Our aim for the pupils of Paxcroft is that they leave primary school equipped with the skills needed to fully access the secondary curriculum by becoming fluent readers and writers and with a love of English literature. Through our selection of high quality texts, we immerse our children in rich language in order to develop their vocabulary. Our focus on oracy ensures that children develop the skills to articulate themselves clearly and engage in effective dialogue.
Our writing is based around the four key purposes for writing: to inform, to persuade, to discuss or to entertain. Wherever possible, we make the writing purposeful by linking it to their learning in other subjects and with our shared texts.
This year we have launched The Paxcroft Reading Spine. This is a list of core texts which are used within class to excite and engage children and help to foster a love of reading from the very start of primary school and throughout their life.
Our Reading spine has been carefully compiled to ensure that, during their time at Paxcroft, children are exposed to a range of high quality texts from a breadth of inspirational children’s authors including children’s classics such as Roald Dahl and Julia Donaldson. It has been carefully developed to broaden children’s literature repertoire and to address a range of key themes including looking after our world, to inclusion and diversity which are hugely relevant to the children of today.
When children enter EYFS they experience a wide variety of stories and different text types. Books are readily available for children to look at and share with adults. They are taught how to handle books and learn that all print carries meaning. Children are encouraged to understand elements of a story and discuss what they know about the characters. They listen to and participate with nursery rhymes and books are read frequently to children throughout the day. Early reading is also taught through our daily phonics teaching, using Sounds-Write. This encourages children to learn the sounds of the alphabet, whilst also teaching them how to blend the sounds together to read the words. The scheme also teaches children to write and spell simple words from the very start.
During KS1, children are encouraged to form an interest in and take pleasure from a variety of text types. They continue to be taught strategies to decode words, using the Sounds-Write programme. Throughout the school, children develop reading skills through daily reading practice, whole class teaching sessions and reading to an adult. As children progress through the school they are encouraged to read independently and for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as for research. Children take part in well-structured Guided Reading sessions throughout the week which focuses on the specific skills of comprehension and language acquisition. They have opportunities to read a variety of text types, varying in length and complexity, to provide a challenge. Children read ‘real’ titles as well as books from a reading scheme. Teachers read regularly to the children so that children get to know and love all sorts of stories and tales, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, and provides access to books that may prove challenging to some.
Our writing is based around our shared texts, providing children with a context for learning. We aim to deliver the grammar and writing curriculum through well-planned sequences of learning which progress towards an outcome over a few weeks. Throughout the school, Talk for Writing is used as a tool to support children in structuring a range of text types and to develop their confidence in applying features and sentence structures.
Children are taught from the start how to form letters correctly and they work towards joining letters by the end of year 2. We aim for all children to be using a neat, cursive handwriting style and encourage children to take pride in their work, developing their skills in editing, re-drafting and publishing.
The teaching of English at Paxcroft results in children who have a love of reading as well as the skills to decode and understand texts with increasing confidence. They are well-equipped for the challenges of Secondary School.
Most children leave Paxcroft having met the expected standard in reading and writing and recent results have been in line with national averages.