Reading and Writing Curriculum
At Lark Hill, Literacy underpins our whole curriculum. Literacy units are linked to half-termly class topics in order to enhance topic learning and provide an engaging and purposeful context for reading and writing. Children read and discuss stories, poems and non-fiction by a wide range of authors, including Roald Dahl, Michael Rosen, Michael Morpurgo, Jill Murphy, Judith Kerr and Anthony Browne – to name just a few!
In addition to books and short stories, we use concrete experiences, drama, films, graphic novels, comic strips, extracts from TV and music videos to inspire high-quality writing. Walk around our school during Literacy lessons and you might find Year 1 writing about the evidence of an alien invasion they discovered in the playground, Year 5 acting out their playscripts based on Homer Simpson’s love of doughnuts and Year 6 creating spooky suspense stories based on the music video Titanium! Topic learning provides a real context and purpose for writing non-fiction (for example, children write an explanation text about the water cycle when studying a topic about solids, liquids and gases).
In Key Stage Two, every class has a daily half-hour ‘Toolkit’ lesson in addition to the Literacy lesson. This involves discrete learning of spelling, punctuation and grammar rules, which are then applied in writing (in Literacy and across the curriculum). Each class is given spellings to take home and learn every week. We use the Rising Stars scheme to support this.
Pupils in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 also do Guided Reading, which involves working in small groups with a teacher or teaching assistant on key reading skills. In addition to group discussions, we use Cracking Comprehension, an exciting new interactive computer programme, to support pupils with answering written comprehension questions.
Phonics and Reading Schemes
At Lark Hill Community Primary School, children use key skills to help them work out what new words say when they learn to read. This is often called decoding. Working out what words mean is like cracking the code to reading. Phonics and learning sight words are key skills for decoding. At Lark Hill we use the 'Read, Write, Inc' phonics scheme, and a variety of reading schemes to support the teaching of reading.