At Holy Cross Catholic Primary School we use the Read Write Inc programme to get the children off to a flying start with their literacy. Read Write Inc is a method of learning centred on letter sounds and phonics.
Using Read Write Inc, the children learn to read effortlessly so they can put all their effort into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell easily so they can put all their effort into composing what they write.
When using Read Write Inc to read the children will:
learn that sounds are represented by written letters
learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
learn how to blend sounds
learn to read words using Fred Talk
read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions
When using Read Write Inc to write the children will:
learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds
learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
write simple sentences
Literacy is a fundamental part of our curriculum at Holy Cross and we try to promote reading, writing, listening and speaking skills throughout all subjects. The teaching of literacy is approached in a fun and inspiring way with a strong emphasis on enjoyment, imagination, creativity and independence. The children are exposed to a wide variety of opportunities to develop and practice their skills with class visits, art and role-play as just some examples of the strategies used to inspire our learners. Our mission is to develop enthusiasm and passion for the subject from nursery to Year 6 and beyond.
Reading for Pleasure
At Holy Cross, we aim to foster a love of reading in all children and encourage them to read a wide range of books from various authors. Reading is embedded in all areas of the curriculum.
Reading skills are taught as soon as children join us in our Nursery Class and continue until they leave the school.
The younger children are grouped and taught phonics each day through our Read Write Inc scheme. This is a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics and continues as long as the child requires it. For most children this will end in Year 2. Some children may need this to continue in the following year. Children who require alternative approaches to learning their letters and sounds, may be taught through a small group focused intervention.
As the children move through the school, they are taught a variety of skills to support their reading confidence. This includes such strategies as using the pictures to look for clues, reading with expression, predicting what might happen, retrieving information from the page to answer comprehension questions. More higher order reading skills are taught too, including developing the children’s ability to infer and deduce meaning from the text.
The children have at least two reading books. One that is guided by their teacher, which stays in school and one that is chosen more independently, which the children take home each week. We have different schemes to support the younger children including Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cats.
The books are colour banded and progress through stages of learning until the children become more independent readers. When this happens we have a selection of books to enable the transition from colour book banded books to more independent chapter books, to be smooth.
All classes have a designated library area, where children can access books to ‘Read for Pleasure’. Here at Holy Cross, we are really trying to promote reading for enjoyment. Children are presently being encouraged to access both our class library’s and our newly renovated KS1 and KS2 library areas.
In addition to reading for pleasure activities taking place across the school at various times, there is now a whole school 'Drop Everything And Read' (DEAR) time allocated to reading for pleasure on Friday afternoons where everyone is encouraged to read texts of their choice for a sustained period in an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere. Even the staff take part!!!
Each class also has an author collection in order to develop the children’s engagement with books and with particular authors. Our library is full of books of varying ability too. The staff aim to guide and support the children with their independent book choices.
Children learn best when home and school work closely together. Please remember to read with your child on a daily basis and discuss what you have Read, recording this in the children’s Reading Records.
Parent Reader Prompts
Here are a few prompts to help you when reading with your child.
- Discuss the books cover and title
- Make predictions about the story
- Ask the child to send out letters/sounds of the words and then combine them
- Use the pictures to help the child make sense of the meaning
- Ask questions of who, what, when, where and why.
- What did they enjoy least and most?
- Always give praise and encouragement
- Make the story come to life by encouraging them to read with expression
- Remind children to pause at full stops and commas.
- Ask the child to retell the story in their own words.
Key Stage 2 Readers
- Discuss the Author- have you read any of their other books?
- Who are the main characters?
- Can you describe the personality of the characters, referring to the text?
- What is the setting?
- What is the author trying to tell you?
- Can you relate it to a real experience?
- What is your opinion of what you have just read?
- What question would you like to ask the author?
- Why did you pick this book?
Year 4 are getting ready for their poetry slam performance.
Spelling : prefix activity
Children worked in groups revisit the meaning of prefixes and explore some examples by matching root words to an appropriate prefix.
Suba, Daisy, Miley-May, Amy, Aleeza, Jiya and Ishika have become published authors. Their short stories and poems were selected for publication in the Young Writers' 'Poetry Wonderland' and 'My First Story' books.
We're going on a lion hunt
Year 1 have created their own action for our new story, We’re Going On A Lion Hunt. We have enjoyed practising and performing for the class.
In Year 4 we love writing. The children completed a range of different writing tasks
Children worked together to use role play to gain an understanding of how it would be like to live during the apartheid years.
Year one used their imagination to to decide what their stick would be. Their was lots of fantastic ideas such as a wand, broom stick, sword and water guns. We then created a story board and wrote a story.
Learning about the difference between first and third person sentences. We used our class text Dogger to find examples.
We have learnt how to construct expanded noun phrases using sentence starters, adjectives, noun and information to extend the noun. We used colour coded phrases to construct our sentences. We then completed an activity using these colours in our books
We read the book 'Dear Deer' we then talked about what this book might be teaching us. We decided it was about words that sounded the same but looked different and had different meaning. These are called homophones! Using words with pictures we matched homophones and discussed their meaning.
Today we have been focusing on using the correct tense. We had a card sort activity were we had to sort sentences into past and present tense.
Today Year 2 used children’s writing from other year two classes all around the country to identify the key features of non-chronological reports.
Writing an alternative version of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Today Year One have began to think about how we could write our own version of Jack and the Beanstalk. We thought of alternative characters and actions and began to implement in our talk for write. We then brainstormed ideas with a partner and shared these to the class.
The children from Reception to Year 6 were fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit our Central Library this week. The Year 5 pupils enjoyed hearing and participating in Craig Bradley’s poems to celebrate World Book Day.
Today in Year 2 we self assessed our own big writes. We used our success criteria to evaluate our own work and celebrated the our friends work and well as finding areas to improve.
Year 4 wrote fantastic letters as soldiers in the WW1 trenches. They explored a range of different letters from soldiers and artefacts to give themselves inspiration.
Goodnight Mr Tom- Live Postcards
The children worked in groups to act out different scenes from the class novel to deepen their understandings. The children each took on a role of a character and 'came to life' as that character, expressing emotions and feelings as they spoke.
We used thesauruses to find more powerful words for our writing, using the colour charts to indicate the strength of the word.
Each pupil in Year 6 wrote a noun phrase on a yellow slip of paper and passed it to the next child. Using the pink slips of paper, pupils would add adjectives to describe the noun and make it into a paper chain.
Year 2 completed lots of drama activities from our class text Voices. We created freeze frames and used some dialogue to show what our characters might be thinking.
Today we had a visitor! Somebody left sticks, leaves, paper and a book! We made predictions about who it might have been! We thought that it might have been somebody because of the sticks and leaves. We discussed how predictions leave us clues! We looked at the first page and as a class came up with predictions about what the story might be about.
Today Year 1 have been writing our senses poem. A lot of us have talked about how the snow looks and feels during Christmas time. Just then, it started to snow! We stopped to look and think about some fabulous adjectives we could describe the snow.
Year 2 have been focusing on Three Little Pigs for their traditional tales topic. We have been reading alternative versions of the story and decided to do some roleplay activities to decided if we thought the wolf was innocent or guilty.
Year 3 worked in small groups to prepare a performance of the poem 'Granny can you Rap?'
Year 4 played I Spy using expanded noun phrases and prepositions to describe where the different objects are.
Year 4 enjoyed a trip to the library. They listened to a brilliant poet called Ian Bland. They loved doing the dinner lady dance.
In English, the Year 5 children have been focusing on instructions. In this lesson, the children had to follow instructions to play a variety of card games. The children then had to analyse the instructions stating what was good about them and what could be improved. The children will use what they found out to help when creating their own instructions to ensure they are easy to follow and of a good standard.
In our English lesson, we looked at a selection of newspaper articles. We discussed WAGOLL. We created our own success criterias to help us when we write our own newspaper articles.
In English, the Year 5 children enjoyed following a set of instructions to make ‘Witches Fingers’. The children worked together to follow the steps accurately to ensure they made their ‘fingers’ correctly.
Every Friday the Year 1 children enjoyed reading with the pupils from Year 5.
The Year 3 pupils examined the first page of their new class text and worked in groups to make some predictions about the story.
The Year 5 children really enjoyed our 'hook' lesson, introducing our new whole class text 'Journey to Jo'burg'. The children explored and discussed the different items/images within the old suitcase to discover where the story was set (South Africa). After discussing the items, we used the iPads and worked together to research about South Africa to gain a greater understanding about the country.