Dundee Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4BS
You learn to write better by reading. You learn to read better by writing. Reading and writing work together to improve your ability to think.' Jamie Hanman
At Etruscan we teach pupils to write and speak fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and, when they are reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading, writing, speaking and listening, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. Children learn to read in order for them to be able to read to learn as well as reading for pleasure. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
At Etruscan, we believe it is important for children to develop a love of reading and to become lifelong readers. We teach reading through children developing an awareness of print, systematic teaching of phonics as well as developing sight vocabulary, decoding and comprehension skills. We use a mixture of reading schemes and publishers, including Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree and Pearson as well as texts from a variety of authors to encourage a breadth of reading across poetry, fiction and non-fiction genres. Children are taught phonics through the Read, Write Inc phonics scheme. From Reception, children are provided with 1-1 reading books to take home which are matched to their phonic stage. Once they have completed the phonics programme, they take home books matched to their reading age.
Every class from Year 1 to Year 6 take part in Guided Reading sessions, which take place daily for 30 minutes. Two groups are taught by a teacher or teaching assistant, with carefully planned questions linked to the year group’s National Curriculum objectives. Three groups work independently on pre reading or post reading tasks, or read independently online using Bug Club. At Etruscan we follow the Pearson Bug Club graded reading scheme with some supplementary guided readers from Big Cat Phonics, Rigby Star and, once they are fluent readers, “real books”, providing the children with the opportunity to read a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Etruscan has a well-stocked school library, containing a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts written by a wide range of authors. Each class from Nursery to Year 6 has their own class reading area which contain texts from a wide variety of genres as well as texts to promote diversity, and recommended texts for each year group to ensure progression from year to year.
Characteristics of a Reader:
A good reader will demonstrate these core skills when reading in isolation and when reading across the curriculum
At Etruscan, good quality texts are chosen as a stimulus for writing and are closely linked to the Learning Challenge Curriculum where appropriate. This allows children to make links in their learning and gives them knowledge they can include in their writing. Writing is taught in a structured way from Nursery up to Year 6, following Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ process. Talk for Writing involves making explicit the processes and thinking involved in the writing process so that ultimately they can be internalised and applied by the children in their own writing. This enables children to write for a range of purposes and for a range of audiences. From Year 1 to Year 6, lessons follow the same structure. Children complete a ‘cold write’ assessment task, book talk, writer talk, imitation, innovation and an invention piece of writing known as a ‘hot write’. Talk for Writing is embedded in every writing lesson throughout the school.
Vocabulary is pre-taught before lessons across the curriculum. This provides children with the knowledge of the new vocabulary they will need in order to access their learning in all subject areas, as well as being able to include it to enhance their writing.
We follow the Penpals handwriting scheme from Year 1 to Year 6 to ensure good presentation and the Read, Write Inc spelling programme once children have finished Read, Write Inc phonics.
Characteristics of a Writer:
A good writer will demonstrate these core skills when writing across the curriculum
At Etruscan we believe that children’s oracy skills are fundamental to their literacy and academic achievement. Spoken language objectives are taught throughout the curriculum in a variety of ways, to develop children's speech and language skills. In all lessons, children are exposed and introduced to new vocabulary which they are then able to use knowledgably and confidently when discussing various topics. Throughout the curriculum, children engage in a range of activities such as debating, discussion, role play, story retelling and storytelling to improve their oracy and allow the children to use new vocabulary purposefully in a range of contexts.
Characteristics of a good Communicator:
At Etruscan good communicators will demonstrate these core skills
Applying English to other subjects:
The skills acquired during English lessons are consistently applied across all other areas of the curriculum.
Teachers set high expectations for every pupil. They plan challenging work to enable all pupils to make good progress regardless of their academic ability or background. We expect all children to make good progress albeit from different starting points.