At Malin Bridge Primary, we aim for our children to:
- Be able to read fluently, understand what they read, and to enjoy what they read.
- Be exposed to a range of literature that celebrates diversity and encourages critical thinking.
- Have a range of vocabulary that supports both their written and spoken language.
- Accurately write for a range of audiences and to write with purpose.
- Explore the world beyond what they know and deem possible.
Our English curriculum combines all areas of the national curriculum to deliver units of work that inspire as well as educate. The structure of our units allows time for building individual skills and then applying them. Our children are taught to be resilient and reflective and constantly strive to be the best they can be.
Reading is at the heart of English at Malin Bridge. Reading is the key to unlocking most of the curriculum and is essential for developing vocabulary, knowledge and understanding of the world, as well as speaking and listening.
Reading at Malin Bridge is separated into two sections, both equally important: decoding and comprehension. Decoding is the combination of using grapheme phoneme correspondence, and memory, in order to read words. Decoding begins with high quality phonics teaching in early years foundation stage (EYFS), through key stage 1, and continued to be recapped at key stage 2. Once decoding becomes more fluent, children are taught to read for effect: using intonation and expression, and using punctuation to read fluently. Comprehension is the understanding of what they are reading. This can be taught in a range of ways including through film for children who are poor at decoding. Comprehension is taught through using VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval, sequence or summary). VIPERS covers all the reading domains in the national curriculum and is used to ensure that the children have a deeper understanding of what they read.
As well as reading in school, it is vital that children read regularly at home. The aim for us is to inspire children to be lifelong readers and create good habits that will follow them throughout their lives. For this reason, your child may bring home a book labelled ‘reading for pleasure’. These books are not necessarily at the reading level of your child. They are engaging books from a range of authors and are meant to be read with an adult to help develop a love of reading.
How do I help my child to read?
- Read with them little and often.
- Model a good reader – read newspapers, read them bedtime stories, visit the library, and just ENJOY READING!
- Allow them to read books or comics they are interested in as well as the books issued by school.
- If you haven’t managed to come along to one of our reading workshops, please see the following downloadable bookmarks for questions you can ask to help your child read at home. You could even use these questions to improve comprehension skills when watching digital media (TV, film and gaming): Reading Prompt Bookmark
We believe that books are a fantastic way to help children make sense of the world around them and develop critical thinking about a range of issues. We have put together a reading list that allocates specific texts to be covered in each phase, so that, by the time our children leave Malin Bridge, they have been exposed to a diverse range of literature. This list has been created after extensive research, consultation with staff and pupils, and by working with people outside school like Diverse Futures and Pran Patel. We have arrived at selection of books which include a broad range of diverse people and their experiences. Any aspects of diversity that aren’t represented in this list or are covered more lightly are either covered in the wider curriculum, or we are yet to find any books that represent that particular area in a way that fits in with our ethos. This list of books is prescriptive to each phase and they will each cover all ten books (and the poetry book) over a two-year period. These are covered in a range of ways: book studies, guided reading sessions, class readers, philosophy for children (P4C) sessions, stimuli for English units, or as the focus of themed days like World Book Day. Each of these books is accompanied by a guidance sheet that supports key questioning and helps direct the purpose of reading each of these books. See our recommended reading lists of books that will be read with every child in each phase and the accompanying guidance sheets.
There are also ‘wider reading lists’ that comprise lots of titles that didn’t make it onto the mandatory list (there were so many to choose from that it was virtually impossible to narrow them down). These wider reading lists will help with selection of other titles for your child to read:
We aim to give our children the tools they need to write effectively as well as inspiring them to develop a love of writing. This is done through providing them with stimuli that are both engaging and give writing purpose. We then teach the punctuation and grammar that supports the style of writing to develop the children’s technical writing ability. This is carefully mapped out to ensure each year group can build on the skills taught previously. We then celebrate our writing in a range of ways that gives the writing purpose, enables pupils to share their work with a wider audience and, more importantly, their loved ones, as well adding excitement and a sense of achievement.
Throughout school we have:
- Created and published websites for non-chronological reports
- Written stories with professional authors that have been published into books and sold.
- Entered writing competitions.
- Written letters that are sent to celebrities or local businesses.
- Regularly shared our work with other year groups.
Our approach to writing is centred on talk. We believe that talk is vital to help children express themselves in writing and to ensure that cognitive load (the amount of information that the brain is capable of managing) is limited. In our writing units, we learn to tell stories by heart with actions (imitation), we change parts of a plot or information (innovation) and create our own ideas for writing (invent).
Spelling at Malin Bridge follows a system that maps out all the spelling rules and patterns from the national curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6. These rules and patterns are explored in order to expand written and spoken vocabulary. EYFS and key stage 1 follow a rigorous phonics program to incorporate the teaching of segmenting and blending.