At Riverside, we want all of our children to become competent readers, writers, speakers and listeners and we believe we can do this by enthusing and motivating them. Our school views the acquisition of English skills to be a vital, fundamental tool through which will support life skills necessary for next steps in education. Consequently, the teaching of all the aspects of English are given a high priority. It is our intention to immerse our children in the wonders of quality texts to instill a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination.
We have recently implemented a new and creative way of teaching English at Riverside - The Power of Reading. This approach ensures that the teaching of English is delivered in a creative, stimulating and cross-curricular way, linked to high quality texts.
The Power of Reading Approach:
*Helps schools create a whole school reading ethos that allows children to engage with and progress in Reading and Writing. *Places high quality children’s literature at the heart of the English curriculum. *Uses creative approaches to enrich teaching and learning. *Provides schools with the subject knowledge and the tools to deliver a high quality, creative English curriculum.
Children are exposed to a range of different writing genres, which have been specifically tailored for their year group. Through the cross-curricular teaching sequences, children are immersed in high quality texts so that they are continuously developing their language and the skills needed to produce their own high quality pieces of writing. English skills including Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar are integrated in English lessons wherever possible, as well as being taught discretely. Throughout each Key Stage, every opportunity is taken to apply progressive English skills in all areas of the curriculum, build on pupils’ previous knowledge and develop these further. Emphasis is paid on children becoming proficient at editing and improving their own work and that of their peers. This is developed throughout the school from a young age. Children use purple polishing pens to edit and improve their work. We believe this will motivate and enthuse our children and therefore allow them to become confident and skillful in English and most importantly enjoy it.
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in both Reading and Writing is in line with or exceeds their potential. All children are assessed against the National Curriculum for Reading and Writing and are given specific targets through pupil conferences, marking and feedback. Children are given clear next steps to enable them to make progress and ultimately, become more confident readers and writers as they make their journey through the school, mastering comprehension skills, writing at length and the manipulation of grammar and punctuation.
Children are encouraged, from an early age, to become independent readers in order to support learning in other subjects. We aim to develop children’s reading skills through daily reading and a wide range of books and resources within school.
We use the Oxford Reading Tree as the basis of our reading scheme. This is supplemented by books from Collins 360 and Big Cat and Ginn reading books.
We take part in Buster's Book Club each week which promotes reading at home. Therefore, parents and carers are actively encouraged to support their child by reading with them each day.
We also hold Parents Stay and Read sessions each week for Nursery, FS and KS1 and once a term for KS2. Parents and carers are invited into school to share a book with their child and listen to them read.
The teaching of phonics (the reading of letters) begins in EYFS and continues into Key Stage 1 where the children have a daily phonics lesson, helping them to become confident, competent and independent readers and writers. We follow the 'Letters and Sounds' phonics scheme. More information about phonics and how we teach it can be found on our parents tab, under parent workshops.
Reading with your child at home
Please find below some question prompts to ask your child when reading at home.
Suggested Reading Book Lists
Below, you will find a list of suggested reading books for year groups.
Book Trust's Great Book Guides
Each year, Book Trust put together a list of books to get children excited about all kinds of stories and rhymes.
The Power of Reading
At Riverside, we want to enable our children to become confident, independent readers, reading a wide range of material accurately, fluently and with understanding for information and enjoyment. We want to develop enthusiastic and reflective readers.
The Power of Reading is about teaching reading and writing through the use of high quality books and creative teaching approaches. Children are immersed into the text through music, art, drama, discussion and role-play. Other approaches include responding to illustrations, ‘Book Talk’, story mapping and book making. Children take ownership of the text and engage with it deeply. It also enables children to deepen their understanding of texts and provides a meaningful context for writing.
Reading aloud is also a key part of the Power of Reading. The strategy enables all children to access the quality texts. Reading aloud also enables the teacher to model expressive and fluent reading to the children.
Teachers will update their curriculum overviews each term, where you will be able to find out what book your child will be using.
Punctuation and grammar is vital and is taught across both Key Stages 1 and 2. Children are taught to identify different areas of punctuation and grammar and be able to apply these in their writing. Emphasis is placed on ensuring that children’s writing is engaging and interesting for the reader and that children enjoy writing. The school provides lots of opportunities to write for a purpose and regularly shares examples of good writing across the whole school. This includes our Termly Whole School Big Write Competition, which allows all children to write independently in a range of genres.
Opportunities for drama and discussion are included to further enhance language development. We aim to develop children’s speaking and listening skills to help support their development into being able to participate fully as a member of society.
We believe that the more children read and become engaged in reading and drama, the better their writing and confidence will be. We want to encourage creative, thoughtful and engaging writers and aim to enable all children to be able to express themselves through their writing, and become confident, avid readers.
Reading and Writing Expectations
The documents below will show you the key objectives for each year group. It is expected that by the end of the relevant year, children will be able to do the things listed, confidently and independently.
Phonics and Spellings
In FS and KS1, we teach phonics daily mainly following the 'Letters and Sounds' scheme and teaching the 6 phases. We have actions which link to each individual letter sound and digraph rhymes to support children when they are learning these. They are consistently used throughout the school.
In Year 2 and KS2, we use the Twinkl scheme of work to teach spellings daily. Through this, the children are taught spelling patterns and rules, and carry out many activities during the week to reinforce the spellings before their weekly spelling test. The children also have access to an online spelling resource, Spellodrome, which can be used at school and at home.
Each term, to celebrate the children's efforts with their phonics and spellings, children are awarded a Phonics Whizz or Super Speller certificate.
Cursive handwriting is taught throughout the school to develop and support independent, joined writing. To support those for whom writing may be a struggle, there are small group interventions. Children are expected to take pride in their work and therefore we promote a high standard of presentation.
King Fu Punctuation
We learn Kung Fu Punctuation throughout the school to help us to remember the punctuation marks. Have a go at home.