Reading has a very high profile at Wootton Bassett Infants and book corners are well-resourced, up to date, stimulating, and contain a range of text types. Books are displayed in classrooms to engage children and support topic work.
All classes plan using a topic -based approach which is either based on or supported by key texts. The key texts are displayed in classrooms so that links and comparisons can be made. Most of the written work produced by the children is directly related to and supported by the texts that have been read. Our genre map ensures that there is a balance between fiction, non- fiction and poetry.
The children read individually to an adult in school every week. Children who are not supported in their reading at home are identified as priority readers who will read as often as possible during the week. All children choose books with adult support from the decodable books and from coloured banded books. Their parents receive a bookmark of questions that relate to that book band. The children also take a book from the book corner to encourage reading for pleasure. The children also take part in small group guided reading sessions, shared reading and whole class guided reading. Texts are chosen based on the phonics phase the children are on. Guided reading sessions are planned to develop accurate decoding, fluency and comprehension with specific reading tasks set for the children who are working independently during these sessions. Purple Mash is used to reinforce specific reading skills, while book reviews, grammar, vocabulary and comprehension activities are completed independently during guided reading sessions. Shared reading is explored through big books and Vipers and Year 2 introduce whole class guided reading in Term 2.
Two key reading initiatives have been introduced recently:
We also deliver a reading workshop annually to inform parents about how we teach reading; the importance of reading and the end of KS1 expectation for reading. These are well attended and have generated positive feedback.
All teachers read to their classes every day. Books are chosen by teachers and children and reflect new books, classics, non -fiction and poetry. We enjoy a Book Week in March (to celebrate World Book Day) where the children visit the book shop and receive a World Book Day book. They also visit the local library and are encouraged to take part in a book swap in our own school library. Trips and events in school are often book related such as visiting theatre groups, the Year 2 trip to the Watermill Theatre and the Roald Dahl Museum and the Christmas play- 2019 saw all Key Stage 1 children take part in The Snow Queen while all EYFS children told the story of the Nativity.
The school library is timetabled, and groups use it regularly. The EYFS and Year 2 children share books weekly in the library.
Now some restrictions have been removed following the Covid-19 pandemic, new parents will invited to bring their children to pre-school reading sessions.
A reading workshop was held for Parents in October. If you were unable to attend, the presentation can be viewed here - Reading Presentation for Parents
Writing is at the heart of all we do at Wootton Bassett Infants’ School. We teach writing through our creative and cross-curricular approach, which is topic based. English lessons are taught using high quality books and writing is taught in response to these texts. Our genre map ensures that there is a balance between fiction, non-fiction and poetry and therefore our writing in response to these genres is also balanced and the children write in many different forms.
Classroom displays celebrate the children’s writing and a whole school writing display in our office building which shows how the children progress though each year group.
The children start to write from the very beginning in our Reception classes. Opportunities to write and embed learning is provided through continuous provision. The children are taught to write using a phonetic approach and the children begin to write straight away through emergent writing. The children refer to this as their “special writing”. Handwriting and letter formation is taught alongside phonics and the phonics teaching follows the Letters and Sounds document and the Jolly Phonics scheme. The children develop their independence when writing and develop their ability to spell words and write in sentences using punctuation. A spelling and punctuation English lesson is taught once a week and the skills learnt are reinforced when writing. The children are also writing during other lessons such as Science or History and Geography. The children have a separate Handwriting lesson which teaches joined writing in the cursive style using our Letter Join scheme. Into Year 2 the children begin to develop their ability to use spelling patterns in their writing and follow the school progression and Phase 6 Phonics scheme. The children continue to follow the Letter Join scheme for handwriting, and Grammar, punctuation and spelling is taught and embedded during all English sessions.
All classrooms have consistent resources to support the children’s writing. These range from letter strips in Reception to finger spacers and dictionary cards in Year 1. In Year 2 the children have common exception word lists and all classes display our Letter Join cursive handwriting style.
Speaking Listening and Vocabulary
At Wootton Bassett Infants’ our children learn in a very language rich environment. Children are encouraged to speak clearly and in an audible voice and they are exposed to and encouraged to use a wide and varied vocabulary. Books are often chosen as the centre of our topics so that the children are exposed to a creative and often challenging use of words for their age. Adults provide good role models of spoken language and listening skills. Children are taught how to listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers. They learn how to maintain attention and participate in conversations. They also learn how to ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge. Children have structured opportunities to build their vocabulary and learn to speak audibly and fluently. They are also encouraged to answer and speak in complete sentences justifying their answer, eg, “I think ….. because …..”. They learn how to articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.