At Myatt Garden, our literacy curriculum has been carefully developed to engage children in lessons which develop the essential communication skills that are vital to learning and future careers.
We aim for our children to become:
- confident speakers who can communicate effectively to a range of audiences;
- fluent readers who read not only to gain knowledge but also because they love snuggling up with a book for pleasure;
- active listeners who listen attentively to others;
- successful writers, with their own ideas and with the skills to engage their audience.
Speaking and Listening
Our children have the opportunity to discuss, debate and present to others throughout the curriculum, not just in literacy lessons. They are supported to develop active listening skills and to respond respectfully to others who hold different views to their own.
Children demonstrate their speaking and presentation skills through poetry performances where they showcase their understanding through intonation, tone, volume and actions so that the meaning is clear to the audience.
Drama also supports children’s speaking and listening throughout the curriculum. All Year 2 and Year 6 children have the opportunity to perform in front of friends, family and the rest of the school.
Phonics provides the building blocks for children learning to read and write. Nursery lays the foundations for phonics teaching, and from Reception to Year 2, children are taught phonics through discrete daily lessons.
At Myatt Garden, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme, offering clearly sequenced lessons. Our end of Year 1 phonics assessments show that are children perform significantly above the national average.
We really value the role that parents can play in supporting early reading and writing skills. If you are unsure of pronunciations or would like more information about the phonics programme, please watch the video here: Parent and Carers Guide to Pronouncing Phonemes
Reading is a core skill that allows children to access learning in all areas of the curriculum and is promoted in all lessons. We recognise the importance of children having quality texts read to them and have ring-fenced time each day where children enjoy the experience of being read to. This is a special part of the day enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Our children are exposed to high-quality texts at every stage of their journey through Myatt Garden, many of which have been carefully chosen by the Centre for Literature in Primary Education (CLPE). These texts may also form the stimulus for our writing curriculum and link directly to our topic learning, allowing children to explore the texts and subject matter in greater depth.
In addition to phonics lessons for younger years, children are taught to read in whole class lessons and also in small groups, during regular guided reading sessions with a teacher. There are also opportunities for children to become absorbed in their own books, both during class time and at playtimes.
We have worked hard to develop our book stock and ensure that our books reflect our diverse community in a positive way. Every class has its own library of fiction and non-fiction texts and we regularly add new titles to maintain engagement from the children.
Writing takes place across the whole curriculum, not just in literacy lessons. Our writing is often based on a core text, which is used to develop vocabulary and allow children to explore sentence structure, punctuation and grammar. Texts also allow children to see how authors use techniques to build suspense, paint pictures for their readers and engage their audience.
At Myatt Garden, children write for a purpose e.g. to inform, entertain, persuade or explain. Writing with a specific audience in mind allows children to adapt the structure, formality and style of language to have greater impact on the reader. The core texts are used to give children a reason to engage in their writing and often promote opportunities for drama, role play and debate. Other stimuli for writing include trips, visitors and global events.
As part of the writing process children are taught the importance of reflecting on, editing and improving their writing and its presentation.
Supporting your child at home
Reading with your child at home is one of the greatest gifts you can give. The Book Trust has some useful guides for parents.
In Key Stage 1, school reading records allow communication between parents and teachers about their child’s reading progress. Reading for pleasure is encouraged and children are free to take home a book of their choice as well as a phonics book to develop their enjoyment of reading.
In Key Stage 2, children take home reading journals. They are provided with a range of reading activities to choose from to allow them to express their thoughts and opinions about the book they are reading at home. Teachers are able to support children’s reading choices by monitoring journals.
At Myatt Garden, we bring books to life for our children through discussion, drama and role-play. This starts in Nursery and Reception, with the sharing of story-sacks. Reception children can borrow an amazing story-sack from our extensive library every week, to bring books to life with their families: Story-sacks