At Aston Hall Junior and Infant School we believe that Literacy is a fundamental life skill which is essential to participating fully as a member of society. We aim to develop the abilities of all the children in our school to communicate their ideas effectively in speech and writing. We also believe that by developing the reading and listening skills of our pupils they will become effective communicators.
At Aston Hall, we recognise that reading and writing are core skills for life and we aim to foster a love for these in our children. Reading and writing are taught daily through literacy lessons, guided reading sessions and through a cross-curricular approach.
Children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are given regular and meaningful opportunities to write and the links between reading and writing made explicit. Children are taught writing skills daily on a whole class, group or individual basis. We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our Literacy lessons in order to meet the needs of all our pupils.
Guidance is taken from the National Curriculum. Staff also use specific ITAF focused objectives developed from NC documents and shared across the Wickersley Partnership Trust.
The teaching of literacy in our school is subject to constant review in view of pupil outcomes when it becomes evident that additional attention needs to be given to specific areas. In all classes, children have a wide range of abilities, and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. Wherever possible, Teaching Assistants work in class, delivering split inputs, supporting all ability groups, specific individuals or groups of children, ensuring that work is matched to the needs of the child and that all children are supported and challenged. PIVATs objectives are also used to support our SEND children as and when appropriate.
Writing composition is taught via:
- Shared writing is modelled by the teacher as expert, with contributions from the children. This is teacher-led writing, with children watching and contributing ideas. Shared writing is not exclusive to literacy sessions and can be taught within Foundation subjects. The emphasis may be on the generation of ideas, grammatical awareness, spelling and phonics, compositional, transcriptional, presentational and text level skills, or other key strategies needed in writing. Not all of these can be modelled in one session, but the teacher, as the expert writer, leads the cumulative writing process for the class.
- Guided writing targets children at their point of writing. Guided writing takes place in small groups with a teaching focus using targets and writing already modelled. The main part of the session is spent by the child writing, with the adult intervening as appropriate.
- Independent writing. Throughout the school children need opportunities to develop their confidence and practise their writing skills. All writing activities need to have a purpose and quality should be promoted through book making, publication or presentation to another audience. Writing is modelled and supported in the hope of developing thoughtful writing. Children have access to dictionaries, word banks, writing frames or plans as appropriate to support their writing. Independent writing is delivered in line with government guidance for the moderation of writing at the end of KS1 and KS2.
- Edit, improving and publishing: Children are encouraged and set high expectations to write for sustained periods of time to produce extended pieces of writing (which may span across literacy sessions) which are frequently assessed, edited and improved in order to enhance their own work/understanding. Publishing of work is also encouraged to promote presentation and handwriting skills.
The school environment celebrates quality writing through displays of work in both handwritten and typed form as well as signs and labels. Teachers regularly celebrate pupils’ writing through displays, class rewards and our weekly celebration assembly.