Literacy at Gordonbrock
The development of language and literacy is at the heart of everything we do at Gordonbrock. We want our children to leave primary school as confident and skilled readers, writers and communicators. Emphasis on this starts in Nursery and continues right the way through to Year 6.
A love of reading is encouraged and promoted throughout the school: every day, children are given time to enjoy books on their own or to hear stories. Each classroom has a reading area stocked with a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books, which children can access throughout the day and borrow to take home. There is a real emphasis on the children being exposed to good quality texts from an early age. A love of reading is also fostered in activities and events such as; World Book Day, author visits, parent readers and ‘buddy reading’ where older children read with younger children. Starting in Reception, children read in small, guided groups with an adult, where the focus is on decoding and comprehension. We teach children to read using the DfE’s Letters and Sounds phonics programme and children receive short, fun daily sessions to develop their phonic knowledge.
Writing is taught through Talk for Writing: an approach which develops speaking, listening, vocabulary and grammar as well as children’s creative writing skills. It has had a huge impact on our children’s literacy skills; their ability to be successful storytellers and the quality of their writing is astounding because of it. The method focuses on children learning quality texts off by heart so that rich language and structure is embedded and built upon in every year group. A range of fiction and non-fiction genres are taught throughout the year and writing toolkits are established so that children are aware of the features of different text types.
Phonics plays a huge role in the teaching of spelling in KS1. In KS2 we follow Babcock's 'No Nonsense' spelling scheme. Children are taught to spell using a range of strategies and receive at least three, short taught sessions a week.
A consistently high standard of handwriting and presentation is promoted across the whole school which all children and staff recognise, understand and follow. We teach cursive script from Nursery to Year 6. This is also taught in short sessions 2 – 3 times a week using a range of techniques and writing tools. Once children have mastered the joins, handwriting is linked to spellings.