At Rackham, high quality literacy is at the heart of our creative curriculum. Literacy unites the important skills of speaking and listening, reading and writing. Our aim is to develop our pupils’ skills in these four areas by providing them with consistently exciting and challenging learning opportunities. We aim for children to be reflective readers, independent writers and confident speakers.
Speaking and Listening (Oracy)
Talk is fundamental to children’s development and we recognise the importance of speaking and listening for learning, and communication. We both teach our children to talk and teach our children through talk. We specifically teach Oracy objectives set out by Voice21, as well as provide rich opportunities for children to practise these skills in a variety of contexts.
Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and therefore the teaching of reading is given a high priority by all staff, with access to high quality resources and an extensive range of books, including digital literacy. Success in reading has a direct impact on progress in all areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s self-esteem, confidence and motivation. At Rackham, we are committed to children reading every day. Every child’s reading is monitored closely. In KS1, we predominantly use the 'Oxford Reading Tree' scheme for individualised book choice and a combination of this, together with, 'Collins Big Cat' and 'Cambridge Reading' schemes for Guided Reading.
Writing is a cross-curricular skill and contexts and purposes for writing are fully embedded in our creative approach. We aim to ensure that all writing experiences are enjoyable, purposeful and come from all areas of the curriculum. To enable this, we use a range of strategies and approaches, such as Talk for Writing and Big Write. Through shared writing, teachers model new skills, discuss types of writing and extend creative ideas. Emphasis is placed upon the process of writing, as well as the finished product. Pupils are taught to improve their writing through redrafting and editing.
We use Letters and Sounds as the basis for our phonics planning but also utilise resources from Jolly Phonics and Early Reading Recovery where necessary.
In 2018 we proudly took part in the East Cambridgeshire 'Powerful Word Project' which we have continued to use and teach ever since. Aimed at ensuring that our pupils have an extensive and rich receptive and expressive vocabulary, we have established a routine of teaching three 'powerful' words each week across Key Stage Two. Together with the words' collocations (word pairs) and synonyms, our classes have a chance to play around with the language before applying it to their own writing across the curriculum. We have seen such a success across Key Stage Two that we have begun to roll out similar lessons in Key Stage One.