Our curriculum intent for English learning and teaching is to provide a diverse, stimulating and challenging reading curriculum which enables our children to develop fluency and independence in writing .
At Brookmead School we are passionate about reading and about becoming authors. Our staff implement this curriculum with enthusiasm to inspire our learners.
Reading underpins our whole curriculum and is linked to every subject that the children learn. We highly value good quality systematic teaching of phonics and early reading which is built upon throughout the school to ensure our children enjoy reading and become authors through their own writing.
We use Read Write Inc to teach early reading and writing skills. We use lit / lang (linked to Read Write Inc) for teaching and learning of handwriting. Our book banded books begin with Read Write Inc reading scheme books to ensure continuity of provision and to enrich the learning in phonics and reading session. As children become more fluent readers we have quality book banded 'real' books which build on readers skills. These are located in our library to ensure a love of reading.
Our teaching of spelling across the school uses Read Write Inc to ensure continuity of provision and a clear building of skills. As children progress through the school, the teaching of spelling is applied through independent writing (being an author).
Our shared year groups areas celebrate our termly core and exposure texts - we have ensured diversity of subject matter and authors across the English curriculum. These include Wonder by R.J Palacio, the Little People Big Dreams series, Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Rauf, My Awesome Japan Adventure.
At Brookmead, we use the VIPERS approach to teacher comprehension. The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc. As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions. They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.
Each year group has a shared reading area. Our library is well resourced .
Phonics and Early Reading - Systematic Synthetic Phonics using Read Write Inc.
At Brookmead we have developed significant teaching expertise in phonics and early reading which ensures that our pupils are secure in their ability to read familiar words and decode unfamiliar words with confidence, and are ready to build fluency in their reading, deepen their understanding and become enthusiastic readers motivated by their own success and enjoyment. As a result, Brookmead School consistently achieves in the top 10% of schools in the national phonics screening check.
At Brookmead we use the Read Write Inc Phonics programme which is a systematic approach to the teaching of synthetic phonics, reading, writing and spelling. The programme enables pupils to develop their reading skills with resources that are matched to the sounds they are learning.
Building on Phonological Knowledge - Read Write Inc. Spelling
Daily lessons in spelling help children develop their spelling knowledge and accuracy and build on the phonics learning they experience in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Spelling rules and concepts are introduced in a systematic way which encourages children to build on their phonological awareness and recognition of spelling patterns and conventions. The programme also encourages children to develop their use of adventurous words and build their confidence in extending their vocabulary for writing.
Handwriting - and why it's important
At Brookmead we teach pupils from the beginning of Foundation Stage to use the dynamic tripod grasp or grip. This is the ideal hand position for handwriting because it helps us control our pencil or pen properly, makes writing neater, faster and more fluid, and to write without pain. Our pencil grip evolves gradually as our children grow, but most children can master the dynamic tripod grasp by the time they're six or seven years old
To use the dynamic tripod grasp or grip:
pinch the pencil between their thumb, forefinger and middle finger, with the middle finger behind the
notice the 'thumb web' - the circular space created by the thumb and forefinger, similar to the 'OK' sign - is round and open
the fourth finger and little finger are neatly tucked into the palm of the hand
the wrist rests on the paper, below the writing line.
Holding a pencil with the dynamic tripod grasp means the fingers holding the pencil can move separately from the rest of the hand. The principles are the same for left-handed and right-handed writing. Holding the pencil in this way gives us good pencil control and improves comfort, particularly when writing at length. Further information and help for parents can be found on the National Handwriting Association website.
The Brookmead Practice Journal - the art of purposeful practice
To be really good at something we need to practise. This means not just doing something over again, but doing something over again in a way that helps us get better at it. We call this purposeful or deliberate practice. This is true not only in sport and music, but also applies to developing our knowledge and skills in any area, including reading, writing and mathematics. The guidance that is published in the Brookmead Practice Journals can be downloaded from the website.
Purposeful practice in reading and writing helps pupils deepen their knowledge of phonics and spelling, build fluency in reading and extend their vocabulary. As pupils become more confident and proficient in their reading, they are in a better position to develop a love of reading and deepen their understanding of the texts they read.
The Brookmead Practice Journal has been devised to help pupils (as well as parents and teachers) keep track of what they are practising and how often. By keeping a record pupils can see how they are improving their knowledge and skills as a result of regular practice at home. This will also build confidence, resilience and their ability to rise to a challenge. It is important for pupils to focus on the area that needs particular attention - the thing they need to get better at, rather than practising what they can already do. The Practice Journal provides guidance for pupils and parents on this. Teachers will also provide guidance on what pupils can do at home to enable them to become more confident in the areas they are finding tricky.