Kinetic 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
Your children might come home talking about these positions…
Foundation Stage and Key Stage One are taught phonic skills through the use of Letters and Sounds. This initiative 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.
The Teaching of Reading
In KS2 we encourage further thinking by often drawing the children back to the text to find evidence to support what they think. Children are encouraged to ‘dig deeper’ which we achieve by using PEE (Point, Evidence, Explain).
The comprehensions domains are taught within English lessons. When a Talk for Writing unit is not being undertaken, the children study a text.
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.
5 star books
Across the school, we have a collection of quality reading books taken from Pie Corbett’s Literature Spine and other recommended book lists. These books have 5 stars stuck on the spine which helps to guide children when choosing their own reading book. The different coloured stars represent the year group for which that book is appropriate for (from year 2 onwards).
Book of the Month
Keep your eyes peeled for our ‘Book of the Month’ posters around school. We are hoping this will give parents an idea of which books to buy for their children. The books may be linked to your child’s learning or they will be taken from recommended lists for their age group.
There will be a different poster for each phase within our school: Foundation Stage, Year 1/2, Year 3/4 and Year 5/6.
We are extremely lucky to have the local library on the doorstep of our school. Classes within school visit throughout the year.
EXCITING NEWS: We are currently in the process of designing our own library which we hope will be available to our children in the 2019/20 academic year!
Talk for Writing is powerful because children learn to recite texts in a fun and meaningful way. This is achieved through the imitation of stories using pictures and actions. Children work on a particular story plot each unit, e.g. a warning tale like Little Red Riding Hood where the main character is warned not to do something. The children will also study a particular skill, e.g. how to write a great setting. The children will read lots of stories that have the same plot as their focus so that they get a really good feel for what their story needs to include and how to write it well. We also do a great deal of work around vocabulary and grammar, incorporating this in a fun way through games such as ‘Call my bluff’.
Each unit of work begins with a ‘cold task’. This is a piece of independent writing which allows your child’s teacher to assess previous understanding and knowledge. A ‘hot task’ is then completed at the end of a unit to show the progress that has taken place.
What the children say about Talk for Writing:
“You can be creative.”
“I think it has made an incredible difference for the children in my class. It has brought writing alive.”“It is so flexible: the children who struggle more with writing are able to use the model text closely and focus on their own learning objectives.”
World Book Day 2019