The Importance of Reading at Manor Beach Primary School

Reading is a fundamental life skill. Alongside oracy, writing and numeracy, reading is key to allowing children to succeed not only in school but in life. 

When teaching reading at Manor Beach Primary School, we want our children to develop the skills to allow them to leave school with the ability to read and comprehend texts that challenge, engage and support learning. We teach children to select strategies to engage with, understand and appreciate what they are reading. 

When supporting and fostering a love of reading at Manor Beach Primary School, we want our children to leave knowing a range of authors from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and cultures who can take our pupils on a tour of our world and beyond through the pages of their books.

There are 3 elements to any reading curriculum: reading culture (reading for pleasure); learning to read; learning to comprehend. None of these can be taught in isolation. Positive reading behaviours are modelled by all staff.  Pupils across school have the opportunity to discuss, analyse and question literature that they have read within English lessons and through additional guided reading or whole class reading sessions in school. It is in these sessions that pupils learn to making deductions about the events taking place in texts, unpick and decode the messages conveyed by authors and why certain words have been chosen by the writer and the impact they have. The texts chosen for all reading sessions come from a mixture of sources including those used for class novels or within the English lesson itself. A range of different reading genres are covered across the year to allow the pupils to experience analysing a variety of reading material.

Class novels are chosen carefully to link with childrens’ interests and to explore new worlds and new cultures. At Manor Beach Primary School, texts in English, reading lessons and curriculum lessons are carefully chosen to encourage a life-long love of reading. Pupil views are regularly collected and shared with staff. Pupils have the opportunity to review books and recommend those they like to their peers. Time and space is provided in all classes to read together and independently.

The Importance of Writing at Manor Beach Primary School

Writing is a fundamental life skill. Alongside oracy, reading and numeracy, writing is key to allowing children to succeed not only in school but in life.

When teaching writing at Manor Beach Primary School, children will develop key skills allowing them to leave school with the ability to write to express themselves; to inform; to share and demonstrate knowledge and for enjoyment; to entertain through stories and narratives for a range of audiences. We teach children to select strategies to engage with, understand and appreciate what they are writing.

At Manor Beach Primary School, we use the ‘Talk Unit’s’ from Lancashire’s English Team. A key feature of this is using quality texts to help children identify the skills skills of writing. The approach moves from dependence and modelling writing together towards independence, with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.

Writing is supported through our reading curriculum at Manor Beach Primary School, enabling children to draw upon a wide range of authors, writing styles and models. We want our children to leave experiencing examples of writing from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and cultures.  

Grammar: Fundamental building blocks to writing

Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. Grammar is most effective when taught in the context of reading and writing; either in the context of the linguistic demands of a particular genre or the writing needs of a child. We take a pragmatic approach to the teaching of grammar and believe effective grammar teaching takes place in meaningful contexts. Playing with words, investigations, puns, jokes, and rhymes can all enrich and inform grammatical knowledge and understanding and develop a genuine interest in how language works. Teachers encourage children to explore language based on children’s needs and also areas of the National Curriculum to be covered by the year group. Teachers use the appropriate grammatical meta-language when talking about writing ensuring children learn the appropriate terms. The teaching of grammar is both explicit and carefully embedded within English lessons. It is coherently sequenced so that it revisits previous learning but in new contexts and develops new skills for each unit. 

Spelling and Phonics

Accurate and competent spellers need to spend less time and energy in thinking about spelling to enable them to channel their time and energy into the skills of composition, sentence structure and precise word choice. By the end of year 1, pupils should be able to read a large number of different words containing the GPCs that they have learnt, whether or not they have seen these words before. Once pupils have learnt more than one way of spelling particular sounds, choosing the right letter or letters depends on their either having made a conscious effort to learn the words or having absorbed them less consciously through their reading. Younger pupils have not had enough time to learn or absorb the accurate spelling of all the words that they may want to write. Phonic knowledge continues to underpin spelling after key stage 1; teachers should still draw pupils’ attention to GPCs that do and do not fit in with what has been taught so far. Increasingly, however, pupils also need to understand the role of morphology and etymology.

Spelling strategies, linked to phonic knowledge, are taught explicitly following the No Nonsense Spelling scheme and applied to high-frequency words, cross-curricular words and individual pupils’ words.

Our English curriculum is constantly reviewed and adapted to suit the needs of our pupils. Each half term pupils cover at least 1 non-fiction, 1 fiction, some with an additional poetry unit.  High quality reading opportunities and high quality model texts for each unit are carefully chosen to ensure that the spelling, grammar and tools required reflect the requirements of the National Curriculum.

To support progression and assessment we use the Lancashire KLIPs

Key Learning in Reading

Key Learning in Writing

Key Learning Phonics and Spelling