Canon Barnett is a school that is passionate about reading. It is at the heart of our curriculum, as we know that the children who read well, are children who excel in all curriculum areas: it is the cornerstone to their education. We also strive to nurture life-long readers who take pleasure in searching out new books to read, exploring the unexplorable and discovering the undiscoverable.
“A fondness for reading, if properly directed, must be an education in itself”
- Jane Austin
When a child first starts to learn to read, we focus on children’s decoding skills using Read, Write Inc. Children take part in daily phonics lessons, which teach them the sounds to enable them to read specially written phonetic books (For further details see the Ruth Miskin website). Once children have learnt their sounds (by year 2 for most) they will have daily half-hourly guided reading lessons were they will work in groups, with teachers and independently, to deepen their understanding and love of books. In addition to this, all children are read to daily and are encouraged to use the Bug Club website as a way of practising their reading at home.
All children have a reading book to read each night and are encouraged to take books from their class book corners. Our library is open every lunchtime for bookworms: all are welcome!
We teach children to write so they can communicate their ideas. With this in mind, we ensure that writing is included across our curriculum in a meaningful and purposeful way. We carefully plan writing units in literacy thinking about the purpose for writing and our audiences. At the beginning of each unit children are given a model piece of writing through ‘storytelling’ (this is both for fiction and non-fiction writing). Children learn this by heart, so that they have an internal model of the structure, features and language of a given text: furthermore it is a wonderful opportunity to learn new vocabulary and practise our performance skills. Through storytelling, we make sure children know how to say what they want to write before they put pen to paper. This means that they have had time to develop their ideas and order their thoughts before they start to write. We take the editing process very seriously, as this is an important part of the writing process, to ensure a final piece of work that the children are proud of.
Each week children are given a list of spelling words to take home to learn which they will be tested on each week. (KS1 they will have a spelling list per RWI book). These words are taken from the National Curriculum. At the end of each half-term the children will take a spelling test drawing on the words they have learnt across the whole half-term. Parents will receive a letter about the half-termly spelling result at the end of each half-term.
We believe that the right book is out there for everyone, you just need to find it. Take a look at some of the book reviews written by children at Canon Barnett and see if they inspire you to pick up a new book.