Hadley Learning Community: Writing Curriculum
“If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot”Stephen King
Here at HLC we aim to inspire creative, inspirational writers of the future. Throughout their school life, our pupils embark upon a writing learning journey. We truly believe that every child can be the very best writer they can be, and we aspire to foster their interests in learning about the world around them. This process enables their writing to progress and for them to write throughout a range of genres. With a combination of amble reading and writing opportunities, pupils confidently apply their knowledge to different writing challenges. Through this, pupils are able to develop their own flair, style and love of writing. By giving them the skillset to truly express themselves through the written word we are enabling them to paint pictures with their writing, to write for a purpose or meaning and to find their passions. We aim to combine other subjects into our writing opportunities, thus providing purpose and meaning to the pupils’ work. Through these well-thought-out topics and lessons, we inspire them to write for different audiences and purposes. Children contribute to their learning in the classrooms and teachers often follow children’s interests in order to make the writing opportunities personal and interesting for them. Our children leave us with a sense of pride in their work and are ready to apply their knowledge and learning to the outside world.
All our pupils have daily Writing lessons with a clear focus. We use the HLC Writing Cycle to develop the pupils understanding and application of different genres. Alongside our Creative Writing lessons, we teach discrete lessons for Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation. These then feed into our writing to create a real pathway for learning. All our learning objectives are set out by the National Curriculum and pupils are offered a range of opportunities to write for different contexts, audiences and reasons. We organise our lessons progressively to enable pupils to recall prior knowledge, talk through their understanding, apply their new learning and evaluate. There are clear links to Reading through the Reading for Writing lesson, where the pupils are given lots of models for writing. By modelling the reading of age appropriate, high-quality texts, we aim to improve our pupils understanding of words and enable them to be confident enough in their own writing. Role play and speaking and listening activities are also used alongside this, to promote pupils oracy skills and understanding. Through our exciting topics the children will have occasions for sustained writing as well as shorter writing tasks. They will have additional time in the week for handwriting lessons, following the ‘Achieving Excellence in Handwriting’ and discrete spelling and phonics lessons. Pupils are also taught how to edit and improve their own writing, as well as given opportunities to peer and self-assess their work. They set their own targets and know what they need to do to improve their work further.
Above all, we believe that every child is a writer and can become inspired to write amazing pieces or work. By encouraging pupils to not only read more but by giving them plenty of opportunities to write, we are allowing pupils the ability to practice and hone their writing skills! Here at HLC we craft not just writers, but writers who encourage, investigate, enthuse and support others to achieve. By working together- parents, children and teachers- we can help fill our community with confident, inspirational writers who can, and will, change the world.
“Parents benefit from workshops on phonics and many say they feel better equipped to help their children learn”
Hadley Learning Community: Reading Curriculum
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.Dr. Seuss
At HLC we believe in children becoming passionate readers, intrinsically. By enabling pupils to become competent readers, we trust that our breadth of text types on offer allows the children to naturally flourish and enjoy reading for pleasure. To ensure all children find their love for reading, we have built a culture of positivity and instil in our pupils the importance of books. This is obvious from the moment our youngest learners join school, right through to Year 6. Staff and children alike share the vision that a good reader can apply their skills across the curriculum to achieve overall success. Reading also offers important emotional benefits, enabling pupils, through listening to and talking about stories, to talk about their ideas and feelings and to lose themselves in books.
Keen, consistent readers are recognised weekly through each teacher’s nomination of ‘Reader of the Week’. Whether it be awarded for progress, reading aloud, accurate summarisation or brilliant blending, the lucky winner of this accolade has their name put into a raffle to gain the opportunity of being picked for a spot in The Readers Restaurant – a lunch with extra special treats! Positive contributions in class and outstanding behaviour is rewarded by a special trip to our Reading Vending Machine where children can use their tokens to select a brand new book to keep. We also really enjoy our ‘Starbooks’ sessions that take place on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons: each week a different class is invited to the library, along with their parents/carers, to explore a new book with a drink and a biscuit. The family can withdraw this book from our library to enjoy at home before returning to any Telford and Wrekin Library.
We are lucky to have a large, high quality, local authority library on our site. Teachers regularly take their children to the library to share books and to enjoy sustained periods of uninterrupted reading time. We encourage children to join the library and own a personal library card so that they can take out books during the weekend and holidays. Children are also invited to weekly ‘Share a story’ sessions on Wednesday evenings 3:15-3:45. Here children can join their teachers, get cosy and enjoy listening to high quality stories every week.
At HLC, we have designed a bespoke Phonics scheme. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, phonics is delivered daily. We are passionate in ensuring our pupils are taught the skills and knowledge to identify sounds, blend with confidence and use jingles and mnemonics to recall key grapheme representations. We recognise the importance of children mastering this early reading stage and ensure they are exposed to phonics in the environment at every opportunity. We help children to identify the key skills they have learnt, encouraging them to apply their phonetic knowledge throughout the wider curriculum, with autonomy.
For our children in the EYFS and Year 1, all our texts have been banded and this is correlated to your child’s Phonic ability. This means the text they bring home in their reading pouch is completely decodable and accessible for your child. Your child may also bring home a read for pleasure text from our class libraries. These are texts to share together talking about the new vocabulary and story events. In Year 2 and beyond, texts are banded into colours. Your child will be allocated a colour which is reviewed regularly to promote an ambitious culture of improvement and progress. This book can be taken home. During the school day, all pupils have ERIC time (Everyone Reading in Class) where they can choose to continue reading their banded text or delve into another text on offer. Class book corners are equipped with quality reading material alongside books that link to the topic that half term.
From Year 1 and beyond, reading is taught daily through whole class reading sessions. The books that are used in these sessions are of an extremely high quality and immerse the children in a wealth of vocabulary. Texts used cover a range of genres and link to the topics that the children study each half term. Please see the Topic Plans for a full overview of the texts used throughout the Primary Phase. Whole class reading sessions aim to support children’s word reading skills, fluency and decoding, as well as their comprehension skills. To develop the children’s love of reading, teachers read to their class every day, either a short story, a picture book or an ongoing longer novel.
As well as our vast array of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books on offer in school, HLC subscribe to the Bug Club reading scheme. We recognise the importance of having a broad range of texts at home so to further interest, motivate and encourage children to read, each individual has a personal log in. Bug Club ensures that all children have access to books which are the right pitch for them academically. Children can access their account on Active Learn Primary with their individual account details (the school code is chqm). Inside every book there are notes to parents to help you to make the most of reading with your child. There are questions to ask, tasks and puzzles for the children to complete. These range from phonic support for younger children to suggestions for further reading and research for older children.
Miss Emery runs a Library Club after school where children are part of a group read and discussion before exploring the library and enjoying some quiet reading time. Also, Mrs Bradshaw delivers a poetry club where children are able to explore poems and practise the art of recital. Reading is an integral part of the homework at HLC and children are expected to read as regularly as possible at home. We broadly expect at least three entries per week from home. The importance of reading with a child is huge; teachers regularly check Reading Diaries and love to know about the stories that you read with your children at home. All of this information is shared with parents and carers at the many informative parent workshops run across school including Early Years Reading and Phonics, Key Stage 1 Reading and Phonics as well as all Starbooks library sessions,
Please see our Reading Policy for further details.
Hadley Learning Community: Phonics Curriculum
At HLC Primary we believe every child should have the chance to become happy, fluent readers and writers, regardless of their background, needs or ability. We are committed to giving all children the skills to access a whole world of books and therefore lifetime of enjoyment. We ensure we are providing all children in the Early Year Foundation Stage and Key Stage One with a consistent high-quality Phonics education providing the strong foundations which can be built upon to tackle the complex process of reading and writing. Phonics teaching continues into Key Stage 2 for those children who are identified through formative and summative assessments as needing continued support.
At HLC we have created our own bespoke synthetic systematic phonics programme through which, we strive to create fluent, confident readers and writers. We systematically teach the children to hear sounds in words (phonemes) and then represent them using letters (graphemes). Within our own scheme, we have created several high-quality engaging resources to ensure that children develop and retain a deep understanding of grapheme, phoneme correspondence equipping them with the skills they need to apply this in a range of contexts across the curriculum. We ensure, through high quality CPD, our teachers are equipped with relevant knowledge and skills to provide consistent, high-quality phonics teaching that ensures all children have a strong foundation upon which to tackle the complex processes of reading and writing.
Discrete phonic lessons take place daily for a minimum of 25 minutes across EYFS and Key Stage 1, with sessions taking place in Key Stage 2 where necessary. They follow the structure of ‘Review, Teach, Practise and Apply’ to ensure that children are consolidating phonic knowledge and skills over time and that they can apply them in a range of contexts. We recognise the importance of strong accurate decoding skills being one of the biggest single indicators of a skilled fluent reader, and therefore the basic skills used to teach phonics, such as the ability to encode and decode, are reinforced across the whole school curriculum in all modelled reading and writing; it is our aim for children to know more and remember more.
We adopt a whole class teaching in the Reception and Year 1. In both year groups, there is a small breakaway group of children who are carefully selected by class teachers to receive targeted support to ensure they have the necessary skills to encode and decode words. This runs in line with our Phonics policy for all children to ‘keep up’ and not have to ‘catch up’. As the children move into Year 2, they then are grouped based on their ability and to address the needs of each learner and close any potential gaps in learning.
We have a robust and well-structured system in place to ensure all children have access to books that are matched to their phonic knowledge meaning all words can be fully decoded enhancing a sense of success amongst our children. We recognise the importance of reading and re-reading as an imperative factor to achieving fluency and automaticity in our children.
We truly believe that a successful partnership between home and school is integral to securing and maintaining confident fluent readers and writers. We aim to provide parents and families with a wealth of knowledge, guidance, and useful resources to further develop their confidence supporting their children at home. We run various workshops across the year for parents and families to attend in which they have access to presentations run by the phonics subject leader, guides to take away to support home learning, as well as being invited into the classroom to discover more ways to support their child at home.