At the Independent Jewish Day School we believe that Literacy is a fundamental life skill. All children have the right to learn how to speak, listen, write and read for a wide range of purposes, and do so through a contextualised curriculum where these skills are developed in a fun and interesting way. We believe that a love for teaching Literacy results in a love for learning Literacy, and so teach the skills to our children in a way that completely immerses them in their learning, bringing it to life.
Aims and Objectives
Speaking and Listening:
- To communicate effectively and creatively with the world at large, through spoken language
- To listen to other children’s points and ideas, and respond appropriately
- To speak clearly and audibly in ways which take account of their listeners
- To communicate effectively and creatively with the world at large, through written language
- To be able to write in a range of styles and forms, showing awareness of audience and purpose
- To develop a knowledge of the main features of the different styles and forms of writing
- To be interested in words and their meanings, and develop a rich vocabulary in both spoken and written form
- To develop creativity, imagination and inventiveness
- To help children enjoy writing and to recognise its value
- To use writing skills as an integral part of learning throughout the curriculum
- To use grammar and punctuation accurately
- To be competent spellers and understand spelling rules and conventions
- Produce effective, well presented written work
- To increase the children’s ability to use planning, editing and drafting to improve their work.
- To develop confident, independent readers through an appropriate focus on word, sentence and text – level knowledge
- To develop children’s passion for reading for enjoyment
- To explore a range of texts and authors so that children can confidently select texts to read for pleasure
- To use reading skills as an integral part of learning throughout the curriculum
- To read and respond to a variety of texts whilst gaining an increased level of fluency, accuracy, independence and understanding
- To engage with texts as a class, read aloud by the class teacher, and respond via a range of activities
- To develop children’s curiosity and interest by setting up stimulating, comfortable and well resourced library areas in classrooms
- To explore authorial technique
Teaching and Learning
Although the main language spoken in this class is Hebrew, children still engage in Literacy activities and games that help to develop their language skills and knowledge of text. Children are able to select the activities they wish to engage in freely. However, on a Tuesday and Thursday, the children are exposed to English phonics learning, where they learn the sounds of letters, the actions to go with the sounds and songs to go with the sounds. The nursery teacher is responsible for ensuring that one of the free choice activities reinforces the sounds explored that week in the phonics session.
In KS1 we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our Literacy lessons. Our principle aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. We do this in two ways: either through daily lessons or through rotational activities, which alternate on a week to week basis. Through these approaches, children may experience writing, reading, grammar and punctuation or spelling/phonics activities. Literacy is not limited to these sessions and often children are able to apply these skills in other curricular areas, in other contexts.
In a week, there are five allocated Literacy slots on each class’s timetable. If the KS1 classes are not doing rotational activates, these lessons should include:
- Two writing lessons
- One grammar and punctuation lesson
- One reading lesson
- One active spelling/explicit phonics session
If the KS1 classes are doing rotational activities, each activity must focus on one of the skills outlined above.
Every lesson, rotation or not, should begin with a warm up game, which reinforces grammar and punctuation or phonics, so that children are exposed to these skills daily.
Teachers should do phonic rehearsal with the children every day for 15-20 minutes.
In KS2 we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our Literacy lessons. Our principle aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. We do this through a daily lesson which children may experience a writing, reading, grammar and punctuation or spelling session. Literacy is not limited to these daily lessons and often children are able to apply these skills in other curricular areas, in other contexts.
In a week, there are five allocated Literacy slots on each class’s timetable. These lessons should include:
- Two writing lessons
- One grammar and punctuation lesson
- One reading lesson
- One active spelling session
Every lesson should begin with a warm up game, which reinforces grammar and punctuation or spelling rules, so that children are exposed to these skills daily.
- The Jolly Phonics scheme is used for the teaching of phonics in nursery, reception and KS1. Teachers may use activities in the Units of Sound document, or from other sources, to compliment the teaching of phonics.
- The Support for Spelling document should be used to inform spelling lessons in KS2.
Grammar and Punctuation:
- KS1 teachers should follow the grammar and punctuation sequence as set out in the Jolly Grammar handbooks, but should not use the worksheets that accompany the lessons. Teachers should instead make learning fun and active.
- The Grammar for Writing handbook should be used to inform grammar and punctuation lessons in KS2.
- Teachers should cover a range of writing styles and forms, using the table at the back of the Grammar for Writing document to ensure they are teaching the main features of those forms.
- Teachers should use whatever resources they see fit to support the teaching of writing, such as: movie clips, picture stimulus, sound clips, drama, artefacts etc.
- From nursery to KS2, all teachers to use the texts outlined in the Power of Reading to develop reading for enjoyment, understanding and comprehension
- Reception and KS1 to use Jolly Phonics to teach reading strategies and decoding
- Reception and KS1 to use ORT scheme as a home school reading link, with two books being sent home each week only
- KS2 to use ORT as a home school reading link
Literacy is a core subject in the National Curriculum. Literacy planning is in three phases:
- Long term planning (yearly)
- Medium planning (termly)
- Weekly planning
All planning templates can be found on the staff shared area in the Literacy folder. Examples of each phase of planning can be found there.
Long term planning
This planning outlines the aspects of Literacy a teacher plans to cover over the year. On this planning, teachers outline the following:
- The topics being covered
- The Power of Reading texts to be used
- The genres/styles of writing to be covered
- The units of Grammar for Writing to be covered
- The spelling rules to be covered
- Where the game MYST will be used in the year
Medium term planning
This planning outlines the aspects of Literacy a teacher plans to cover in a term, in more detail. On this planning, teachers outline the following:
- Genres/styles of writing to be covered
- The key aspects of learning for that genre/style
- Grammar for Writing units to be covered, with a breakdown of the aspects that will be taught
- Power of Reading texts to be used, with a list of Power of Reading activities to be used
This planning outlines the aspects of Literacy a teacher plans to cover in a week, on a day to day basis, and is much more detailed. On this planning, teachers outline the following:
- The learning objective for the lesson
- Main teaching – the steps they take in order to teach the objective
- Key questions during the main teaching, to support lower ability learners and extend higher ability
- Activities which link to the learning objective, and that are differentiated for support, core and extended groups of learners
- Fun and engaging warm up and plenary activities
- Who the SEN children are and what support they are getting during the lesson
- Who the teaching assistant is supporting during the lesson, as well as a list of key questions to help guide them with supporting children
- A list of resources being used in the lesson
Literacy in Other Curricular Areas
Literacy contributes significantly to the teaching of Numeracy. Children develop their understanding of number, pattern, shape and space by talking about these areas of their work in class. Teachers must ensure that the key vocabulary for each Numeracy lesson is displayed and discussed so that children can access the lesson and the activities which follow.
There are many opportunities to develop Literacy skills across the curriculum. Reading, investigating, writing and talking about topic work develops children’s skills in Literacy in a variety of ways.
Literacy and Inclusion
At our school we teach Literacy to all children, whatever their ability and individual needs. Literacy forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our Literacy teaching, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We strive hard to meet the needs of those pupils with special education needs, those with disabilities, those with special gifts and talents, and those learning English as an additional language, and we take all reasonable steps to achieve this. For further details, please see S.E.N policy.
It is the teacher’s responsibility to take into consideration classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching style and differentiation when supporting the children listed above, so that we can take some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively.
Children with special education needs have specific targets set in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs). Planning will ensure that lessons are differentiated according to their learning need to ensure that these targets are met.
Children who are particularly able (who may be on our Gifted and Talented register) are given opportunities to extend their learning; teachers differentiate to include ‘extension’ activities.
Teachers provide support for these groups by:
- Using texts children can easily read and understand
- Using visual aids
- Alternative communication, such as signs and symbols
- Word banks
- Hebrew to English dictionaries
- One to one provision
- Post it notes to chunk learning.
Assessment and Recording
Teachers assess children’s work in three phases: short term, medium term and long term.
Short Term Assessment
The short term assessments that teachers make as part of every lesson help them to adjust their daily plans. They match these short term assessments very closely to the learning objectives. Teachers use the ‘tick system’ to highlight a child’s success in achieving the learning outcome, as well as using the ‘2 stars and a wish’ methods. Please see the Marking Policy for more details.
Medium Term Assessment
Teachers measure achievement against the APP documents for writing and reading. All classes complete a termly piece of writing to be assessed using the APP level descriptors.
Teachers must use this and their teacher assessment to form an overall level. The findings are used to inform planning and target setting.
Long Term Assessment
Test based. Assessment Coordinator is responsible for this phase of assessment. Teachers give their assessment judgements to get an over all level for each child. The next teacher then uses these long term assessments as the planning basis for the new school year.
All children from reception to Y6 should be set targets regularly to help them progress in this area of the curriculum.
Targets should be SMART:
Targets should be set using the ‘2 stars and a wish’ method’. Teachers should outline two things a child has done well in their work, and one thing (a wish) to do in the next piece of work to help them improve.
Please see the Marking Policy
Role of Literacy Subject Leader
The Literacy Subject Leader is Holli Hunter. She is responsible for improving the standards of teaching and learning in Literacy through:
- Monitoring planning and children’s work
- Lesson observations, both informal and formal
- Taking the lead in policy development
- Purchasing and organising resources
- Keeping up to date with recent Literacy developments
- Supporting teachers with the teaching/planning of Literacy
- INSETs and staff training
- Literacy development planning
Monitoring and Review
Monitoring of subjects is undertaken on a yearly basis according to the School’s Development Plan (SDP). Please refer to the current SDP for the current cycle.
We are aware of the need to regularly review our policies to take account of new initiatives, changes in the curriculum or development in technology.
Rabbi J. Ebrahimoff