My name is Miss Heath and I am the leader of English at Laycock Primary School.
I love English because I am a bookworm and always have been! In fact, some of my best memories of primary school are of the books that were read to me by my teachers: ESIO TROT and Stig of the Dump were my favourites. I want every pupil in our school to discover books and stories that they love. English is a subject that gives you the chance to use your imagination, to find your voice and to tell your own stories. Who knows, maybe the next J K Rowling, or David Walliams is a pupil here at Laycock.
Seeing your amazing work always makes my day so if you are feeling proud of your English, ask your teacher if you can show it to me.
The English curriculum at Laycock Primary will transform children’s lives through the power of the spoken and the written word. We will ensure that pupils leave our school with the language, the skills and the passion to communicate with confidence and to achieve their goals. Whatever their individual starting points, learners will be guided to make excellent progress in English and to maximise their potential. Children who are deaf will follow Laycock’s creative curriculum for English and will be taught using strategies and learning materials that match their particular needs.
Teachers at Laycock plan exciting reading and writing units that challenge and enthuse our learners. The technical aspects of the subject are delivered with creativity and energy so that children always know what they are learning in English and why it is important. We work with partners in the local community and beyond to provide access to a wide variety of texts and experiences; these are used to stimulate the imagination and inspire writing outcomes. Reading material in our school is carefully chosen to reflect realities in terms of gender, ethnic representation and diversity.
Children at Laycock will develop a love for reading that will broaden their horizons and equip them with the tools to access all other curriculum areas. Pupils will learn to write for real audiences and purposes through engaging, cross-curricular writing opportunities. Our children will visit the theatre; they will meet authors and storytellers; they will take part in national events and competitions. During their time at the school, pupils will have many opportunities to perform and publish in their own right. As they mature, Laycock learners will discuss, debate and write on topics and themes that are relevant to their lives. This will give them the knowledge and the voice to build bright futures.
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” Dr Zeus
Reading is at the heart of our creative curriculum and many of our lessons, from English to Science, to PSHE, begin with a story. The books we read include a wide and diverse range of characters from different backgrounds and cultures. We use books to promote our Laycock values of Respect, Creativity, Aspiration, Friendship, Curiosity and Resilience, helping our children to become life-long readers and learners.
Here at Laycock, children in Early Years and Key Stage One learn to read through their daily Read Write Inc Phonics lesson. Please see our separate phonics page for more information: https://laycock.islington.sch.uk/learning/curriculum/phonics-2/
Our developing readers also progress through the nationally recognised system of banded books which gives them the opportunity to read fiction and non-fiction from a number of different publishers. These include: The Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat, Project X, Rigby Star and Pearson Story Worlds.
The books children read will vary in a number of different ways, including layout, size, vocabulary and length to give the children a rich diet of literature. The difference between each colour band is very gradual, so that children do not experience difficulty moving up through the bands.
This chart shows which book bands children (working at the expected level) will be reading in each year group. Please remember, however, that children learn in different ways and make progress at different times. It is possible that some Year 2 children will be reading red books and some Reception children reading green books. As a rough guide, children are expected to reach the highest level (lime) by the end of KS1. Children should be able to read at least 90% of the words on the page to be within the book band. However, sometimes a teacher might keep the child on the book band level for longer to ensure the children comprehends what they are reading. This will help them to remain motivated to read.
As well as daily reading in phonics lessons, children in Early Years and Key Stage One read at least once a week to an adult in school and are encouraged to read regularly to an adult at home too.
From the end of year 2, Children at Laycock will have a daily reading lesson focused on a book or other text that they are reading as a class. This is a whole class guided reading lesson and tasks are carefully designed to develop children’s key comprehension skills. These include lessons on vocabulary, inference, prediction, explaining, retrieving information and sequencing/summarising. To support learning in these areas, Laycock uses Reading VIPERS. Here are some question stems that you could use when reading with you child at home:
As a school we are subscribed to Oxford Reading Buddy https://www.oxfordreadingbuddy.com/uk, an online platform where children can read books and take quizzes at their level. Teachers can monitor their pupils’ levels of engagement and progress. Please talk to your child’s teacher to find out their log on details as this is an excellent way for children to enjoy reading at home.
Islington Education Library Service has created some fantastic reading challenges for primary aged children. We currently have Reading Road Maps in Years 4 to 6, to inspire and encourage our pupils to try new genres and develop their sense of identity as a reader. Each class receives a set of 30 different, brand new books at the beginning of the year. The books have all been published in the last 12 months (excepting the classics) and are classified by genre and difficulty. Children are rewarded with stickers and certificates along the way. Click here for more information: https://www.iels.org/reading-road-map/s163/
Here at Laycock, teachers constantly monitor children’s progress in reading to ensure that learners are on track. There are a number of reasons why a child might find learning to read tricky at times, so teachers use a range of strategies to support those who need an extra boost. These include: extra one-to-one reading with an adult, targeted phonics sessions, reading intervention groups, TutorMate reading volunteers and the use of SEND assessments and resources. If you have any concerns about your child’s progress in reading, please arrange to speak to your child’s teacher.