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
EYFS, Reception and Year 1 follow the Letters and Sounds progressive phonics scheme. Delivered daily, we are passionate in ensuring all children 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.
From Year 2 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.
We have many incentives to encourage children to find their love for reading. Our fantastic Librarian Team, ran by Year 5 and 6 children, ensure that we have a wealth of knowledge and helpers on hand for any reading queries. Keen, consistent readers are recognised weekly through each teacher’s nomination of ‘Reader of the Week’. 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 free lunch with extra special treats! We also really enjoy our Reading Café sessions that take place on Wednesday 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.
Our Bug Club reading scheme aims to interest, motivate and encourage children to read more often, especially at home. Bug Club is a finely-levelled reading scheme, which ensures that all children are given books at exactly the right level for them. HLC also subscribes to the online versions for every printed title and a personalised website for each child. Access their account on Active Learn Primary with your child’s individual account details. The school code is chqm. Inside there is a range of different texts for all age groups, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays and also comics. Inside every printed book there are notes to parents to help you to make the most of reading with your child. There are questions to ask, activities 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.
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. Slips to apply for a library card are always handed out at Reading Cafe sessions – if you would like one please see Mrs King or Mrs Bradshaw.
Reading is an integral part of the homework at HLC and children are expected to read as regularly as possible at home. Each class has set expectations but we broadly expect at least five 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.
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. This is followed through to Key Stage Two for those pupils recognised as needing extra support.
At HLC we use the Letters and Sounds programme to teach phonics as the prime approach to creating confident readers and writers. We teach the children to hear sounds in words (phonemes) and then represent them using letters (graphemes). We supplement the letters and sounds scheme with memorable actions and songs – bespoke to HLC and pertinent to our children’s understanding of the world – to support the children with their grapheme/phoneme correspondence. Through high quality planning and teaching we ensure that the teaching of synthetic phonics is systematic and progressive through the EYFS and Key Stage One. Ultimately it is our goal to ensure all children have a sound knowledge and understanding of the complex phonetic code, giving them the skill to decode any word, and eventually developing automaticity when reading.
Discrete phonic lessons take place daily for a minimum of 25 minutes across EYFS and Key Stage 1, with sessions taking place in Year 3 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. Links between phonic knowledge and understanding are emphasised in both Reading and Writing lessons, as well as any other appropriate and relevant moment, it is well any truly embedded into our whole curriculum; it is our aim for children to know more and remember more.
We adopt a whole class teaching approach in the EYFS and Year 1. In both year groups, there is a small breakaway group who are carefully selected by class teachers to receive targeted support to ensure they are confident blenders and have the skills and confidence to read any word. 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 system in place to ensure all children have access to books that are matched to their phonic knowledge and that 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 as readers.
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, as well as being invited into the classroom to discover more ways to support their child at home.