Alfred Street Junior
ALFRED STREET
Junior School

Telephone: 01933 353762

At Alfred Street Junior School, we believe that a quality english curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire our children to develop an appreciation of the varied literary resources available to them and to develop a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately, have an interest in vocabulary and word meanings, and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening so that they can communicate effectively in order to further their learning. 

We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society so that they are not disadvantaged in their future lives.

We base our English curriculum around Talk for Writing which meets our aims as we believe it provides children with more memorable learning experiences and provides opportunities for children to revisit the skills used in the process in other areas of the curriculum; ensuring that skills are built upon.

Reading

As a school, we believe that it is our job to promote a love of reading in our pupils. The intention is that every pupil at Alfred Street Junior School will learn to read through a systematic and comprehensive approach, engage with and enjoy reading across a range of subjects and for a range of purpose and be curious and eager to read in order to build the capacity for life-long learning and preparation for the next steps in education.

Reading is taught within an English lesson (one session per week) and skills sessions (at least twice per week) which develops either a fluency or a comprehension skill. Children are exposed to a range of texts. Children have access to a wide range of ability banded reading books from a range of well-established schemes. ‘Free reader’ books are available to pupils who have completed the reading scheme. Free reading books have been differentiated to meet the needs of younger and older pupils.

Children are encouraged to read their school book daily at home, to enable pupils to receive additional practice of reading skills taught at school. Children have access to the school library at least once per week and have the opportunity to borrow a school library book to read at home, in addition to our reading scheme books. Our website offers a range of resources to help parents support their children’s reading at home.

We have also, improved our library provision by making it an inviting environment where children can select an area to read in: be it on the sofa, in the garden area, in the armchair or even in the tent. Within the library, we promote our 100 Reads Challenge, where we are encouraging our pupils to access a variety of literary gems from our selection to read. These titles are aimed at broadening our pupils’ horizons when it comes to reading, thus stepping away from their much loved authors, to find new and exciting opportunities in reading. The 100 titles highlighted for our upper and lower key stage 2 pupils, which have been bought specifically by the school, ensure they have access to different fiction texts that cover ‘The 5 Plagues of Reading’ by Doug Lemov - these titles may demand more from the reader in terms of archaic language, non-linear time sequences, narrator complexity, plot complexity or be resistant texts where children have to assemble meaning through clues and hints – as well as good quality non-fiction texts.

Our reading book exchange is another way that we encourage our pupils to try something new, especially if they do not have access to a wealth of reading material at home. Displays around the school also demonstrate that we value reading highly and that we recognize the importance of reading as an essential skill that can provide immense enjoyment and life-long learning.

We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. We also provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities within our curriculum to inspire creativity and give memorable experiences that they can draw on both in the short and long-term.

Phonics & Spelling

Phonics intervention is taught four times per week to those pupils who do not have a secure phonic knowledge. Phonics teaching follows the Read, Write, Inc programme and this is taught by teachers who are fully trained to deliver this programme. Key resources include RWI flashcards for speed sounds, red and green words and a wall chart which is placed in all classrooms and intervention rooms so that pupils can refer to them to support their reading (and writing).

In order to improve spelling, we have now bought into the PiXL vocabulary app and Spelling Shed. These provide children with online materials that can be accessed at home and resources for teachers that they can use to address key elements of the spelling curriculum. In addition, we provide children with access to dictionaries on their tables and iPads in every classroom, to help improve spelling accuracy.