Our aim at Castle Hill is to develop in all children:
- High expectations – of themselves and each other. Our aim is for the children to to confidently create high quality work that they are proud of
- Independence – to use their literacy skills confidently across the curriculum
- Resilience – to edit and improve their work, with persistence and resilience
- Innovate – to use the skills learnt in writing to innovate, invent and create
- Enjoyment, and a love a writing and creating
- To develop and create a language rich environment that promotes a love of reading and writing
- To develop an interest in and love of books and literature that will support their learning across the curriculum and will remain long after children have left primary school
- To use books as a stimulus for talk and play
- To teach the craft and technique of writing; to develop the ability to identity ‘writer tools’ and to know how to ‘magpie’ those tools in their own writing
- To teach and embed the basics – spelling, handwriting, grammar and punctuation
- To develop in children the confidence to express themselves in writing – to know how to ‘paint pictures’ for readers.
Talk for Writing
We are a Talk for Writing school . Developed by Pie Corbett, the approach encourages children to internalise a text by learning and engaging with it. It encourages the children to imitate, innovate and independently apply.
The 3 stage writing process.
Stage 1 – Imitation Stage
Once the children are ‘hooked’ into a subject – perhaps a ‘discovery’ of dinosaur remains or a ‘visit’ from a fictional character – they will spent time learning an exemplar model, using hand actions, physical movements, and text mapping to recall a text. The will ‘enter’ the text during role role play and drama, before looking at the structure of the text and the ‘key ingredients’ and ‘tools’ a writer has used
Stage 2 – Innovation stage
Now the text is deeply embedded the children will innovate their own version.
Stage 3 – Independent application stage
The children will now have the confidence, knowledge and skills to write independently. They will edit and evaluate, publish and celebrate their efforts and achievements
Grammar and punctuation is practised through the daily use of grammar songs and games, embedding knowledge with written practice and application in creative writing. Our aim is for grammar to liberate children’s creativity, and enhance fluency.
Our mission is to give every child the power to become a Resilient Reader. We aim to create an environment where reading has a central role and is of a high priority. Reading is taught across all classes and stages using ‘Resilient Reader’. This ensures a consistent approach to the teaching of reading across the whole school. All children are introduced to ‘REsilient Reader’, a fictional superhero, who reassures the children that they, like he, can also hold the power of reading in their hands. Children in EYFS are encouraged to use their ‘left hand’ to get the gist of a story’. Left hand skills help the children to summarise and understand the gist of what they are reading. They use their left hand to find the who, what, where, when and why of the text. KS1 and KS2 children first use their left hand understand what is happening in the text. Once they have they gist and can summarise securely, they use their right hand to dig deeper and to ‘scan’ the text. Using the ‘power’ in their right hands, the children focus on finding answers, explaining and using inference, predicting what might happen next and comparing elements of the text.
Whole class reading sessions continue throughout the school to ensure that children develop into fluent and competent readers. As well as developing comprehension skills, we aim to ensure that children develop a critical appreciation of the work of authors and poets. Children will have had access to a wide range of carefully structured texts, adverts, short video clips and photographs.
As part of our language rich environment, where reading has a central role, the afternoons across the whole school is story time, where children will sit and listen to an age appropriate story. These stories are selected so that throughout their time at Castle Hill, the children will have read and listened to a broad and balanced selection of stories.
We are lucky enough to have a wide and well stocked library. All year groups have a timetabled library session each week, where they can enjoy and choose books. Each classroom has its own book corner with a variety of fiction and non-fictions books for children to enjoy and choose from.
Children will have a home reading book, and they are expected to return this daily. The expectation is that they will read at least 3 times a week, and there is opportunity for both Teacher and Parents to comment in reading records. With their efforts in reading at home, and in class the children will have the opportunity to be the resilient reader of the week.