We believe that reading is the key to educational success, and with this in mind, reading fluency and comprehension is at the core of our English teaching.
We have a determination that all children will be competent readers by the time they leave our school – able to decode accurately and to comprehend what they have read. Through our vibrant reading culture and high-quality teaching, we aim to engender a love of reading and literature which will sow the seeds of success to last a lifetime.
According to the Reading Panel (2000), the core components of reading include phonemic awareness, phonics and word study, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Frequent reading practiсe is said to encourage vocabulary development, which decreases the difficulty with reading and can lead therefore to a promotion in reading satisfaction.
For this reason, through our reciprocal reading approach, we take every opportunity to develop and widen children’s vocabulary, creating a language-rich environment in order to stimulate our pupils’ natural curiosity about new words.
We also understand that good readers become good writers. Our choice of high quality, engaging and age-appropriate literature provides motivation and stimulus for enjoyable writing opportunities with a clear audience, purpose and role.
Where writing is concerned, through Jane Considine's The Write Stuff approach we provide children with the skills they need to independently produce a range of written pieces across both Fiction, Non-Fiction and poetry genres. Children will write in four main ways: to inform, entertain, explain and persuade.
Children are supported in the development of writing skills though a number of ways: routine development of vocabulary acquisition and understanding, clear teacher modelling, and scaffolded writing prior to independent writing.
As children progress through school, they will revisit genres, developing further complexity within them. They will develop confidence, writing for different purposes and audiences, and over time, they will develop their own individual writing style.
Our Literature Spine
This literature spine has been designed by the staff at Acomb First School with the intention of mapping out our pupils’ core entitlement in order to create a living library in the child’s mind.
We have used our own expertise and, with support from experts in children’s literature (FFT Literacy and Jane Considine), we believe that our spine reflects the best children’s literature – carefully selected for its quality and for how it can support our children’s understanding of our society and the wider world. We have selected titles by up-and-coming children’s authors (Faye Hanson and William Grill), established children’s authors (Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo and Betsy Byers) and also classics of literature, from Christina Rossetti to Edgar Allen Poe.
Through this store of classics and essential reads, we want all children to experience the intrinsic sense of joy that reading can bring. The spine has been the subject of detailed discussions, with all titles carefully considered. Many serve a double role in also supporting our knowledge engaged curriculum.
We have selected texts that are diverse in order to help our pupils to become tolerant, respectful, well-informed and empathetic young people. It is important to us that our selected titles not only reflect our shared British heritage but also cultures across the world. In order to fully prepare our young readers for the next stage in their education, we have selected books that are complex not just in the language they use, and that demand more from our students as readers. As such, our reading spine is a launchpad for our pupils’ own journey as lifelong readers.