside their peers, including SEND pupils.
At CBS, reading is at the heart of our curriculum to promote a love of reading and give children opportunities to read in every subject area. Children are taught through a carefully sequenced learning journey how to read and how to utilise this skill to understand the world around them. Children will learn to see beyond what they know in order to understand a variety of cultures and genres. Through reading and being read to, children will obtain a wide and diverse vocabulary in order to express themselves eloquently, both orally and in written work.
Our reading curriculum endeavours to nurture children’s love of reading, as a result they will become lifelong readers. In the early reading stage, our reading curriculum is delivered through Supersonic Phonics (see separate phonics statement). Children, across all three key stages, have the opportunity to develop their reading skills through access to guided reading sessions, home reading, paired reading, wider reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing high quality texts read aloud every day, modelled by adults.
We recognise the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home. Each of these components helps to build a school wide community of engaged readers and offers our children the range of opportunities they need in order to become enthusiastic, fluent and critical readers.
At CBS, every child is heard reading by an adult in school at least once a week. This takes a variety of different forms including; 1:1 reading with children who are assessed as requiring further support, small groups of children for focused guided reading sessions and reading extracts of texts or challenges from the whiteboard to the rest of the class. The foundations of early reading are developed in EYFS and year 1 (continuing through year 2 and further as necessary) through the supersonic phonics programme of study (please see separate phonics statement for more information).
Each of our humanities topics is supported by a range of quality fiction/non-fiction texts. These are sourced from our local library, enabling children to see the value of using these reading resources. These ‘red topic boxes’ are used for various purposes including; reading for meaning/pleasure, supporting learning in topic, stimulating ideas for writing.
We pride ourselves on being a vocabulary rich school. Children are exposed to a wide range of relevant vocabulary related to children’s learning across the curriculum. In each class, topic vocabulary for core and foundation subjects can be found all around the classroom to enrich learning experiences and encourage regular reading of these words. Tricky word word mats are displayed on English working walls and are also available for children to access during writing time across the curriculum.
At CBS, we support children in understanding the interrelated nature of reading and writing. As such, during each English unit, children are offered opportunities to read their writing aloud to other children. This takes different forms depending on the unit of work, for example performing poetry to their own class or reading stories to an older/younger cohort.
To support children who find reading more difficult, identified target children have access to the ‘dyslexia gold’ online platform. Word reading, comprehension and SPaG activities are tailored to suit individual abilities and aim to aid children’s fluency and comprehension. These sessions are completed at least twice a week and where necessary are supported by an adult.
To further expose children to a range of texts, promote the love of reading and to build the vocabulary that the children are exposed to, EYFS has ‘Story Time’ daily and in KS1/2 the minimum expectation is 3x per week.
All children take part in guided reading sessions which occur a minimum of once a week for every group of children from Y1-6. In KS1 and LKS2, this is carried out in smaller, differentiated groups in which children read books that are carefully selected to suit the needs of that group. Children are asked comprehension questions by an adult about the text which they answer either orally or in written form. Children are offered the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and ideas around the texts with their peers.
In UKS2, children carry out their guided reading sessions as part of a bigger class group. This allows classes to read and finish more difficult texts and model reading with expression for one another. Exposure to a wide range of high quality texts also means children have the opportunity to widen their vocabulary. Each child has their own individual vocabulary book to record words and phrases they enjoy reading during these sessions to use in their writing later.
Reading for pleasure:
At CBS we promote reading for pleasure across the school through a range of engaged experiences across the year. These include;
- Paired reading across different year groups to enable children to be and have reading role models within the school.
- ERIC reading sessions at least once per half term to allow children time to enjoy reading books of their choice with their friends.
- Reading competition in the Autumn term (differentiated by key stage) to encourage participation in a variety of reading based activities across genres. Children are rewarded with certificates and book vouchers at the end of term celebration assembly.
- Book week in the Autumn term. Class teachers share their favourite books and ideas for writing their own piece based on a given stimulus to inspire children’s writing.
- Balloon debate year 6. This event concludes book week with all year 6 children working in groups to act in role as their favourite book characters. They justify why their characters and book should be allowed to stay in a ‘hot air balloon’ over other participating characters.
- EYFS/KS1 story time club. This is run by an LSA and takes place once a week at lunch time. Children go to the library and get to choose books to be read to them. This is particularly important for children who may not have opportunities to read regularly at home.
- Libraries; our school and class libraries allow children to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of books. They are stocked with an attractive range of fiction and non-fiction to support every ability and reading choice and encompass the latest reading trends and classic texts that should be part of every child’s primary school experience- building the children’s cultural capital
- Recommended reading lists for each year group. Books from this list are available to borrow from each classroom. Children are rewarded and praised for making their way through the recommended reading list for their year group.
- Chesham Arts Festival Speech section. Each year, all children are invited to take part in the Chesham Arts festival for which they are required to learn a poem by heart and perform it to an audience, thus promoting both reading and oracy.
- Performances; children learn to read, understand and read aloud play scripts for a variety of reasons including termly class assemblies, Christmas productions and end of year productions.
- Theatre visits; children experience 1 live show at a local theatre (the Elgiva) at least once a year. They also watch and participate in Image theatre’s interactive performance in the school hall yearly. In order for the children to join in with this, they need to be able to read the words on a screen. These experiences also support children’s understanding of the value of learning to read play scripts and inspire loud and clear spoken language.
The Chesham Bois School reading curriculum has developed a community of enthusiastic readers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Children are confident to take risks in their reading and love to discuss and share their ideas.
By the time our children leave Chesham Bois CE School they will:
- recognise the close relationship between reading and writing;
- read for pleasure a wide range of literature: have instilled in them a love of reading and storytelling, poetry and plays, as well as non-fiction texts;gain sustained learning and transferable skills
- be able to express themselves correctly and appropriately;
- read accurately and with understanding to develop into confident and independent readers;
- have an interest in words, their meaning, and a growing vocabulary. This interest extends to the technical and specialist vocabulary of all subjects;
- experience learning opportunities which integrate speaking and listening, reading and writing activities;
Reading impact at CBS can also be measured through:
- High progress measures from a child’s initial reading ability
- Y1 Phonic Screening Check pass rates
- Y2 and Y6 SATs reading results
- High levels of comprehension and vocabulary development
- High levels of engagement in the books children read
- The ability to read across a range of subjects
- A fostering of reading for pleasure