Literacy at Mellor
In our Early Years and KS1 classes we have a daily phonics lesson where we learn the forty four letter strands and the letter shapes that represent them. We use a structured synthetic phonics programme and all of our staff have been trained through the Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) to ensure a consistent and systematic approach.
We also follow the KTC guided reading approach. PM benchmark books are used, which are colour banded and levelled to give finely graded steps throughout. From Reception through to KS1, children read daily in a guided reading group with an adult. They have the opportunity to read and discuss a book, short story or non-fiction text alongside other children and their teacher. Once children are confident and fluent, they are exposed to a wide variety of texts and are supported to develop the higher order skills of inference and deduction. In year 1 and 2 children undertake a variety of follow up tasks in order to develop their knowledge and understanding of genres and text types.
Big Books are also used for shared reading in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 where children read a book alongside the class teacher. They discuss the book, offer opinions, make simple predictions and read and find the sight words in the book.
In KS2, we follow the reciprocal reading approach and focus on developing the four key skills of comprehension; predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising. Short stories or extracts from a variety of texts are utilised and often link to other curriculum areas and topics children are studying. Reading sessions make opportunity for shared, guided and independent learning. Comprehension is further developed through the use of book journal activities.
EYFS follow the KTC shared and guided writing approach. Whole class shared writing takes place on a weekly basis and is often focused around the shared reading big book or an experiential learning opportunity. Shared reading allows the class teacher to model key strategies of writing such as oral rehearsal of sentence, capital letters, full stops, finger spaces and handwriting. Guided writing takes place weekly in small groups tailored to the needs of the group. Children then have the opportunity to write independently using the strategies taught in guided writing, with support if needed.
There are also writing opportunities during topic time, both indoors and outdoors, for children to apply their knowledge and learning.
In KS1, writing is focused around an initial stimulus or experiential learning opportunity. New vocabulary is taught to support writing and grammar is linked according to the topic. Children talk about their work prior to writing through storyboards, drama and hot seating and word banks, substitution tables and pictures are provided to support children. Children have the opportunity to up level and improve their writing through class and teacher discussions.
In key stage two the children follow a writing procedure that runs in approximately 3 week cycles throughout the year. The cycle starts by teaching selected grammar skills for that piece of writing and then building up to planning and writing an independent piece of writing. After they have completed the writing, the children evaluate their work before the teacher marks it. Finally, they have an opportunity to edit and improve their writing after it has been marked.