In EYFS, writing starts in Nursery with mark making. Mark making can take many forms: writing with chalks, paint, in sand and with large scale movements on the wall or floor. ‘Writing’ starts with children making marks with pens, through to drawing recognisable pictures, finishing with writing recognisable letters using our pre-cursive font.
From Nursery through to Reception, children are taught Literacy through a thematic approach using key texts. Children’s ideas and interests are taken into account when planning and we also plan using an objective led approach. Each key text is looked at for 1-2 weeks and the children are expected to verbally retell the story, retell the story using sequencing pictures and story maps and retell the story using phonetically plausible attempts.
From Year 1 to Year 6, we use the Babcock Literacy Department plans to plan our literacy units. We identify what the children need then speak to them to identify their interests in order to select a unit. These units last approximately 2-4 weeks and are all based on one text. They follow Pie Corbett's stages of writing (imitate, innovate, invent) and each unit begins with an elicitation task which is used to identify what the children already know and is used to inform planning.
In EYFS and Year 1, phonics is taught using the Phonics Play programme, which is based on ‘Letters and Sounds’. Each EYFS and Year 1 class sets across the phase and teachers and LSAs use the Phonics Play software and the plans to deliver a tailored phonics programme. Children are grouped according to their phonics ability. Also, children are given home reading books when they start accessing Phase 2 phonics and they are assessed against the book band levels using teacher knowledge and the Benchmarking assessment system.
From Reception upwards, guided reading is also taught for 20-30 minutes a day. There are five activities on the guided reading carousel which differ depending on year group. Each year group has ‘guided reading’ and ‘comprehension’ on their carousel. The guided reading slot is planned for by the teacher based on the need of the group, using the EYFS and National Curriculum. We use Babcock Guided Reading sheets which include all the EYFS and reading National Curriculum objectives to track each group in our class. These are kept in a guided reading folder and objectives are highlighted and dated once met. Additionally, notes are made on these sheets about the reading skills of each child in the group and their answers are recorded as evidence. The comprehension focus is then linked to the guided reading session in which children independently solve comprehension questions.
Our reading schemes are Jelly and Bean, Oxford Reading Tree, Bug Club, PM and Project X.
Grammar and spelling planning
We use ‘No nonsense’ grammar and spelling plans from Year 1 up. These are available on the server along with the resources.
Grammar is incorporated into writing lessons and sometimes explicit grammar teaching happens at the start of a literacy lesson. Additionally, from Year 2 up, each class has three 20 minute spelling lessons a week.
Handwriting is taught at least three times a week for 10 minutes a session across the school. Letter-join software is used to deliver these sessions. If you would like to support your child in this area, please download the handwriting worksheet at the bottom of the page.
Children’ views of their learning
Here are some comments from some Year 5/6 children about their literacy learning;
Year 5 child: It is fun to write stories and I like getting ideas from my teacher’s writing (the innovate piece).
Here are some comments from some Year 3/4 children about their literacy learning.
Year 4 child: I really enjoy writing big stories and I loved it when we watched ‘The Olive and the Dream Train’. (This was a Theatre Alibi performance).
Here are some comments from some Year 2 children about the unit ‘10 things I can do to help my world’
Year 2 child: Basically, it’s called ‘10 things I can do to help my world’. Today, we got picture books and wrote a statement, an exclamation, a question and a demand.
Here are some comments from some Year 1 children about the unit ‘10 things I can do to help my world’
Year 1 child: We are writing leaflets about how to keep our world clean. You need to use bright colours, no rushing, small writing and include extra information.
Here are some comments from some EYFS children about the unit Growth and Change:
Nursery child: ‘We did do ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’. He popped out the egg! Then he goes in the cocoon for a long time. He is a beautiful butterfly!’.
Reception child: ‘In the beginning there was an egg on a leaf with a caterpillar inside. We wrote books of what the hungry caterpillar did. My green for growth was to do finger spaces’
How to help at home!
Sentence Toolkit; as there is a large focus on grammar in the new National Curriculum, we have implemented a sentence toolkit which links aspects of grammar to different tools, e.g. as adjectives we have a paintbrush to paint a picture in the readers' head. Please speak to your child about the 'tools' they use to help them become a better writer.
Key stage 1:
Our younger learners may enjoy trips to the library, regular dedicated time to enjoy books together, talking about books and pretending they are the people in the stories.
They may enjoy writing postcards to friends, designing and writing birthday cards, drawing and labelling maps, writing about their favourite games or TV characters.
To support your child further with grammar and spelling the follow websites may help;
Key stage 2
Our older learners may enjoy going to the library and sharing books as often as possible too. This could involve taking turns to read chapters or being exposed to a range of texts such as comics, fact books, children's newspapers such as First News, online websites. In terms of writing, try making a story together, keeping a diary, writing a report about their interests or writing about a trip or holiday.
The following websites may help with grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Our current successes 2016-17
Following the huge success of Tony Gee's 'Where stories began,' project last year, we are please that Tony Gee has returned to complete a whole school project. Children in Years 1-6 will each be creating their own special puppet to use in a 'Creation Myth' puppet show. Children will be immersed into a variety of writing genres linked to this fantastic writing opportunity.
We look forward to seeing you at the performance at Seale Hayne on Friday 23rd September.
Our successes 2015-16
Where the stories began
On Thursday 9th June, Year 6 created and performed an amazing puppet show to the whole school then to their parents, grandparents and friends at Seale Hayne. This was a really exciting opportunity as all Year 6 got to work with Tony Gee and his team to create the story and then make puppets from scratch to tell the story. All of this was achieved in only three days and Year 6 really did do Bradley Barton proud! The children really enjoyed the whole event and so did the staff involved. We are really excited as in September 2016, Year 1 to 6 are going to have the same opportunity as we will be creating a huge, whole school puppet show! We can't wait!!
500 word competition
The children at Bradley Barton entered the BBC 500 word competition and produced some amazing stories. An example from each year group is displayed outside the canteen. Please try to have a look.
We are really happy to announce that Kieran Dunne, in Year 3, got through to the next round of the competition. Please read Kieran's story below and we wish his good luck for the next round. Well done Kieran!
World Book Day 2016
As a school, we celebrated World Book Day on 3rd March. During the day, children dressed up as their favourite book character, completed book related activities and listened to stories read by the teachers.
On 4th November, the children across the school enjoyed a performance by Theatre Alibi. They all really enjoyed it and it was used as a stimulus to start a new literacy topic.