“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Underpinning our whole class teaching of reading is the Milldown Reading Spine: 42 quality fiction texts and novels which we believe children need to experience before they leave us. Each text is studied in depth alongside other quality fiction, poetry, non-fiction texts. We teach children the skills they need to be great readers, give them the knowledge they need in order to understand what they read and provide them with the opportunity to make links across their learning and respond with their views. A love of reading and literature is promoted beyond the English curriculum through our wider curriculum, our outdoor library, book events and by sharing our love of reading with our wider community.
To give the children the skills they need to become fluent and confident readers, the school teaches phonics through the Sounds~Write approach.
A good reader makes a good writer and all children are viewed as authors. We do this through a focus on Talk4Writing, in which children learn model texts by heart and examine how authors create different effects in their writing. There are three phases to this approach: imitation where children explore and internalise the language and structure of the text; innovation when they make changes, including writing about alternative characters and settings or including a flashback; and finally the independent application, which is when the children have the opportunity to write an original piece inspired by the learnt text. This approach allows the children to learn about language structures and provides them with ‘toolkits’ for writing in different styles. The teaching of punctuation and grammar is central to the teaching of writing and children will apply learnt skills across their pieces of work. The children are empowered by the process and are proud of their independent writing as a result.