At Crawford’s CofE Primary School, language underpins our whole approach and
we believe it is at the heart of our curriculum offer. We use language to unlock
reading and children's imagination, to excite in writing, to explore new subjects,
and to release our potential to learn and grow as individuals; it is our fundamental
vehicle for learning.
In Year Reception, every child is assessed and screened for
their early language skills. Where there are gaps identified, children can then begin their journey in
learning by taking part in the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) programme. NELI aims to develop children’s vocabulary, listening, and narrative skills over a 20-week period; in the last 10 weeks, children learn to develop phonological awareness and early letter-sound knowledge as foundations for learning to read.
Building on the NELI programme, we prioritise reading by ensuring phonics forms the bedrock of
early reading. We follow the newly validated 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised' approach.
This is a complete systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme that provides children in
reception and key stage 1 with sufficient support, and structure to become fluent readers. This
route is designed to ensure most children meet or exceed the expected standard in the Year 1
phonics screening check and meet all the national curriculum expectations for word reading
through decoding by the end of key stage 1. We track the progress of phonics using a tracker system.
Children are recorded as secure at a given phase when they are applying the associated phonemes and graphemes in both reading and writing.
To support language comprehension, children (from year reception to year 6)
benefit from a range of strategies, including those focused on vocabulary
development, language structures, and the development of background
knowledge. We focus, primarily, on using the Reciprocal Reading approach to
teach comprehension strategies and procedures that readers use to help them
understand texts. These strategies include but are not limited to, activating prior
knowledge, previewing and making predictions, inferring, evaluating text
structure, generating and answering questions, determining main ideas,
using fix-up strategies, visualising, retelling, and summarising.
The 4 main reading comprehension strategies for Reciprocal Reading are:
We also use this Fluency Rubric to support our learners with improving their reading fluency. These can also be found in the reading journals/logbooks of children in Years 1-6 so that
parents/carers can help their child(ren). At school, children have
their own bookmark, which is a child-spoken version of the rubric.
By using the matrix, it can help to assess a child's current level of
fluency with the book/text they are reading.
At Crawford’s, we strive to make reading a pleasurable thing to
do, a gift we are given. Therefore, we are keen to promote opportunities for everyone to read, any and everywhere as well as anything and everything. Our daily 'Read Aloud Text' (RAT) is an example of how we aim to inspire children; every day, in the afternoon, teachers model reading fluency and foster a love of books by reading an enjoyable story or non-fiction text for pleasure.
To learn more about our bespoke offer and 'Reading Strategy', please click, here.
At Crawford's, we inspire to achieve a curriculum that is adaptive, broad, evidence-based, and responsive to the pupil's needs. We have therefore developed a bespoke curriculum; one that takes into account the school's local context and demographic, interests, and needs of the children, and one that enables the children to make links between the experiences and learning opportunities that they encounter. Where possible and relevant we teach in a cross-curricular way, however, our main curriculum aims are to provide children with a depth of knowledge, language, and a range of skills across all subjects. Our vision is to provide an 'effective' curriculum above all else.
If you wish to find out more about our bespoke curriculum approach, please click on the image below and then each area to go to that specific foci.