"English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high quality education in English will teach pupils to write and speak fluently so that they communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables pupils to both acquire knowledge and build on what they already know."
National Curriculum 2014
Here at LHS children are introduced to the wonderful world of reading from the outset through stories, rhymes, songs, story sacks and poems. Their learning journey continues with the introduction of the phonics programme and sharing books leading to entry into the School's reading scheme. We work in close partnership with parents throughout the process with children reading both in school and at home on a daily basis. Our intention is that by the time our pupils have completed their primary education with us they will be enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers.
Phonics is pivotal to developing reading and writing skills. Our phonics teaching begins in EYFS and continues throughout KS1 and beyond where intervention is needed. We follow Letters and Sounds, supplemented by Jolly Phonics, Phonics Play, Bug Club & Espresso. Year 1 pupils take the Phonics Check in June each year which is used to track their progress.
Progress and attainment levels for reading have been notably high for the past five years. In 2016 our KS 2 progress measure was in the top 10% nationally.
Teaching of reading
We use a range of strategies to develop children's reading skills. Lessons will include focus on spelling and grammar as well as comprehension. Our organisation of reading activities is specific to the age and ability of the pupils and includes:
Developing the Reading Environment
- Individual reading through the book band graded reading scheme. Older children continue to hone their skills through free reading. Progress is recorded in the pupils' reading diaries which are signed by both parents and teachers. Younger children will also work on key words at home.
- Reading is tracked carefully through the school and we have a new reading test which provides powerful data for the teachers to use to analyse progress and pinpoint interventions where they are needed
- Guided Reading in small groups with an adult using resources from Oxford, Lighthouse, Badger & LCP as well as
- Class discussion including drama and role play
- Class novels, story time and Story Sacks (interactive storytelling)
- Book talk/reviews and recommendations
- Book/genre focus. Shared reading and teaching around high quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction. In many cases this study will lead to a writing project
- Use of multimedia eg short films
- Online games and activities
- Reading across the curriculum. Each class receives a topic library box once per term
- Reading to a range of audiences - peer to peer, staff and parents. Assemblies, plays and Speech Club
- Teacher modelling e.g. class stories/novels
KS1 Parents are invited to an annual Phonics open morning in the Autumn term.
Our fabulous School library was completely refurbished and opened in March 2016. The library was opened by local author, Robin Price. Pupils have their own bar code and are able to visit the library freely to borrow books.
We host an annual Scholastic Book Fair and receive free books from the publisher based on sales. Last year we were able to procure £500 of new stock for our library.
All classrooms have dedicated reading areas which include topic books related to the cross curricular study for that term. We use the LEA lending library to augment our own wide selection of cross curricular reading materials.
The school is frequently complimented on our print rich corridor and classroom displays. In an SIA report 22.9.16 - 'The SIA recorded the amount of writing across the curriculum which was displayed in classrooms and around the school.'
Children enjoy related excursions and visitors in School. Recent examples include a Literacy theme day at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Young Shakespeare (Workshops and attending a performance of the Tempest) and a visit to Sky studios for a day workshop creating news reports and filming them.
Performances. Our most recent performances and workshops have been from Quantum Theatre and PERFORM.
Annual celebration of World Book Day. Each year we join the nation to celebrate the joy of reading with a themed day of book related activites.
The Chesham Arts Festival Speech Section is hosted by us and coordinated by our English leader. Many local schools participate in this popular event.
Children may choose to recite poems, do prose readings and participate in drama & public speaking classes.