Writing at St Peter’s
At St. Peter’s we believe in creating regular opportunities for children to write independently, allowing their imaginations to flourish. Through using the Power of Reading scheme, we teach writing through a wide range of rich texts, including everyday classics such as Good Night Mr Tom and Warhorse. The children are taught writing in units, focusing on one genre of writing at a time. This is varied across the school where one year group could be looking at Shakespeare and another year group at Poetry.We believe in an ‘ideation’ process that gives the power to the children to mould where their writing goes in the first week of a topic, with formal writing mostly taking place in the second and third week. This allows the children to use their own ideas throughout the writing process. We are building a ‘Community of Writers’ here at St. Peter’s where the clear aim is for everyone to love writing and to link this very closely to their reading; raising standards and achievement across both.
Reading at St. Peter’s
At St. Peter’s we want all children to leave us as confident and competent readers who are ready for the next stage of their learning. We teach the skills through the Power of Reading, whilst the aim of developing children's love of reading which offers them the opportunity for social mobility and greater improves their future life chances. Our teachers create an environment that promotes reading as a socially engaging activity that is valued and encouraged by all. At the heart of our successful approach to engage and support children to become motivated and independent readers is our use of high- quality texts. Teachers introduce a book gradually, talking with the children, anticipating and immersing everyone in the text. Reading a book together, engaging in ‘book talk’ and providing creative activities around the text enhances enjoyment, engagement and reader response.
Home-School Reading Scheme
At St Peter’s we operate a home-school reading scheme as we understand the importance that reading at home plays in a child’s reading development. Children bring home books regularly and we ask that parents share the books with their child, listening to them read, asking them questions about what they have read and discussing their views on the book. Each child has a Reading Record for parents to comment on how their child is reading. We ask parents to sign their child’s Reading Record to confirm that their child has read.
Our school Library has a range of books available to children and there are also selections of books available in each class’ book corner. Our children have access to a wide range of books that cover a breadth and variety of genres and formats, ensuring they can experience a full and rich range of reading throughout their primary years. We host an annual Book Fair during the week of World Book Day in which both parents and pupils can buy books. We also provide the opportunity for Year 5 pupils to become librarians; they help with the everyday running of the Library.
We invite parents of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One to come in to read with their children on a regular basis. We also provide extra reading opportunities for children in Key Stage 2, for example in Year 6, children are invited to read before school 3 mornings a week.
At St Peter’s we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It builds children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as preparing children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonics for children with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. We host meetings for parents to develop their knowledge of phonics and to provide them with strategies to support their children at home.