Here at Kensington Primary School we believe that literacy transforms lives and that better literacy creates more opportunities to succeed in life. We strive to encourage our pupils to embrace literacy and explore reading, writing, speaking and listening skills using a variety of teaching methods, across a range of different lessons.
We place a great emphasis on the importance of reading, which has been recognised by our gold status in the Liverpool Reading Quality Mark.
We have a wide variety of reading books linked with our core scheme, Ginn 360, which is highly structured, introducing new words in a controlled way. Children also get the chance to read books of their own choice and from other schemes, thus giving breadth of coverage, widening interest and increasing independence. Once a teacher judges that a child has become an able reader, the child will have greater opportunities to choose their own books to read, encouraging reading for pleasure.
English lessons, which take place in some form daily in every class, will frequently contain a session of Shared Reading, during which the class will follow a text as the teacher reads it, or read it with the teacher. There will also be guided reading sessions once a week, in which a group of children of similar ability work with the teacher, improving specific reading skills, such as, decoding, inference and deduction.
Reading is taught in a variety of ways throughout the child's time in school; this may include reading with a teacher or volunteer, silent reading, or paired reading with another child. A great deal of reading is also developed through, other subjects and daily classroom life.
We have a school library and children can borrow books and take them home. Children are welcome to visit the library during enquiry time and also on a Wednesday night after school.
We would like to emphasise that teaching a child to read is a partnership between home and school. We depend on parents to give children this individual time - just five minutes spent reading with your child each day helps to build the child's interest and confidence. It is important that you talk about the book before and after you listen to the child read. It is also important that this does not stop as soon as a child is able to read independently; discussion of plot, characters, etc. is very helpful even in Y6. All children are provided with a reading book and a home reading record. We ask that when you hear your child read you record it in the record book. This, along with their reading book needs to be returned to school each day, so children can continue to read this book in school and so teachers can monitor their progress.
In Kensington Primary School we use phonics to ensure that every single child in our school gets the very best support in learning to read and write. We teach synthetic phonics, in a systematic way, driving up standards in reading and writing. At the end of year one children will be expected to complete the phonics screening check which emphasises the importance of phonics in ensuring every child becomes a successful reader.
We place a strong emphasis on phonics when children begin to write, so children will start to try making up their own words by using the sounds they know. However, they are encouraged to look at the way words are spelled correctly, and with encouragement build up a sight vocabulary of common words. From Year 1 onwards, children will begin to take home spellings to learn. They will be taught a variety of methods for learning spellings; it helps if you can encourage them to use these methods to learn the words, rather than just test them.
Ways of writing effectively in different styles and for different purposes are modelled by the teacher in English lessons, and children then work on their own pieces of writing alone or in pairs or groups, sometimes supported by the teacher. Children learn improve on their writing by responding to a quality mark. They are encouraged to use an adventurous range of vocabulary, as well as correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.
It is very important that children learn to form their letters correctly, and they are taught this at specific times during the school week. Later, they will be taught to join their letters and write in a joined script, and encouraged to consider the most attractive ways of presenting their work.
Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation (GPS)
Through a structured approach and discrete lessons we aim for all children to leave primary school with a sound grasp of essential English skills. GPS is taught across the whole school and year will develop pupil’s knowledge and build on previous years learning. Children will be taught to have a technical understanding of how the English language works. As well as being able to spell words correctly, use a wide range of vocabulary and punctuate well, they need to grasp the meaning of grammatical terms such as noun, verb, adjective, prefix, pronoun and adverb, know what phrases and clauses are and how to use them, understand what connectives are and how they work and much more.