At Lucas Vale we believe that a child’s ability to read, write and communicate plays a fundamental role in all aspects of their learning; therefore English is at the heart of all areas of the curriculum.
We also plan for separate literacy lessons to occur every day in our school in line with the expectations of the 2014 National Curriculum.
At Lucas Vale we aim to ensure that every child who walks through our door develops a life-long love of literature and enjoys reading for pleasure. In addition, we aim to challenge children to think critically and understand that being proficient in reading and writing is vital in order to flourish in today’s society.
We aim to promote reading in all areas of our curriculum. We value the importance of books and literature in assisting children to become confident and enthusiastic writers, readers and communicators. We endeavour to provide a wide range of reading material that will appeal to children of all ages and abilities and who all have varying interests. The school has close links with our local libraries which all children regularly visit with their class. As a school, we promote reading and a love of language through whole school and key stage assemblies; parent and child reading sessions; cross year group reading sessions and through celebratory days such as World Book Day and National Poetry Day.
Children at Lucas Vale are encouraged to take books home from our class libraries and read and discuss these books with their parents. During the school week, children undertake a wide range of activities that help them to improve their reading skills. In Year one and Reception, children experience daily phonic lessons and are also given the opportunity to read with an adult individually. In Year 2 and Key stage two, children participate in whole class reading skills lessons three times a week; individual silent reading sessions as well as sharing a text with the whole class daily.
Using stimulating, engaging and language rich texts inspires children to be creative and helps them develop an enjoyment for writing. At Lucas Vale we are constantly updating our curriculum with texts that we believe will instil a passion for writing in our children. Children are given the opportunity to write an extended piece of writing every week that links to the class text or another area of the curriculum they are learning about. Prior to this, the children are immersed in the text through drama and speaking and listening activities as well as being taught vital grammar and punctuation skills that they will need to apply in their final written outcome. Finally they will redraft their work and learn to be expert editors. Children are also given the opportunity to apply any skills they have learned in each term during our Application Focus Weeks which take place at the end of each term.
Spelling is taught discreetly at Lucas Vale using the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc scheme. Spelling rules are taught on a two week cycle. Children are introduced to the rule and then have the opportunity to practise and apply this rule in various different ways over five sessions. At the end of the two weeks children will be tested on words that contain the rule they have been learning.
The teaching of Grammar is embedded in all that we do. Children are taught grammar contextually as well as discreetly at Lucas Vale. Teachers model using correct punctuation at all times when modelling any writing to the children and children are taught to recognise different word classes during both reading and writing sessions.
We promote cursive handwriting from Year 1 onwards at Lucas Vale. The beautiful presentation of children’s work is displayed around the school. We strive for children to have high expectations of themselves and the work they produce. Handwriting is practised daily in Key stage one and at least three times a week at key stage two.