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English at Gade Valley Primary School

At Gade Valley we promote a love of reading and encourage the children to read and enjoy a wide range of books throughout their time with us and beyond. Reading and writing skills are taught throughout the curriculum on a daily basis. We encourage cross-curricular links with topic work to help create purposeful learning opportunities.

Special events have been set up to promote English throughout the school including Roald Dahl Day, Book Week, World Book Day, Storytelling Week, drama workshops led by external companies, author visits and an annual ‘Random Reading’ competition. Reading at home is rewarded with stamps, certificates and badges, and improved handwriting is rewarded with stamps, handwriting certificates and pen licences (in KS2). Every half term we have Buddy Reading sessions where classes are paired up from across the school to read together. We also have fun Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) sessions which are announced by our School Council playing musical instruments around the school. We have strong links with our local library and arrange for the children to visit the library, as well as the library team visiting our school to lead assemblies.

Reading has a high priority in each classroom, with children taking part in whole class guided reading (often linked to other areas of learning) and one to one reading with adults. We frequently update our range of book titles across the school, ensuring that the children have a wide collection to choose from. In the EYFS, KS1 and Year 3, reading books are selected from a book scheme which is mainly resourced through Oxford Reading Tree. In Year 4, 5 and 6, children take part in the Accelerated Reading programme which has further increased their love of reading. Our school library is currently being developed to reflect our passion for books, as well as providing a wide range of books carefully labelled with the AR coding for the children to enjoy.

Written work is guided through the use of ‘steps to success’ and regular marking and feedback. We highlight successes using ‘tickle pink’ and areas for development using ‘green for growth’. The children are taught how to reflect upon their writing, including learning how to edit their spelling, punctuation and grammar. We teach the children how to use word banks and dictionaries to develop their independence.

Children in the EYFS and KS1 have daily phonics sessions which are differentiated by phase and follow Letters and Sounds, as well as the National Curriculum spelling expectations. From Year 2 up to Year 6, the children are also taught about spelling patterns and rules. Regular homework tasks are set to help develop phonics and spelling skills across the school. Phonics workshops are available to help parents support their child’s development at home.

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