At Freegrounds Junior School, we aspire that all children…
- Become independent, resilient and reflective readers and writers.
- Are supported and challenged appropriately and learning is tailored to meet individual needs.
- Develop a love of reading and read regularly.
- Have access to a wide variety of high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books.
- Have the opportunity to explore other cultures, celebrate diversity and their literary heritage through exposure to a range of books.
- Are aware of key reading skills and have the opportunity to practise these across the curriculum.
- Develop spoken language skills, read fluently and speak with confidence, clearly articulating their thoughts.
- Grow the breadth and depth of their vocabulary.
- Produce a range of well-presented, meaningful written outcomes.
- Think critically about their audience and purpose.
- Carefully choose appropriate grammar and punctuation.
- Learn and revise spelling rules, applying them to all writing.
- Refine what they have written, reflect and evaluate their own and others’ work.
- Make editing choices to enhance their writing.
At Freegrounds Junior School, all children aspire to produce high-quality work for a range of purposes and contexts. English learning journeys integrate reading, writing and spoken language. Where possible, class topics drive these learning journeys, allowing for meaningful cross-curricular links. English learning journeys incorporate three phases of learning. The first phase, ‘Stimulate and Generate’, introduces key texts. ‘Hook’ lessons engage children and, where appropriate, outdoor learning is encouraged. During this phase, children develop spoken language, drama, vocabulary and reading skills. Phase two, ‘Capture, Sift and Sort’, provides children with an opportunity to learn grammar and punctuation needed for the final outcome. In the third phase, ‘Create, Refine, Evaluate’, children have the opportunity to plan, draft, edit and evaluate a piece of writing.
Each learning journey is personalised and differentiated tasks as designed to ensure all children are supported and challenged. During and after sessions teachers give feedback to children and time is given to consolidate learning.
In addition to English, the children take part in Book Talk. These sessions focus on developing key reading skills. The children are aware of these skills – vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation and summarise – and often refer to them as VIPERS. Book Talk sessions also provide time for teachers to model fluency and foster a safe environment for discussion.
Reading for Pleasure:
Reading for pleasure is very important at Freegrounds and children have plenty of opportunity to read books they have chosen. Daily ERIC (Everyone Reads in Class) sessions happen across the school and children have regular access to the school library to choose books.
Children are able to take their school library book home and are encouraged to read at home as regularly as possible. If children record a minimum of four reads a week in their home-school diary, they are entered into a weekly reading raffle. A winner from each year group is chosen and wins a book from our prize selection. When the children have recorded 20 reads in their home-school diary, they earn an independence effort mark and their names move up the classroom reading stars. Parents can support their child’s reading at home by asking questions linked to our key reading skills (VIPERS). These sentence stems are a good resource for questioning at home:
During daily spelling sessions, children explore spelling patterns and rules. Children are encouraged to be independent spellers and are expected to apply rules they have learnt when writing. Children also take part in word study sessions. During these sessions, children are able to the explore etymology and morphology of words, linking this to their knowledge of word families. In all classrooms, Complex Speed Sound charts are displayed. These support children when selecting the correct letters for various sounds. Any topic or key words are highlighted on topic boards and English working walls. Children are required to independently use the resources within the room to spell correctly.
At Freegrounds Junior School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we develop reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children consolidate their knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. We also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
All our developing readers have a decodable reading practice book, which is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops. https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
Additionally, parents are encouraged to refer to this helpful video, which demonstrates the pronunciation of all 44 phonemes used in the English language:
At Freegrounds we also use Lexplore Analytics to explore individual children’s skills across key reading components, determining their attainment, and highlighting potential barriers. From this information, we use Lexplore Intensive to address any gaps in learning. The programme is inclusive for all pupils, including neurodiverse and EAL learners with strategies for both weaker and stronger readers alike.
At Freegrounds Junior School, we adopt a cursive handwriting style. Teachers are expected to role model the school’s handwriting style when writing on the board, in books and on displays. Weekly handwriting session teach children to sit with the right posture, hold a pen in the correct position and develop a legible handwriting style. All children are expected to use their neatest handwriting in any piece of writing. When children have shown they can consistently join their writing using uniform letters, they are awarded their ‘Pen Licence’. Once this has been awarded, they can use a pen in all appropriate subjects. Handwriting interventions help children develop gross and fine motor skills and review how to form individual letters.
Author Visit – Andy Seed
World Book Day
Year 5- William Grill
Year 5 have been working towards writing an information page in the style of “Shackleton’s Journey” by author and illustrator William Grill. A very special ‘Hook’ session took place to kick-start this unit. William Grill himself came to work with the children! Year 5 learnt a lot about what it takes to create an information book and took part in illustration workshops. William even shared his idea notebooks with the children which they found very interesting. They are now very excited about applying what they have learnt to their own information page.