English sits at the heart of our curriculum, it is through language, story and text that children learn to form concepts, connect ideas and express themselves. Through literacy, in all its forms, children learn to both make sense of the world and shape their place within it.
Across both writing and reading, we place a heavy emphasis on developing a child's vocabulary. Our school is situated in a culturally rich area and serves a 'global majority.' At Joseph Cash over 30 different languages are spoken and 70% of children speak English as an additional language. As a result of this our primary aim is to ensure that children's understanding of language and use of vocabulary is expanded, giving children the language they need to understand sophisticated texts and express themselves in a wide range of contexts.
Reading at Joseph Cash
English literacy is at the heart of our learning and teaching and essential to every area of the curriculum. Children are taught to read in a variety of ways. Each week children read individually and in groups during guided reading lessons; they are also given regular opportunities to share a book with others. Guided reading focuses on the skills of comprehension and critical appreciation. Teachers read a huge variety of written material regularly with the children, fiction and non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries, poems etc. We believe in the importance of exposing children to classic texts at all ages.
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100 books to read before leaving JCP
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” -Dr Seuss
Reading at Home
At Joseph Cash, we believe that reading enables children to gain insight into the powerful world of imagination. Success in reading has a direct effect on the progress made in all areas of the National Curriculum; therefore reading at our school develops their independence, self-confidence and motivation. We aim to create 'readers for life' children who develop a love of books, who enjoy reading and read for pleasure.
We have a home-school reading system (up to Year 6), which requests that children read for at least ten minutes each day. A home school reading diary is sent with the child's book for parents / careers to make comments in.
Our Parent's learning Zone has lots of 'top tips' and 'how to guides' click the links to find out more!
Parent's Learning Zone
Reading at Home - KS1
Reading at Home - KS2
At Joseph Cash, all children in Key Stage 2 take part in the Accelerated Reader programme which promotes engagement and progress in reading. Each half term, children take a test which establishes their reading age and recommends which level of reading book they should be reading in order to make maximum progress. After completing a book, children take an online quiz to test their comprehension of the book, and if successful, move onto a higher level of reading book.
The children find this approach to reading enjoyable and engaging; - they are able to track their progress, challenge themselves and set their own goals. Achievements are celebrated by earning points, counting the number of words read and celebrating success in assembly with their peers when certificates have been earned.
We place a strong emphasis on phonics (letter sounds) in the early years of learning to read because we believe this lays the foundations for successful reading. At Joseph Cash, we use the 'Read Write Inc.' guidance to teach interactive lessons. Children work in small groups, with a key adult for phonics learning so that each child is provided with the appropriate level of challenge for each attainment group. Systematic Phonics Teaching
RWI Order of Sounds
Parent's Learning Zone
During the summer term in Year 1, children nationwide are tested on their phonic knowledge. This test helps us to identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and may need support in Year 2 to develop reading and writing skills. The test is very low-key and the children are not aware that they are being tested. Parents are informed as to whether their child has achieved the national expectation within the child's end-of-year report.
Additional individual and group tuition in phonics will be given to those children in year 1 and Year 2 who find reading difficult. Year 2 children will be tested again in the summer term.
The Joseph Cash spelling programme uses National Curriculum objectives for each year group alongside Read, Write Inc Units to support teaching and learning.
The school's spelling programme also contains common exception words for each year group which the children need to learn for home learning each week. Every week the children from years 1 to 6 will be sent a list of common exception words to learn. When appropriate, children may also be sent additional home spellings to practice to support their learning.
Our Writing curriculum enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and in all year groups we teach writing through high-quality texts ranging from picture books to Shakespeare and including immersive real-life experiences, such as author visits and school trips. We have recently adapted our writing curriculum to ensure that children are inspired to write from the books they have been reading. Over their time at Joseph Cash, children will have the opportunity to write a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts including recounts, news reports, explanation texts, poems, play and a range of different stories. We use drama, role-play and story telling to engage the imagination of children and ensure that they are motivated to write.
What does Writing look like at Joseph Cash?
All children have the opportunity to participate in an English lesson everyday.
In Early Years, children use the Read, Write Inc phonics programme to learn new sounds, spellings and punctuation, equipping them with the necessary skills to write words and sentences. This is complimented by weekly, 'Hooks for learning' where activities and stories and planned for based on the children's interests. Children have the opportunity to be inspired by a text and daily challenges ensure that children are motivated to make marks linked to these stories and their interests.
In Key Stage One, Children also participate in the Read, Write Inc phonics or spelling programme. This is taught in small focused ability groups which progresses through the programme using its resources and linked texts. In addition, Key Stage One use 'Talk 4 Writing' which explores oral retelling and enables children to develop their vocabulary and structure for writing. Children are encouraged to 'cold write' on a particular skill/text and lessons are carefully planned to enable 'gaps in learning' to be addressed through the unit. Children have the opportunity to learn a text by oral rehearsal, equipping them with the skills to write their own stories or non-fiction texts later on. Children explore the features of a particular text and use their knowledge to plan and edit their writing as well as discussing the feelings and actions of particular characters and their own opinions of the text. The unit is completed by children writing a 'Hot task' to celebrate their progress.
In Key Stage Two, Children's writing is all focused on a particular text each half term. This text is often linked to their creative curriculum theme. Children have the opportunity to read the whole text and different genres are then taught linked to scenes from a text. This enables the children to have a deeper understanding of characters and narratives, as well as exposing them to rich vocabulary. Similar to Key Stage One, children will write a 'cold write' for teachers to understand what the children already know as well as planning lessons to address 'gaps in learning'. Spelling and grammar is taught within shared and guided writes to ensure that children can see the link between SPaG and writing. Children are excited to write and see writing as purposeful,
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Writing across the curriculum
In addition to the writing opportunities as part of the English teaching sequence, there are planned activities within the creative curriculum to encourage children to apply their writing skills within a context that is distance from the point of learning. This provides stimulating and purposeful opportunities to write, whilst revisiting and revising previous skills and learning.
Handwriting starts in Nursery where children begin to make marks and patterns with resources. In Reception and Key Stage one, letter formation is a focus through daily phonics sessions.
In Years two-six, a different handwriting focus is taught at the beginning of each English lesson for the children to practise and apply to their writing. At Joseph Cash, we celebrate this journey from letter formation to joined up writing by reward the children with a 'Pen License' presented to them in assembly.
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