Our intention at Holy Family is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word and the confidence to use these skills in a range of contexts across a broad and balanced curriculum. We strive to support children to develop their own personal love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. As readers, we want children to read easily, fluently and with good understanding, develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information to ensure they acquire a wide vocabulary. By the time pupils leave our school, we want children to have a deep understanding of how reading is a vitally important life-skill and will help them achieve their potential whatever their dreams and aspirations for the future may be and to enable them to participate fully as a valuable member of society.
Literacy at Holy Family is taught both during clearly defined literacy lessons focusing on acquiring the skills of phonics, spelling, reading, writing and oral fluency, but also woven discretely into all areas of the curriculum. We use the Jane Considine approach for spelling and writing. ‘The Write Stuff’ focuses on first reading a high-quality text, before asking children to write independently. This approach ensures a consistent, progressive literacy curriculum which is motivating and supportive for all children. All children are encouraged and supported to speak fluently within every lesson, communicating their ideas and feelings using a wide range of vocabulary.
At Holy Family, all children can choose a wide range of texts, from our progressively challenging book band libraries. Children are assessed regularly to ensure they are making good progress (if not better) with extra support given to any children identified as requiring additional interventions to enable them to achieve their potential.
Through the teaching of phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. With decoding taught as the prime approach to reading, pupils will become familiar with this strategy and have the confidence to work out unfamiliar words in any new texts they encounter. Pupils will have the opportunity to develop their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school; accessing a broad range of increasingly challenging texts including a wide range of genres which reflect and promote the cultural diversity within our school, whilst supporting children in developing empathy, broadening their understanding of challenging life circumstances and developing an understanding of their own personal choices when reading for pleasure. Children will be able to identify their favourite authors and genres. Our Holy Family Reading Spine reflects our ethos of listening to our children viewpoints. It identifies texts chosen by children and teachers which reflect current authors, issues and interests.
Progress in reading is measured at regular intervals, using not only a range of assessment materials to assess our ‘reading for progress’ strategies but also listening to our ‘pupil voice’ to develop new initiatives for reading for pleasure. The % of pupils working at age related expectations and above age-related expectations within each year group will be at least in line with national averages and will match the ambitious targets of individual children.
We want all children to leave Holy Family as readers, who delight in the magic of a good book, where new worlds and real-life opportunities become real dreams with children having a greater understanding and empathy for the world they live in.