High Crags Primary School
Literacy Policy
September 2013
Rationale
At High Crags we believe that language is fundamental to the overall development of the child and their
access to all aspects of the curriculum. We aim to deliver quality teaching of the basic and higher order
reading, writing speaking and listening skills to enable the children to become successful in literacy.
We follow the Primary Framework for Literacy and other guidance to enable quality learning and teaching to
take place.
The key skills for communication involve speaking and listening, reading and writing. Skills in speaking and
listening include the ability to speak effectively for different audiences, to listen, understand and respond
appropriately to others and to participate effectively in group discussion. Skills in reading and writing include
the ability to read fluently for a range of purposes and audiences, including critical analysis of their own and
others writing.
Aims
At High Crags Primary School we aim to provide a positive, secure and caring environment where:
 Pupils develop the key skills for effective communication
 Pupils regard Literature highly
 Pupils’ self image as learners is high
Speaking & Listening
Foundation Stage
In line with the Literacy Framework, we believe that speaking and listening is fundamental to children’s
development and that confidence in this area is essential to be successful in all areas of literacy. The four
strands to speaking and listening are:
 Speaking;
 Listening and responding;
 Group discussion and interaction
 Drama
These oral skills are taught directly, modelled and sensitively encouraged in whole class and small group
settings. Opportunities across the whole curriculum are planned for and developed. Children play an active
part in presentations, topic talks, group discussions, debates and drama activities. We follow the guidance and
ideas from the Literacy framework and the Talk Across the Curriculum Document. There is progression in the
skills taught and assessment of significant achievements in speaking and listening.
We believe that communication and language with opportunities to explore reading and writing underpins
children’s future learning. Speaking and listening skills are developed through the six areas of learning.
 Personal, Social and Emotional Development
 Communication, Language and Literacy
 Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
 Knowledge and Understanding of the World
 Physical Development
 Creative Development
Key Stage 1
Speaking and listening activities include role play, paired talk, drama and hot seating and talk for writing. We
expect children to:
 Speak with confidence and listen to what others have to say, responding appropriately.
 Use language in imaginative ways and express their ideas and feelings.
Key Stage 2 children are expected to:
 Speak appropriately, adapting what they say and how they say it, according to their audience.
 Respond to others in an appropriate manner.
Please see Speaking and Listening Policy for further clarification.
High Crags Primary School
Reading
We believe in developing a reading ‘culture’ throughout the school by creating welcoming book areas in the
classrooms, a school library and attractive print rich displays. All children have their own individual reading
targets. They are aware of the level they are working at and where they need to go next. Pupils are able to
take home a reading book to read to their parents/carers at least three times a week. Parents are expected to
write a comment or sign their home/school reading diaries regularly. All children are encouraged to read at
least 3 times a week, and children who do so will be displayed in their class. Throughout Key stage 1 & 2 three
comments per week are celebrated in Friday celebration assembly, with the class having the highest
percentage rewarded.
There is a progression of reading skills through school from Foundation to Key stage 2:
 Pupils are introduced to print through; rhymes, songs, stories, role play, puppets
 Pupils are exposed to books with quality texts from a range of different genres
 Pupils learn to read with fluency and understanding using a range of strategies
 They begin to use inference and deduction.
 Pupil’s pleasure in reading is developed.
 Pupils learn to read, with increasing accuracy, a range of challenging and lengthy texts independently
 They are able to reflect on the meaning of texts, developing an ability to analyse and discuss texts with
others
 Pupil’s love of books is fostered and developed.
All reading books have been levelled and colour coded using the “Book Bands” scheme. They range from Level
1 (Pink) to Level 14 (Ruby Red). These are stored in the KS1 and KS2 corridors.
Guided Reading take place across the school from Reception to Year 6, and this may take different forms, in
different classes/key stages.
Phonics
Currently we follow the “Letters and Sounds” phonics scheme, which encapsulates the reading
recommendations led by Jim Rose. Phonics is taught explicitly, in Foundation Stage and KS1 and where
necessary in KS2. From September 2013, Phonics is taught discretely each day for 20 minutes, with children
grouped across the phases.
When children enter Foundation Stage, they are introduced to Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds, there is
progression through the phases with the majority of children completing phase 6 by the end of Key Stage 1.
Phonics sessions continue as necessary in key stage 2, with children receiving regular timetabled spelling or
phonics teaching.
Spelling
In Key Stage 2, The “Support for Spelling Document” is used to teach spelling. Dedicated time is allocated for
teaching and investigating spelling, as well as word work linking to a related text in the main literacy session.
Spelling Bank investigation is used along side individual and whole class spelling logs. Children are encouraged
to practise their spellings through investigation as homework. Word banks along with dictionaries can be used
to support children’s spelling at the point of writing.
Writing
We believe that writing should be a creative/ developmental process both at a functional and imaginative
level. All attempts at writing are valued and we know that all children have potential to become successful
writers. The compositional and transcriptional skills are taught alongside the creative aspects. We recognise
the importance of Talk for writing which is essential to the writing development process.
All children have Writing Booklets/Ladders, with their individual targets. These are completed by both
teacher and child together. Children’s writing is assessed using APP on a half termly basis.
High Crags Primary School
Foundation Stage
Pupils have opportunities to experiment with writing through role-play, mark making areas and more
structured teaching sessions such as shared writing. This is modelled and led by the teacher with the children
watching and contributing ideas. Guided writing takes place on a one to one basis, where the pupil is
encouraged to apply their knowledge and understanding of phonics.
Key Stage 1
In shared writing the teacher will decide where the emphasis may be:
 The generation of ideas
 Grammatical awareness
 Spelling and phonics
 Compositional
 Transcriptional
 Presentational
 Text level skills
Guided writing takes place in small groups with a teaching focus related to individual targets. Progress records
are completed at each writing session in order to inform the writing ladders.
Independent Writing:
After completing a unit in the renewed Literacy Framework, children are given the opportunity to develop
their confidence and practise their writing skills independently.
Key Stage 2
In addition to the above;
 Teachers refer to ‘The Grammar for Writing’ document, in order to fulfil the National Literacy
requirements on the teaching of sentence level objectives
 Pupils are made aware of key grammatical principles and their effects, to increase the range of choices
open to them when they write, such as: the use of complex sentences, the use of main and
subordinate clauses, the use of more powerful verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and the use of
appropriate punctuation
 Pupils recognise how the purpose of a piece of writing and its audience govern the type of text used
and the style in which it is written
 Pupils learn to edit their work, taking on board the principles of Plan, Draft, Revise, Edit, Present and
Evaluate.
 Every week, children do “Ready, Steady, Write” – an independent piece of writing.
Handwriting
Throughout the school we use the Collins Primary Focus Handwriting programme, (Sue Peat) in order to
support children to develop a clear and fluent style of handwriting. Using the pre cursive and cursive styles the
children progress from using the movements and patterns needed to form the letters, through to the
development of a personal style.
In Foundation Stage children are taught to write their name through tracing, copying and writing from
memory. Pencil hold is developed and they are given the opportunity to practise the basic letter patterns. The
correct way of forming letters with joining flicks is modelled by the teacher. Children have adult intervention
to ensure that incorrect formation is not practised.
In Year 1 the teacher begins to model all letters starting on the line and using the lead in approach. Clear
ascenders and descenders are modelled and practised. Some simple joins may be introduced later on in the
year.
When children enter Year 2 they are ready to start to join their letters using cursive script.
High Crags Primary School
The children have a separate handwriting book or sheets from the above programme and there is at least one
session a week dedicated to demonstrating and practising the joins in handwriting. By the end of Year we
expect most children to be producing cursive script.
In KS2 cursive handwriting practise continues. Joins are reinforced using Collins Primary Focus Handwriting
and the children are given the opportunity to develop their own personal style. Good presentation is
emphasised at all times and through all forms of writing.
Planning
 All Medium Term Planning is based on the units in the Primary Framework for Literacy. However, there
will be changes to the curriculum in September 2014. The literacy plans will be revised in the run up to
September 2015.
 Both classes in a year group plan together to ensure coverage of the literacy units.
Each Literacy unit covers a different text type or genre. Planning formats indicate:
The learning intentions and outcomes, the success criteria, the shared learning and teaching, guided
learning, independent learning, the plenary, assessment for learning and next steps,
Assessment
Progress of Reading and Writing is recorded on to trackers each half term.
 Pupil’s written work is assessed using APP.
 Records of written assessments, indicting levels, are kept on each child and passed on to child’s
teacher.
 Guided and Individual Reading Records are kept and appropriate comments are made on pupils
progress
 Reading ages are determined at the end of each academic year-Suffolk Reading Test
 Spelling Tests or Dictation are undertaken on a weekly basis
 Pupils are assessed at the end of each key stage in the National Statutory Key Stage Assessments
 Children are assessed on Letters and Sounds and a record is kept on the tracker.
 Children in Year 1 (and year 2) do the Statutory Phonics test.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Formal assessments across the school are monitored regularly by the Assessment leader to check that
assessment is happening and to record the results for tracking. The Literacy leader monitors this data and
uses it to inform intervention programmes.
The Literacy leaders (KS1 and KS2) and SLT conduct regular observations and walkthroughs to monitor the
teaching of literacy and phonics.
INSET
Literacy has a high profile in the school and inset is arranged for all staff on a regular basis. There is regular
training for the Literacy leader from the authority. All staff have attended moderation workshops and the
literacy leader has regular network meetings.
The Literacy Consultant will be called upon to provide support where necessary.
SEN & Equal Opportunities
All pupils have access to the full curriculum. Individual Learning Plans are in operation for those pupils whose
needs have been identified. This policy aims to promote all pupils’ self esteem.
Gender and Race
The scheme of work provides for equality of access for all pupils.
Resources
Resources for Literacy are available in classrooms. ICT resources are used to enhance the Curriculum.
This Policy has been revised and updated during the Summer term 2013.
High Crags Primary School
Signed……………………………………….(for the Governing Body)
Date…………………
Signed……………………………………….(Headteacher)
Date…………………
Next Review Date: .............................................
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Literacy Policy September 2013