At Greenleaf, we believe that Literacy is the foundation for all learning; we want children to love reading and to enjoy speaking and listening, drama and writing. Literacy is taught every day, in mixed ability groups, with an emphasis on reading for pleasure, reading for understanding and writing for a purpose.
Our Approach to Reading
At Greenleaf, we aim to encourage a life-long enjoyment of reading for pleasure. Children and staff are enthusiastic about reading and we hold a variety of book events throughout the year, each of which helps to instil that love of reading. By the time children leave Greenleaf, they are equipped to tackle unfamiliar words and a range of texts. They enjoy talking about books and can recommend books and authors to their peers.
Reading for pleasure is a whole school priority.
We know reading for enjoyment is important for children’s educational success. We do this through a variety of ways:
- Exciting and engaging book corners, which foster a huge love of reading
- Book time - where the class teacher reads a range of genres (poetry, fiction and non- fiction) to the children across the week
- Reading workshops for parents
- Visits to our local library help to ensure that reading is at the heart of our curriculum. (We are proud to have won the Waltham Forest Summer Reading Challenge for the past eight years!)
- Book fairs twice a year- children are timetabled in for browsing sessions
- Participation in Book Week with enrichment events such as visiting authors/storytellers and a dress-up day
Please see our 'Documents' section (at the end of the page) where year group curriculum maps highlight the key texts taught across the year.
The teaching of phonics is of a high priority at Greenleaf, as it provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Our systematic synthetic phonics programme is based on ‘Letters and Sounds’, with a transition over to ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Scheme’ in the Spring term.
- Phonics teaching starts in Reception in week 2 of the Autumn term to ensure they make a strong start
- Phonics is taught daily in Reception and Year 1
- In Y2-Y3, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate
- Children’s phonic ability is assessed every half term and those who need support, are given small group or individual support
- Adults also monitor progression during the phonics sessions and provide catch up for those who need additional reinforcement (later in the day or week)
- We run parent workshops in Reception and Year 1 to support parents with phonics and early reading
- In Y2-Y6 there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions for those children who need it
Reading in KS1
Every child at Greenleaf reads every day. Daily Directed Reading (DDR), which happens in reception and KS1, allows children to enjoy daily independent reading in small groups matched to their independent reading level. These sessions are led by a trained adult. The daily reading sessions allow children to:
- Apply their phonic and sight vocabulary knowledge
- Learn good reading behaviours e.g. turning the pages, reading with their eyes
- Practise reading texts with increased reading fluency across the week. (Fluency is the critical bridge between word recognition and comprehension)
- Read every day for 20 minutes
- Discuss books and develop their book vocabulary
- Reception start DDR in Autumn one, once the children know the phonemes s a t p i n and are beginning to blend them in words.
After Christmas, most Year 2 children move over to Whole Class Reading, which happens every day and focuses on reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Reading in KS2In KS2, all classes take part in 4 sessions of Whole Class Reading per week, with each child reading from their own copy of our whole class text. We actively teach and model reading skills such as retrieving information from texts, inferring characters' motives and feelings and exploring the meaning of vocabulary in context. Children who are not yet reading at age related levels, are also provided with extra support and small group work in order to develop their fluency and understanding. Our Whole Class Reading programme follows our 'VIPERS' approach to questioning and exposes children to a host of books across both fiction and non-fiction. In the past couple of years, we have invested heavily in the diversity of our WCR texts, ensuring every child is provided with the opportunity to read across a range of authors and plots, and from cultures across the globe.
Each classroom prides themselves on their wonderful book corners, each of which houses a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction books. Pupils have a 'soft start' (KS2 only) and come straight into the classroom each morning, between 8.45 and 8.55, giving them the opportunity to start the day with quiet independent reading. For the past few years, we have been using the Accelerated Reader programme to monitor pupils' reading, giving every child the ownership over their own progression and exposure to reading. Children are thoroughly enjoying reading through a wealth of different authors, genres and themes, with the quizzes taken allowing them to see their own progress. This is also monitored and celebrated widely across the school. For example, KS2 pupils are all represented in our interactive display, prizes are awarded to those reading over a million words in a year and recognition is given to those making fantastic progress.
Parents can keep informed of their child's progress in reading by logging onto Home Connect where they can see the quizzes their child has taken and their progress towards meeting their targets (set termly).
This is the link to AR Home Connect: https://ukhosted5.renlearn.co.uk/6701795/HomeConnect/Login.aspx
If you require your log in details to be sent again, please contact your child's teacher.
Our Approach to Writing
Here at Greenleaf, we strive to ensure, by the time our children leave primary school, they have with them the passion, stamina and skillset needed to tackle any writing challenge which befalls them. We are each of us life-long learners and encourage our children to constantly push the boundaries of what we think is possible in writing.
How do we teach writing?
Following a range of strategies, such as Talk for Writing, quality texts, collaborative work and integrated drama (like hot-seating, freeze-frames and conscience alley) we bring writing to life. Our talk for writing and creative approaches are all built on the strong foundation of phonics, spelling, handwriting and grammar. Our teachers are passionate and creative about writing and demonstrate high-quality models for every topic. At the heart of our writing approach, is an emphasis on vocabulary and success criteria; this gives the children the opportunity to be exposed to –and begin to independently use – a host of high-level vocabulary, running alongside the tools for success needed. Children will learn how to create variety and interest in their writing through the range of sentence types taught.
What does a topic look like in writing?
Throughout the year, children are exposed to a wealth of text types from narratives, character profiles, poetry, non-chronological reports, newspaper reports, speech writing and many more (see curriculum maps below) with the aim that the skillset they develop, can be applied to whichever writing challenge they are presented with.
- The process of writing is taught explicitly within each topic. Lessons often begin with an exploration of success criteria and vocabulary, with the children being encouraged to up-level and collaborate to create ones themselves
- Writing consists of the process from idea to plan to draft and then on to edit and publish with each topic resulting in a ‘Big Write’
- Writing is purposeful with the audience in mind from the very start
- Topics often allow children to adapt models, incorporating self-lead ideas and inspiration
- Children are given time to revise their work, to peer edit and to conference with an adult to further extend
- Vocabulary is embedded within every lesson
- A broad range of sentence types, which challenge and extend our learners, are incorporated into every lesson, with teachers constantly referring to success criteria for support. This allows children the ownership as well to constantly adapt and evolve their own ideas
- A range of writing approaches are evident in each topic to allow every learner the chance to succeed
Please see our 'Progression in Writing' document (below) for further information about writing in your child’s year group.
The Letterjoin handwriting scheme is taught through explicit teaching from the Autumn Term in Year 1. Teachers are expected to model this cursive style on the board and in pupil's books. (See 'Progression in Handwriting' document below for further details.)
- Whole School Progression in Writing
- Whole School Progression in Handwriting
- Literacy Curriculum Map - Nursery
- Literacy Curriculum Map - Reception
- Literacy Curriculum Map - Year 1
- Literacy Curriculum Map - Year 2
- Literacy Curriculum Map - Year 3
- Literacy Curriculum Map - Year 4
- Literacy Curriculum Map - Year 5
- Literacy Curriculum Map - Year 6