At Corpus Christi we believe reading is the bedrock of success in education. Through reading, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. Reading is taught frequently at a high quality and with a vast quantity of rich literature and texts of both fiction, poetry and non-fiction.
We use a quality first phonics programme called Sounds-Write to enable children to learn the skills required to blend, segment and manipulate sounds. It is a very highly structured, multi-sensory, approach to teaching children the skills and knowledge they need to read and spell.
The aim of this curriculum is to promote the highest standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature. We aim for children to be able to:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
‘Talk for Writing’ (T4W) is based on the thinking and creative processes involved in ‘being a writer’. Children use pictures and actions to learn a model text, immersing themselves in the features. This provides children with a rich and varied language bank which in turn supports the writing process.
Talk for Writing fundamentally teaches children how to be writers – not just how to write. It supports children to be able to generate ideas, draw upon their reading and write confidently for a variety of audiences and purposes. The methodology follows a three-tier pattern: Imitation, Innovation and Independent Application. During the Imitation stage, children get to know a text really well by orally learning it, using a text map and key actions, using British Sign Language actions to (see below for the key BSL actions). We also explore the text through drama and reading - developing vocabulary, comprehension and writing techniques. The Innovation stage is grounded in the processes of shared writing, with a strong and systematic focus on securing the basics of handwriting, phonics/spelling and grammar, in relation to what is needed for the text type being taught. Finally, the Independent Application promotes children to draft, edit and publish their own independent versions.
At the heart of Talk for Writing is the principle that schools should increase the amount children read and are read to. We have a ‘literature spine’ which identifies key stories, picture books, poems and non-fiction which will be read and drawn upon and referred to when teaching writing. The reading spine can be viewed on our Progression Pathway for Reading (see below).