Curriculum & Assessment
The development of language and literacy is at the heart of everything we do at Stillness Juniors. We want our children to leave primary school as confident and skilled readers, writers, listeners and communicators. This starts in the infants and continues right the way through to Y6.
A love of reading is encouraged and promoted throughout the school. All pupils have access to the school library where they can read and borrow a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Every lunchtime, children are encouraged to visit the school library where they can enjoy books on their own, hear stories and participate in activities organised by the school librarian. There is a real emphasis on the children being exposed to good quality texts. A love of reading is also fostered in activities and events such as World Book Day, Harry Potter evening, the annual reading festival, author visits, the reading challenge and ‘buddy reading’ where older children read with younger children.
Children at Stillness learn to read through whole class daily guided reading lessons which encompass all children’s needs and abilities. During these lessons children discuss the text they are reading, practise inference and deduction skills and develop strategies for comprehension. Reading skills are not taught in these lessons only, they are woven in all subjects of the curriculum as we believe that no opportunity for strengthening the breadth and depths of children’s vocabulary should be lost.
Writing is taught through Talk for Writing: an approach which develops speaking, listening, vocabulary and grammar as well as children’s creative writing skills. It is beginning to have a huge impact on our children’s literacy skills; their ability to be successful storytellers and the quality of their writing is developing because of it. The method focuses on children learning quality texts off by heart so that rich language and structure is embedded and built upon in every year group. A range of fiction and non-fiction genres are taught throughout the year and writing toolkits are established so that children are aware of the features of different text types.
In a typical literacy lesson at Stillness you will see:
- Actions to the text
- Drama activities
- Talking with partners
- Editing work on whiteboards
- Teacher modelling.
Every week we celebrate the children’s writing achievements in a whole school assembly. All children are able to earn a certificate by completing a fantastic piece of writing, achieving their English targets or by having an enthusiastic attitude towards writing. At Stillness we use the Rising Stars spelling scheme throughout the school and children are taught to spell through a range of games, whiteboard activities and talk partners.
Every week the children are taught a new spelling rule and then practise applying this to a range of words. The spelling rules taught in these lessons will also link to the weekly spellings given as homework and every Friday a spelling test is completed. Additionally, children are encouraged in every lesson to use the correct spelling through classroom displays, key vocabulary lists, dictionaries and discussions with their teacher. We have a handwriting policy which is based on the cursive script. The children in year three practise using the correct joins and once mastered will earn their pen license.
Autumn Term Spellings (1):
Whole School Reading Challenge: