At Priors Hall ALC we strongly believe that all our pupils deserve the highest quality education in English. Through ‘quality first’ teaching, our children will learn to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, they will understand and evaluate the views of others.
We encourage a love of reading in particular, as it will give our pupils the chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We ensure we have a daily ‘protected’ story time for the children to listen to books being read by an adult. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. By exposing children to a range of high quality texts, we aim to increase and improve their vocabulary beyond that which they hear or use in everyday speech. In addition to this, every year group is introduced to a new ‘Word of the Week’, where the children develop a deep understanding of the word, which contributes to a rich bank of vocabulary.
All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society. Our pupils therefore, will learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently; they will be prepared for a future in which they have all the tools to succeed.
Writing at Priors Hall ALC
As a school we have adopted "The Write Stuff" by Jane Considine to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing. "The Write Stuff" follows a method called "Sentence Stacking" which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together chronologically and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken in to three chunks:
- Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
- Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
- Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the model.
Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ which requires them to draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.
"The Write Stuff" uses three essential components to support children in becoming great writers
The three zones of the writing rainbow:-
- The FANTASTICs which are an acronym that summarise the ideas of writing.
- The GRAMMARISTICs is a classroom tool that enables the teacher to drive key grammar messages.
- The BOOMTASTICs which helps children capture ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual.
Reading at Priors Hall ALC
As a school we have adopted ‘Book Talk’ by Jane Considine. It is a systematic way to teach reading strategies across the whole school. It is underpinned by certain guiding principles:
- Pupils are organised into reading attainment groups and share a set of the ‘same’ books pitched at their level with appropriate challenge.
- All pupils in the classroom will be accessing narrative, non-fiction or poetry at the same time.
- Pupils will receive a 5x 30 minute ‘Book Talk’ and 5x 30 minute comprehension sessions over a two week cycle
- The session is layered with open-ended whole class questions to tackle the three layers of the reading rainbow.
- Book Talk is structured with three reasons to read. The reasons to read are taken from ‘The Reading Rainbow’. One reason is taken from the top layer of the rainbow under FANTASTIC. The second reason is taken from the STYLISTIC layer. The third reason is taken from the ANALYTICS layer. These are introduced to the pupils in chunks and it is through these generic lenses they think and discuss their reading material.
- FANTASTIC – Ideas and Vocabulary
- STYLISTIC – Understanding and Comprehension
- ANALYTICS – Interpretation and Analysis
Handwriting at Priors Hall ALC
Handwriting is a physical activity that involves movement and recognition skills that need to be learnt and become part of the automatic cognitive skill set of the pupil. To achieve this, Priors Hall ALC has chosen the Kinetic Letters handwriting programme
The Kinetic Letters programme has four threads:
- Making bodies stronger
- Holding the pencil (for speed, comfort and legibility)
- Learning the letters
- Flow and fluency
Through these threads, the outcomes we strive to ensure all our pupils achieve are
- Having fluent, legible and speedy handwriting that can be performed automatically so that the attention of the brain is on the content of the writing
- Having the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation
- Having competence in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition
- Writing clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- Having a comfortable and efficient pencil hold and working position