At Kew Woods we are readers, writers, poets, performers and communicators. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we consider teaching children to read and fostering a love of reading as one of the most important aspects of a child’s journey through our school. We strive to encourage and inspire every child to believe that all of their aspirations can be achieved though learning, imagination and effort. However, we acknowledge that an inability to read undermines a child’s aspirations and so it is a key driver at our school.
Through daily reading sessions focusing on phonics, fluency and comprehension, alongside the use of carefully selected texts, stimulating library areas and enthusiastic teaching teams, children discover the delights of reading for pleasure, creatively express themselves in their writing and unlock the rewards of engaging with others as performers.
When reading, we focus on developing a range of strategies enabling pupils to confidently tackle unfamiliar vocabulary and to be confident in their understanding of what they have read. We use Read, Write Inc Phonics scheme consistently in EYFS and Key Stage 1, with texts read in school and at home that match the sounds the children have encountered. Once the children are secure in their phonics knowledge, we use a range of texts from a range of publishers including Oxford Reading Tree scheme and library books selected to be read independently or shared at home.
Our carefully selected texts include a wide range of text types. A rich variety of classic and modern literature as well as non-fiction enables the children to reach into imaginative worlds and make new discoveries whilst becoming fluent, competent readers.
Pupils have the opportunity to write imaginatively in a variety of genres, sometimes related to other areas of the curriculum, putting their learning and knowledge into practice. They build up to creating finished pieces of writing at the end of a block of work, proudly displaying their writing in their writing showcase files. Children’s work is also selected and displayed on the Writing Showcase Walls in their class acknowledging their effort. World Book Day provides the opportunity annually for the children to engage with a writing competition, work with established poets and authors and dress up as their favourite characters.
Grammar and spelling activities are part of the children’s regular English lessons. Read, Write Inc Spelling programme is used from year 2, whilst children in Year 3 onwards access Bedrock vocabulary personalised learning.
We focus on handwriting so that the children progress towards being able to write smoothly, legibly and neatly, leading to their taking pride in the presentation of all their work. We initially link handwriting to our phonics scheme in EYFS then use the Letter Join handwriting scheme across the school.
Performing arts is another key driver at our school. Speaking, listening and performing skills are promoted throughout the school across the curriculum and in after school clubs through storytelling, discussion groups, debates, drama lessons and role play. The children have a range of opportunities to participate in school concerts and shows, attending musicals and other performance related events. We provide opportunities for the children to build confidence in performing themselves and developing the ability to listen to and appreciate the efforts of others.