Intent: Why do we teach what we teach?

At St Kentigern’s our English is based on our school’s Gospel value curriculum, which keeps Christ at the centre of our learning. We believe that if our pupils can read with confidence they will be able to learn more and know more, andthat they will have the life-changing experience of reading for pleasure. We use the Write Stuff by Jane Considine as a supportive tool to deliver a school wide approach for a board and balanced curriculum in English. This allows us to use a range of texts and genres in our teaching and links to our wider topics. We explicitly teach reading, writing and grammar objectives in line with the National Curriculum. We hope that the children use their skills across the curriculum and their work shows improvements and progress. The EYFS focus on early talk and vocabulary to give a good foundation of communication skills and the children develop their Oracy skills as they continue throughout the school. We promote a love of reading at St Kentigern’s and encourage children to share their interests with their peers and teachers so they can develop their reading but also use their skills from the balanced English curriculum. We encourage every child to be a successful reader. 

Implementation: How do we teach what we teach?

In the EYFS children begin to learn the 44 common sounds in the English Language and they start to learn how to blend these sounds together to read simple words. Children have specific daily phonic sessions to embed their learning and become more confident in their reading skills. Children who need more support receive additional phonics sessions in small groups. KS1 have phonic games for the children to play and interact with independently. We use Phonics Bug as our main provider and enjoy the online reading books and games. The children read books that are in line with their phonics ability and children begin to develop reading ‘tricky words.’ Regular reading is encouraged so the children become confident readers. Children read a range of cross curricular texts either in lessons or reading for pleasure time. Children in KS1 and KS2 participate in Guided reading and share a class novel at the end of the day as part of their reading for pleasure and book talk.

Impact: How do we know what the students have learnt and how well they have learnt it?

In EYFS, every member of staff uses observational assessment to baseline children’s starting points and plan experiences which ensure progress. Given that reading is so important to us, we invest significantly in assessing reading. In KS1 Every child is assessed 1:1 at least once a half term while they are on the phonics programme. We use PM Benchmarking for every child’s reading assessment at least twice a year but children showing accelerated progress will be assessed more regularly to provide them with challenges.  Our staff are trained in putting all this data together and analysing it to progress each child individually: ensuring they are in the best daily reading group in primary and identifying which pupils need additional reading interventions ( 1:1 reading, high frequency words intervention, Project X intervention, IDL)

Reading Fun at St Kentigern's Catholic Primary School

This year Blackpool Catering Services are working alongside the National Literary Trust to support their “Get Blackpool Reading” campaign and the Library Services in providing a free book for all primary school pupils who have a school Christmas lunch.

Get Blackpool Reading, the campaign from the National Literacy Trust, Blackpool Opportunity Area and Blackpool Council, is gifting 5,000 books to children at 28 primary schools this Christmas. Generously donated by publisher HarperCollins, the gifted books include festive favourites and side-splitting stories such as Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo, The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, Paddington and the Christmas Surprise by Michael Bond, and Father Christmas Heard a Parp by Olaf Falafel.

The books were served with a side of fun literacy activities as part of festive school dinners – provided by Blackpool Council Catering Service – to inspire children to continue reading over the Christmas holidays and beyond.

Blackpool Library Service is also supporting the initiative by providing schools with a festive video reading of The Elves and the Shoemaker delivered by library staff to entertain pupils and encourage them to visit their local library during the school break.

A huge thank you from all the St Kentigern's Children. Merry Christmas!