Talk for Writing
We are a Talk for Writing school.
As a Talk for Writing School we follow an approach pioneered by Pie Corbett that has storytelling at the core. It is fun, creative, inclusive and challenging.
Lessons follow a three week cycle of activities.
- In the first week the students will learn a story off by heart using a story map. This is the IMITATION week that focuses on reading skills and oral storytelling.
- The second week will focus on writing a new story that is very similar to the one learned in the first week. The teacher will model writing and much grammar is discussed as the students write in this INNOVATION week.
- Finally, in the third week the students will demonstrate all they have learned in an independent piece of writing. This is called the INVENTION week. The ‘hot write’ shows the teacher each individual’s understanding of the structure, grammar and vocabulary taught.
We begin each new text with a ‘hook’ to engage the children and create excitement for the learning over the next few weeks. Before Christmas, Mary the donkey visited our playground to begin a sequence of writing around the Christmas story.
To find out more about Talk for Writing, please stay posted on the website for photos of working walls or pop into your child’s class to see the working walls that will highlight the text they are studying.
Pie Corbett suggests a list of ‘must read’ core texts for children in each year group which we have in our school library. Click on the link to find the books suggested for your child.
You could also use the Book Trust 100 books to read before you’re 14.
How many of these books have you read?
Phonics and Spelling
Developing early readers and writers begins with phonics and developing phonics skills in younger pupils is extremely important.
Phonics provision begins in Nursery and skills are developed daily throughout The Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.
- 15 minutes of phonics 5 times a week in Nursery.
- 25 minutes of phonics 5 times a week in Reception.
- 25 minutes of phonics 5 times a week in Key Stage 1.
These sessions are reinforced throughout the day in English lessons, with songs and discussions of class texts at story times.
In Key Stage 2 the children continue to practice spelling skills regularly.
In EYFS we follow Letters and Sounds and in Key Stage 1 we also use Letters and Sounds, supplemented by Sound Discovery. In Key Stage 2 we use The Spelling Shed to support the teaching and learning of spelling.
We believe in creating a life-long love of reading at St George’s. We encourage children to read at home through taking home reading books and choosing a library book from our well-stocked children’s library. Our main reading scheme is the PM scheme, but we also supplement reading with a variety of other schemes, where we consider it to be necessary. For example, in upper key stage 2, pupils are encouraged to read abridged versions of classic children’s literature to widen their reading experience.
Reading books are changed three times each week in The Foundation Stage and Year 1/2 (Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays) and children are encouraged to change their reading books as often as possible throughout the rest of the school. The children have library time in our school library each week where they can take home a book of their choice too.
In order to expose the children to a wide variety of texts we include a range of books in our reading scheme. Our books are leveled by cross referencing PM Benchmarking criteria, national leveling guidelines and according to their phonics content.
Our School Library
Our aim is to create a unified approach across the school in the provision and maintenance of book collections in the main library and classroom collections.
The purpose of the Library:
- To provide children with a stimulating and inviting, yet relaxing environment, in which they feel comfortable in selecting texts and learning materials of their choice.
- To provide a core collection of non-fiction books for teacher reference.
- To provide core collections for children to learn information skills, such as using books effectively for research.
- To provide fiction suitable for the entire age and ability range, to include series by well-known authors, joke books, books for reluctant and and advanced readers, dual language books etc.
- To provide opportunities for children to read for pleasure.
- To teach children how to use, handle and respect books, and to use with confidence he library system independently and efficiently.
- To promote libraries as places which provide enjoyable and exciting activities.
- To provide opportunities for children and their families to take part in literacy-related activities, such as book clubs.
- The main library is situated at the centre of the school in an area that is situated between KS1 and KS2, and includes an outdoor courtyard reading area.
- The library is utilised on a daily basis by whole-class visits. TAs supporting groups of children, and open-library times staffed by volunteers during lunch time, and before and after school.
- The layout of the library ensures that it is accessible to all children and adults within the school, including wheelchair users.
- The library provides an authentic ‘Library Experience’ through the organisation of the fiction books in alphabetical order by author’s surname and the use of the Dewey System combined with a colour-coded system for the non-fiction books.
- There is a desk with a computer, where the Librarian, staff or children use the computer programme to check in and out books.
- In addition to the main library there will be a selection of reading material in each classroom. This will be selected from the stock in the library to reflect the current topics and interests of the class, and will be changed regularly.
- Posters give children further support in using the library independently.
- Children’s learning is also displayed in the library.
Management and Staffing:
- The library and budget is co-ordinated and managed by Mrs Bates.
- Mrs Bates (Teaching Assistant) is responsible for the day to day running of the library and is allocated 2 hours per week to undertake this role. Her responsibilities include: co-ordinating the Pupil Librarians and Library Volunteers, organising the class visit timetable, maintaining and tidying the library stock and area, using and updating the computer library system with new children, amending c lass lists and deleting children who have left, and preparing lists for each class to indicate those books which are overdue.
- Parent/Adult volunteers to work in the library on a regular basis – to support lunchtime and before/after school opening times.
- A selection of Y5/6 children are chosen each year to become Pupil Librarians. These children give up their lunchtimes once a week to provide the library service to other children. In recognition of their hard work, the children are rewarded with a book token at the end of the year.
- Each KS2 class has the opportunity to visit the library during class time on a weekly basis. The children may visit as a whole class (if library skills are being specifically taught) or in small groups. Children are able to return their books and select new books on a daily basis by visiting in their own time during lunch break or before/after school.
- Children are permitted to borrow one fiction and one non-fiction book/resource from the library at any one time, thus promoting equal opportunities for all children within our school. This is in addition to a reading scheme book.
- Teachers are responsible for asking children who may be leaving, to return all of their library books.
- The Librarian and parent/adult volunteers will work together to arrange fun after school events to promote a love of reading and its importance in lifelong learning.
- Links with New Mills Library are promoted with good success, such as can be seen by the summer reading programme run by Derbyshire Libraries.
- A growing number of parents listen to our children read one-to-one to boost confidence, develop expression and diction when reading aloud.
- Open the Library before and after school for parent to help children to choose books, and at lunchtimes.
- Introduce a library-based after-school club.
World Book Day
What fun we had on World Book Day! The children looked fantastic dressed as their favourite book character. They took part in a costume parade, a book swap and a quiz to guess the teacher with their favourite book. Pop into school to see if you can guess who is hiding behind the book!
The children also had the chance to create their favourite book in a box for a whole school competition.