At Hensall, we understand that reading is a key life skill. By the time they leave Hensall, children will be able to access texts confidently to discover what they need to know about the world and also enjoy regularly reading for pleasure. We put books at the heart of our writing approach too, so that children have an effective model to guide them. These books are carefully selected so that they not only showcase good quality children's literature but also contain themes which help to teach children about our core school values.
The intent behind our approach to reading is to:
Reading is implemented with a cross-curricular approach. Children understand where to go to find out more about a topic and are able to recommend a wide range of books to their peers. They understand that success in maths may depend on them reading and considering the question and context carefully. Through our reading and poetry spines, children explore a range of classic and contemporary children's literature and enjoy discussing life from their own, and others' points of view. We also use a range of quality books to teach, structure and inspire our young writers. Through study of these texts, children understand the essential links between reading and writing and how a range of grammatical structures can engage readers.
Reading is taught daily in a variety of comprehension activities. This might include:
Whichever activity the children are engaged in, we aim to teach essential skills through a 'reciprocal reading' approach. Reading lessons include a focus on the following skills
Teachers regularly use drama techniques to engage children with the text, allowing them to explore themes, situations, setting and characters.
In addition to these lessons Hensall readers:
In order to encourage children to practise reading at home and to read for pleasure we operate a highly successful reading challenge. Children receive a stamp every time they read at home and can work towards certificates, a badge and even a reading trophy.
The impact of our approach is that children are enthusiastic readers who delight in discussing books and recommending them to their friends. They use books as a magic carpet, taking them on journeys whenever they need to escape or explore. They understand that reading is the essential key which will help them stay safe and make sense of the world.
The intent behind our approach to writing is to:
When implementing our writing approach, teachers select a core text in which children are immersed for a half term. The staff then arrange experiences, visitors and trips which allow children to explore the themes and context of the book, developing the confidence to write with authority and enthusiasm.
In class, teachers model daily so that children understand the characteristics of different genres and how to structure their sentences effectively. Grammar is taught in context and revisited regularly across the school to ensure children have mastered the skills. Children are introduced to increasingly complex concepts as they progress through the year groups. Every writing lesson is keenly focused on improving and widening children's vocabulary, enabling them to make the right word choice at the right time.
Displays, vocabulary boards and word charts support children as they write. Time is given to help children plan, often using storyboards to help them structure pieces. After writing, children are given time to proofread their own work, identifying errors and editing before they consider their work to be 'finished'!
Spelling is taught discreetly in a daily session and spelling rules and exceptions are woven through the writing lessons so that children learn to apply what they have learnt in context.
The impact of our approach is that children see themselves as writers who can confidently and competently communicate with others. They also recognise that writing is an essential tool for organising their own thoughts and expressing their unique self in society.