Literacy is reading, writing, drama and speaking and listening. It is an essential subject, not just for education but part of everyday life. As it is so important, it is taught regularly, and is included in our timetable at least once a day. It is taught through literacy lessons but the children also have the opportunity to reinforce these skills in other subjects, such as reading diaries in history.
Children study fiction and non-fiction in our literacy units. They look closely at authors and real life examples of writing, such as newspapers. During the unit, they are taught how to write and use sentence skills so that they aim to write both creatively and accurately. Each child is also taught spelling and phonics and will be given spelling lists to take home and learn. Links to useful spelling websites are given at the bottom of the page.
Reading is such an important skill that we encourage children to practice both at school and at home. We work on both confident, accurate reading as well as a good understanding of what the text is about. Each class has sessions of guided reading in which groups share a book and discuss it together.
Children have access to a variety of good quality books at their reading level. Every child can choose a library book to take home and this can be changed each week. In their teaching areas, children have books that are graded in level. We use the book band levels so that children are guided towards books that are at the right level for them.
We expect children to read three times a week, to an adult, at home. To support this, the school offers various workshops in reading and guided reading, that the parents can attend if they wish. All parents are given a copy of reading targets for the level that their child is on and a bookmark with some suggested questions that match the level that they are working on. Children are also given passwords for the Bug Club website. Your child will be allocated e books at the correct level.
Some children find it more difficult to learn to read than others. Children that struggle with reading are given an individual programme to help them. This might concentrate on helping them with using their sounds to work out what the words say or it might focus on building up their vocabulary and understanding of new words. Sometimes a child can work the out what the word is but need help to work out how the words work together to make meaning. Children are also given support to make their reading more fluent. Children have different difficulties and adults work together to make sure that they are given what they need to improve.
We strongly believe in supporting every child so that they can both achieve and enjoy literacy. Please contact the school if you would like any further information or support with literacy at home. We hold regular reading workshops to give parents ideas about how they can help. If you would like to come in and read with children in school, we offer training and support for this and have had some very successful parent reading champions.
This website gives you advice about the spellings your child is learning and also gives some activities to help.
View examples of student work here.
Handwriting model for parents
Our grammar changed dramatically when the 2014 curriculum began. The focus is now on technical understanding, which means that children now have to understand and be able to give examples of lots of grammar terminology. It’s also now a huge part of the writing curriculum and children must be able to show lots of different techniques in their writing to get the needed marks in SATs.
At GFJS, we have been including grammar in our literacy lessons as starter activities or as the main focus and we teach separate grammar sessions, too. We focus on making grammar fun and play lots of games and have mini-competitions in class. We also make sure that we teach the grammar curriculum step-by-step throughout the school year and between year groups so that children are always learning age-appropriate knowledge and are able to build on what they know as they move through the school.
As the grammar expectations are higher than they have been, anything parents and carers can do at home to help is always appreciated. There are lots of great grammar game websites, such as The British Council’s Website and BBC Bitesize. Children also have a login and password to Bug Club, where teachers often set activities to do at home to support learning done in lessons. If your child has forgotten their password, we can always remind them of it.
Want to see how well you would do on the KS2 Grammar SAT? Have a go at the sample paper for 2016.