Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum (2014), however we go far beyond the confines of this to create a vibrant school curriculum that allows our children to not only become fluent readers and writers, but to develop a love of language and literature.
Our curriculum has its roots in two programmes:
- Read Write Inc Phonics & Read Write Inc Spelling - learning the technical elements of reading and writing (including phonics)
- CLPE's The Power of Reading - learning to love reading and writing
Learning to read (decoding):
In the final term of Nursery, children are introduced to phonics through the Read Write Inc. Phonics Program. Read Write Inc. Phonics is used by over a quarter of the UK’s primary schools. It is a comprehensive literacy programme, weaving decoding, comprehension, writing and spelling together seamlessly. Children who are learning phonics are taught the sounds that individual and groups of letters make in spoken and written language; this enables children to ‘decode’ any new words the encounter producing fluent and confident readers.
At Hardwick Green, RWInc. Phonics lessons are taught daily in Reception and KS1 with catch up sessions running in lower ks2. During these sessions, children are taught new sounds, and are encouraged to decode new words whilst reading with increasing fluency and expression. Our Early Reading Leader, Ms Iles, visits RWInc. sessions throughout the week supporting children and staff to ensure that all children are receiving great teaching and learning opportunities and are making the best progress they can. Home reading books are carefully selected to contain the sounds that children have learned in class that week and are kept for a week to encourage rereading to develop confidence, fluency and expression.
Every child’s progress in reading is tracked every half term, and those who are falling behind age related expectations are given 1-1 tuition so that gaps are closed quickly and effectively.
Whole school fidelity to the teaching programme, rigorous assessment, tracking and one-to-one tutoring ensure that schools guarantee progress for every child.
For information and tutorials on how to support, your child learning to read go to: http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/
As children progress as readers, they read books from our main reading spine - Oxford Reading Tree - and also choose books independently from classroom reading areas and our library.
The Power of Reading:
Teaching English and developing our children to become literate, fluent readers and writers is at the heart of the Hardwick Green Primary Academy curriculum and all taught English sessions follow The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s (CLPE) Power of Reading rationale and teaching sequences. Our children from Nursery through to Year 6 follow this, which ensures our children are given the opportunity to read a wide and diverse range of high quality texts and use their developing encoding skills to write in a variety of ways across the whole school curriculum. High quality texts are the foundation of our English curriculum, which continuously supports and develops children’s reading and writing skills. Children’s implicit and explicit knowledge of language, vocabulary and grammar is pushed through the quality, breadth and range of texts being read aloud, re-read, discussed and performed consistently.
Fostering an early love of Reading at Hardwick Green:
From entering Nursery, our children are exposed to the highest quality texts through our CLPE English Curriculum. Throughout the day, staff encourage active listening, participation, and book talk as we immerse our children in stories, songs and rhymes.
For a child to be able to begin to learn to read they must be able to listen and understand spoken language. Through engaging in conversations and hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to take meaning from letters on a page. It is also important for children to understand how stories work. Even if a child does not understand every word, during story time they will hear new sounds, words and phrases, which they can then practise and perfect.
This whole school approach to a love of books and language is something that is embedded throughout the school from Nursery to Y6, and it is something that we are extremely proud of.
Once children have completed Read Write Inc, they move on to RWI Spelling to continue their journey to become fluent spellers. This is taught for 15-20 minutes each day, with an teacher or TA leading the session.
Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings.
The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory.