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Curriculum: Reading and Writing

Curriculum Approach

Mellis aims to provide a rich and rigorous approach to our pupils' education.

Reception children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which is taught in a topic based approach. Learning is a combination of child and adult initiated learning over a range of different topics. These are changed on a half-termly basis

In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes, subjects are taught discretely, but with a very high degree of cross-curricular content. For instance, a child might be learning about the Viking's in history, and the skills of Letter Writing in English; he or she might then write a letter as a Viking raider detailing their adventures, thus using both English and historical skill sets.

 

English is taught in a variety of ways and is an integral part of the whole school curriculum. The subject is given a dedicated Literacy hour each morning and follows the objectives set in the New National Curriculum for Literacy. Further to this, we like to extend Literacy across the curriculum and outside the designated hour where we give children opportunities to take part in drama, guided reading and library time.

In order to keep our standards in Literacy consistently high, we take great time and care in monitoring the teaching and learning of this subject. This is so that we can adapt and modify our practices and policies to give children the best literary education possible. Teaching staff are kept up to date through school based and county led training.

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Writing

Mellis pupils are actively encouraged to develop as independent, enthusiastic and expressive writers, who are able to write in a meaningful way. We believe it is important that children see their work as having purpose and that they regard themselves as authors. Opportunities are provided for pupils to develop the necessary writing skills required for different purposes and audiences. They are taught to be confident in their choice of genre and language style for a specific purpose.

Children in Key Stage 1 are taught phonics daily followed by a dedicated Literacy hour. Chidren in Key Stage 2 are taught a discrete SPaG lesson each week in place of KS1 phonics. Upper Key Stage 2 are in the process of teaching using a new scheme of Transformative Writing by Jane Considine and to this end, the teaching of Literacy will be specialised this year. Should this be successful, the rest of the school will receive training to strengthen progress across the school.

Teachers have all adopted a topic based approach to writing that links to other subjects in order to provided a broad and balanced curriculum. This allows children to have the access to knowledge therefore being able to focus more time on skills and understanding of how to write skillfully. At Mellis children take their writing on a journey so that they gain an understanding of the genre they are working within and the specific SPaG elements needed to support this. Writing is scaffolded so that children feel confident to write independently once they reach the end of a genre. Children from Year 1-6 also work hard to edit their work and look for improvements and changes that can enhance. This is done in a variety of ways including 'being the teacher,' 'editing strips' and peer assessment. 

Throughout the school we have a drive to move on our already successful results. We continue to strengthen our knowledge and develop our assessment practice for Reading and Writing using Letters and Sounds, Transformation of Writing, and elements of Ros Wilson all with great success. There is a separate Writing Action Plan to ensure the continuous development of such a highly demanding subject in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding.

For more details concerning the above, please see the Academic Policies section of this website

Reading and Writing.

Reading.

When your child begins his or her education at Mellis, they will follow a dedicated Letters and Sounds phonics scheme that is structured and tailored to the needs of each individual right up until the end of Key Stage 1.Mellis uses a wide range of reading materials. Right from Reception, children are encouarged to take an interest in reading by telling stories, looking at books and then once phonics is established, using a phonetic scheme of Oxford Readers.The core scheme for early readers is the Oxford Reading Tree, but we have many other books available to support levelled reading until the child's reading is fluent. We also ensure provision for reluctant readers and reading difficulties by using a range of Project X and Rapid Reader schemes. There is also a very broad selection of quality reading books to take home from our newly refurbished and stocked library and self selecting reading material is seen to play a large part of children enjoying reading.

As skills sets have changed with the development of new curriculum and assessment, the school has ensured that we remain one step ahead. We give great attention to teaching the skill of understanding reading comprehension. This includes giving opinion, searching for reason, understanding the effects language play within reading and the way in which author write. 

The ability to read with fluency and understanding is one of the most important skills children will acquire in their academic lives. We believe reading is the key to accessing the whole curriculum, giving rise to questioning, exploration and personal reflection. Here at Mellis, we continue to maintain our high standards in reading comprehension. Parents play an important role in this by reading regularly to and with their child, discussing the texts read.

Please see below our recommended reading for each year groups, encompassing a range of genres and authors and designed to extend children's experience of books.

Some of the texts listed will be used by the teacher as a class read and others may be used as a stimulus by which to teach writing.

 

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