We, at Brixworth Primary School, envisage that every learner who leaves our school will be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and have a solid understanding of grammar in order to reach their full potential. We want all children to acquire a wide vocabulary and to be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We believe that all children should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school.
- Composition – This concept involves writing with purpose, using imaginative description, organising writing appropriately, the use of paragraphs and using sentences correctly. This set of skills links to being a lifelong learner through being resilient when faced with the challenges of composing. Our children are able to be resourceful through problem solving and applying their prior knowledge to their writing. They are continually reflective through the writing process and will edit and adapt to improve. Our learners are reflective when editing their writing and will make adjustments when reading aloud to others. They work collaboratively to ensure that their writing makes sense and is fit for purpose by using peers to help them analyse.
- Transcription – This concept involves presenting their learning neatly, being able to spell and punctuate correctly. By having an awareness of the reader through clear presentation enables our children to be proud and confident about who they are and what makes them a good writer. It enables them to have an awareness of others through having an understanding that their writing needs to be accessible to all.
- Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation – This concept involves developing and using a wide and interesting vocabulary in their writing. By having a good understanding of grammatical structures, our children will be able to make effective grammatical choices to enhance their writing. Our children will know and use punctuation accurately in their writing. This concept links to being a lifelong learner through resourcefulness by using and applying our knowledge to good effect in our writing.
Kenetic Letters is the handwriting scheme we follow. We think it is a fantastic way of learning letter formation because it allows the children to do so in a multisensory way. Children use ‘brave monkey’ and ‘scared monkey’ to help them recognise where to start to form their letters. Alongside this, we teach the children exercises to strengthen their core muscles which results in them being able to stay in the correct sitting position. There is also a song that we learn (to the tune of ‘The Hokey Cokey’) which reminds children about the way to correctly hold their pencil when writing!
Why do we use Kinetic Letters?
Children learn through movement and multisensory experiences.
It is a physical programme which develops concentration and motor skills.
It is a whole school programme that children can enter at any age.
It helps to develop automaticity so that the brain can concentrate on the content of the writing.
Foundation Stage and Key Stage One are taught phonic skills through our school's bespoke phonics scheme. Our scheme promotes a strong and systematic emphasis on the teaching of synthetic phonics to aid the teaching and learning of reading and spelling. The phonetically decodable Phonics Bug Reading scheme is used extensively to teach the children to read in the first two years at school. This scheme continues to be followed until the child shows fluency and a deep understanding of what they have read. They can then choose from a wealth of age appropriate books. All children are expected to take their books home each night to share with their parents/carers.
It is our belief that every child should be able to read for pleasure and to a high standard and with that, should have both reading key concepts embedded in them as a reader.
- Word Reading – This concept involves decoding and fluency, using secure phonic knowledge and skills. Children become globally aware through accessing a wide range of texts across the curriculum in order to develop fluency and accuracy in reading. This links to being a lifelong learner through being resilient when faced with the challenges of decoding. Our children are able to be resourceful by drawing upon a range of decoding strategies and their knowledge of their extensive and rich vocabulary.
- Comprehension – This concept involves understanding the literal and inferred interpretation of texts. Our children will be motivated to read for both learning and pleasure and they will acquire an extensive knowledge through reading a rich and varied range of texts. By doing this, it allows children to become more globally aware through reading texts that enable them to look beyond Brixworth and the UK. This links to children’s spiritual awareness as they are developing their imagination to open a treasure house of wonder and joy for their curious young minds.
Creating a love for reading
We have several book clubs for different year groups which take place during lunch times. The clubs involve teachers reading stories to the children, older children reading with the younger, and children bringing along their own books to read. Our book shelves are replenished often so that we are constantly providing our children with new enriching texts to foster their love of reading. We regularly take recommendations from the children for new books and look out for new releases.
We are extremely lucky to have the local library on the doorstep of our school. Classes within school visit throughout the year. Our own library opened in 2020.