At Wyndham, we know that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them. This is why the teaching of reading is taught not only in English but is also deeply rooted and central to our WONDER curriculum. The significance of this skill and disciplinary literacy across the curriculum is key to our pupils’ accessing and activating knowledge and vocabulary both now and, in the future, and acts as platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves.
Our reading curriculum encourages our children to read frequently and widely, cultivating positive attitudes and self-regulation strategies for children to use as part of their reading toolkit. It is delivered through systematic synthetic phonics, reading practice sessions, whole-class reading lessons, Reading to Learn across the curriculum, Reading Plus, regular 1:1 reading and daily opportunities to hear adults reading aloud. These are all underpinned by access to a diverse range of high-quality texts, our Values Drivers,’ which expose children to a range of genres, authors and complexities within texts. Such vast opportunities enable pupils to develop an automaticity of skills including word recognition, language comprehension skills and ultimately, an appreciation and enthusiasm towards reading. We know that these skills are key to pupils becoming effective readers; the more they read, the more they progress in their fluency and stamina of reading and therefore their overall enjoyment of reading. Moreover, we know that children fostering a love of reading is beneficial not only for reading attainment, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. Due to this, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers through our passionate and knowledgeable staff, reading rewards such as our ROSCARs and working closely with parents in order for them to confidently support their children to flourish at home as here at Wyndham.
Writing is a cognitively demanding task which is underpinned by the simultaneous working of many different components as outlined in the Simple View of Writing: pupils require fluency in the transcription process in order to progress their ideas within writing composition as well as the executive functions to attend to tasks and monitor progress. With this in mind, our staff expertly craft writing sequences in order to sequentially and progressively build on year group key concepts, ensuring that they are frequently revisited, retrieved and consolidated in order to support pupils’ development in writing.
Writing is a central element of our curriculum here at Wyndham. We understand that it is a vital way to communicate ideas with others and a way of children expressing themselves creatively. We aim to nurture this creativity and enable children to become their own authors with their own ‘voice’ in order for them to develop a love of writing through exploring their own preferences for writing, composition and effect. Principles of grammar, punctuation and spelling are integral for children to become effective writers, as outlined in the National Curriculum, and these are taught in context within English sessions in addition to Rainbow Grammar sessions (see below) and rewinds using Kung Fu Punctuation.
We also couple this explicit teaching of objectives with children’s creativity for composition and effect. We feel that nurturing this individuality and choice in pupil’s writing is integral to them become masters of writing and ultimately, citizens who are confident to express and communicate their ideas in a clear and concise manner. Children write for a range of purposes and for a variety of audiences. Where possible, this audience is one which is ‘real’ in order to truly underpin the purpose of writing. Through the class text, teacher modelling and shared writing, children are exposed to a range of well-written texts which are carefully tailored to their specific needs in order to progress their learning. This explicit modelling ensures that the principles of different text types as well as grammar, vocabulary and punctuation become embedded into children’s own writing.
At Wyndham, we believe that speaking and listening skills are essential across the curriculum and for life beyond the classroom. We aim for all children to be able to talk confidently for a range of purposes and audiences. We also place an emphasis on the importance of listening, ensuring children are able to interpret and respond to others appropriately. By explicitly teaching and modelling the physical, linguistic, cognitive and social and emotional skills needed for effective communication, children are equipped for purposeful and effective speech, discussion and communication. Through use of our discussion roles, Kagan structures and metacognitive talk, purposeful talk is modelled and taught across all areas of the curriculum, enabling children to discuss and articulate their own knowledge, but also learn and deepen their understanding of a range of topics through talking and discussion.