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Skegness
Junior Academy

English

We believe that reading is of vital importance. Nurturing a love of reading begins early and in collaboration with Skegness Infant Academy, we follow the Little Wandle approach to teaching phonics. Children who have not been successful in attaining the correct level in the Phonic Screen by the end of KS1 will benefit from this scheme. 

Letters and Sounds

Reading

At the heart of our curriculum, we aim for children to have a deep love of reading and to develop a wide vocabulary through exposure to a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Our children develop their skills through accessing a range of genres and authors, both classic and current.

Our reading scheme is based around the Oxford Reading Tree scheme with additional texts used to enhance our curriculum. Within our Academy we offer a wealth of books to support guided reading which, along with the Oxford Reading Tree, are book banded. We encourage our children to develop a love for reading through our regular guided reading sessions which happen daily across the academy as well as regular 'reading for pleasure' activities which take place in classrooms and in our newly refurbished library.

Lessons focus on the following comprehension skills:

  • Vocabulary
  • Infer
  • Predict
  • Explain
  • Retrieve
  • Summarise and Sequence

Children use a rich diet of texts to learn and practise these skills to gain a deeper understanding of the text and its relevant themes. Reading is taught through a whole class approach using a core quality text as a stimulus. The use of these texts link reading and writing together, creating contextualised and dynamic English lessons. The class texts are carefully chosen, and where appropriate linked, to help broaden children's vocabulary and their knowledge of topics studied elsewhere in the curriculum. There is also a focus on diversity in the selection of authors.  

Reading is a tool for life. Teaching children to become excellent readers is a large and exciting part of what we do at the Academy. We aim to give each child special reading time with exceptionally well-trained adults during the week. We enrich the curriculum with high quality texts through our book based curriculum, and engage with the 'Boom Reader' app to encourage parents to record children's reading during the week. Children will take home either a Little Wandle Phonic book or a text from our coloured book band system, matched to their reading ability. They will also have a reading for pleasure text, which they have chosen independently. The reading for pleasure text may not be matched to a child's reading level and so can be shared with a parent at home. 

It is an expectation that all children read as much as possible at home and that the 'Boom Reader' app is used to communicate this with teachers. We believe our families play a vital role in the development of reading skills, and we aim to foster a strong home-academy partnership using digital technology as a tool for communication between class teachers and parents.

We believe that children need to learn to read then read to learn.

Reading for Pleasure

Our love for reading is celebrated and given high priority at our academy. Our children are given the opportunity to read across all subjects in the curriculum and are given time to read independently every day.  Author visits, Author Book Pen Pals, local library trips, World Book Day celebrations, reading competitions and buddy reading are just some of the activities our children engage in to inspire their reading and writing.

Throughout the school, dynamic and engaging reading displays and book areas promote a love of reading and encourage our children to read for pleasure.

Children are set the 'Reading Challenge Tree' (you will find the individual year group challenges below), to read 25 books across each school year from a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Books have been selected using recommended titles from Books for Topics website. Parents are encouraged to share these books with their child at home, to promote a love for reading. All children, are given a checklist to keep track of the books they have read, with prizes awarded to children who complete the list for their year group. 

Please see our latest Reading Newsletter below:

Writing 

Through a foundation of reading, children develop into competent, skilful writers who can write for a variety of purposes and audiences, sparking interest and engaging the reader. Composition, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling are focused on in daily writing sessions. We also use digital technology to support children in writing, through using Virtual Reality headsets, iPads for using a wide range of apps to immerse the children into new and exciting worlds but also for dictation and a class set of laptops are just some of the exciting tools that we use to enrich writing at Skegness Junior Academy.

New for 2022 is the introduction of 'The Write Stuff' approach by Jane Considine. This method allows pupils to improve their oracy and widen their vocabulary in every lesson, whilst deepening their understanding of writing choices. The ‘writing rainbow’ provides a lens for the writer to focus through in order to ensure all writing is effective and engaging for the reader, whilst meeting the intended purpose. We have lots of exciting opportunities to inspire pupils, giving them opportunities to apply their skills in their work. Pupils will normally experience English throughout the school day in a variety of ways through reading, writing and speaking and listening.

Vocabulary

We have invested in a wonderful online programme called Bedrock. This is an online programme where your child can access both non-fiction and fiction texts to improve their reading skills and learn new vocabulary that will enhance the way they read, speak and write across all of their subjects.

As your child progresses through the Bedrock curriculum, they will study hundreds of new words. Research has shown that there is a direct link between a student’s vocabulary size and their academic achievement. Children with a wider vocabulary make faster progress at school, in further education and beyond.

Children will have one session a week in school, and we will also encourage them to complete one session at home or in independent learning clubs in school time. Please log in to the website using the widget on the homepage and have a look around. Your child’s teacher will go through this in class with them, but there are guides for parents and carers on the website too. Please see helpful resources to support your child below with vocabulary!