Reading and Phonics
Our reading curriculum at Saltergate is anchored on high-quality, relevant texts from a diverse range of authors, inspired by the names of our classes from Gateways to Year 6. The curriculum, learning, books and texts offer our pupils opportunities to explore new worlds and take pleasure in their reading through carefully selected books which enhance topics and challenge ideas on individuality. Comprehension and decoding are both taught alongside one another in a manner which allows pupils to develop and master the mechanics of reading whilst ensuring they can fully understand and engage on books at a deep level, further supporting their love of reading.
As well as having staff who are passionate about reading, we also have Reading Ambassadors in every class, who meet regularly. Several pupils represent their peers in driving forward the standards of reading and new initiatives at Saltergate.
EYFS and KS1 overview
Systematic synthetic phonics is taught using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme throughout
Reception and Year 1. This is used to ensure the pupils are taught new phonemes in a particular order using the four part lesson format: revise, teach, practise and apply. Whole-class teaching takes place on a daily basis.
Individual and group reading books in the EYFS and KS1 progress according to their sound content. Each book is placed into a phase corresponding with the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics programme used in school. In each phase, books progress by introducing new sounds whilst also revisiting previously learnt sounds. Pupils’ reading books are chosen according to their phonic ability.
As children progress through KS1, they are introduced to free choice of texts across different genres which are aligned with Accelerated Reader. Once the children have completed their reading book, they can take a quiz on each book.
In EYFS and KS1 we have a variety of texts to inspire and encourage reading for pleasure. We also have a range of books for our children to choose from and share at home with their families.
In KS2, pupils all take part in daily Guided Reading sessions as a class, often centred around challenging texts which enhance the topic they're learning about or building on their connection with their class authors. Reading is also built into the foundation subjects where appropriate, developing vocabulary and comprehension discretely within the rest of the curriculum. Further support for pupils who are still in need of phonics teaching and access is made available in Year 3 and 4.
When reading at home, pupils have thousands of books to choose from both in school and online, using a combination of our class libraries, our dedicated library in school and Myon: our online library of graphic novels and non-fiction texts. Once completed, pupils take a quiz on each book. Teachers and the senior leadership team monitor pupils' engagement closely in order to reward them in half-term assemblies with certificates and rewards; with trophies available for pupils and classes awarded for high engagement, effort and participation. Pupils are expected to read at home for 15 minutes per day in Year 3 & 4, then 20 minutes per day in Year 5 & 6.
Writing is creative, inspiring and influential art in which we value immensely at Saltergate. Pupils develop and model their skills through a wide range of purposeful and exciting opportunities, built into the curriculum with intent and fidelity which show pupils they can make a difference to their lives and the world around them with their own ideas and language. Whether pupils are writing persuasively to local MPs, creating Viking stories to share around a campfire or producing information leaflets for far-away continents, our philosophy for writing is always designed to inspire and produce quality, diverse outcomes which our pupils can be proud of.
As part of the EYFS children develop their early writing skills through a range of mark making opportunities. Our children have a range of experiences both indoors and outdoors to develop their mark making and writing skills. Throughout the EYFS children will have the opportunity to develop their drawing and storytelling. Through our systematic teaching of phonics, children have the opportunity to learn the graphemes needed to use in their writing of words, captions and sentences.
KS1 and KS2
Every day, pupils are given opportunities to write in a purposeful, contextual manner which allows them to apply their knowledge and skills to produce high-quality pieces of work. The active approach to teaching writing which we use at Saltergate allows pupils to learn with independence, whilst using discussion, movement and stimulus to enhance their ideas and application. This tailored approach to teaching writing at Saltergate give our pupils a wide range of experiences in learning and aim to give every pupil the opportunity to feel proud of their writing.
The 'No Nonsense Spelling' scheme and regular handwriting practice also support our KS2 writers at Saltergate with opportunities to develop their application of graphemes and spelling rules with controlled, fluent handwriting. Daily Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar lessons allow this to be taught explicitly, in addition to daily English lessons.