We want our school community to SHINE as readers, writers and communicators.
At Cookham Rise, we teach children to be able to communicate in English through high quality teaching of reading, writing, spoken language, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, spelling and handwriting. Our intent is to create a positive reading and writing culture where these are an exciting and enjoyable method of communication for all children. Through these activities, our children will learn to write clearly, accurately and with coherence. They will be able to write for a range of audiences and purposes, changing the style and language as appropriate. Through reading high quality texts, children will acquire a wide vocabulary and a solid foundation of grammar and will have developed strategies to develop their understanding further. They will be able to apply spelling patterns and rules they have learned at school.
Reading is a major driver in the English curriculum at Cookham Rise. We use a variety of initiatives to develop children’s love of reading. We are very lucky as we have the local library next door where all children can independently choose a book each week. We also use our school library membership to organise reading groups and organise workshops with authors over Zoom and in person when this is safe. Children learning phonics take home a Read Write Inc book matched to their specific phonic knowledge each week, but they are also able to choose a book which is matched more generally to their level using additional reading scheme texts. Our phonics teachers are highly trained and receive regular coaching. The Read Write Inc programme is tightly structured and provides a clear picture of progression. This programme encourages the development of fluency through grapheme phoneme correspondence to the re-reading of texts.
As the children get older, we use a combination of Literacy and Language, The Power of Reading recommended books, classic texts, myths, legends, poetry, traditional tales and non-fiction texts.
Children read every day. Whilst on the phonics programme, the teacher listens in as they read to each other. Once they have finished the phonics scheme, they are able to make their own choices in reading from books in the classroom which have been selected to reflect the levels of reading of the children. All children have a reading record book where home reading is recorded. Children in upper key stage 2 will have a class reading book of their own to take home and read for discussion in class. Children are read to every day in order to expose them to rich vocabulary and discussion.
Children’s writing is celebrated at Cookham Rise. Each week we have a star writer whose work is published to the school newsletter. We develop writing confidence from the very beginning encouraging independence and using the strategies that are taught systematically. We take a text-based approach to writing which inspires the writing across different planned genres throughout the school. We teach skills of spelling and grammar both explicitly and through the texts that are being studied. We take opportunities to write for different purposes such as for competitions and writing to individuals and organisations relating to our topics. Staff have had training from the Occupational Therapy team to develop strategies to help children with fine and gross motor skills and support them in developing stamina for writing.
We give children opportunities for speaking and listening in class by encouraging them to discuss with their peers, rather than an exclusive ‘hands up’ approach. Children also have opportunities to perform in plays and access poetry through musical activities.
Our performance in the annual phonics screening check shows the impact of our high quality phonics teaching. Over the last three years, our average (mean) pass rate is 91% which is above the national average.
In Key Stage 1, our children are exceeding the national average in both reading and writing and working at greater depth. This pattern continues in Key Stage 2 with children achieving beyond the national average in reading, writing and spelling and grammar.
Children are regularly assessed in phonics to monitor the impact of teaching and will be regrouped to either accelerate their learning or given further interventions to support them with any areas of difficulty.
Spelling rules are taught daily from year 2 and regular assessments are used to identify any gaps in knowledge and rules are revisited if necessary. In upper key stage 2, children are given class sets of books to read at home and work on in school which promotes a shared understanding and opportunity for rich discussions of the text.
We promote a love of reading from Reception through our selection of high quality texts and the mystery reader initiative where a parent will arrive at school to read a favourite story book and completely surprise their child. Reading books are often linked to a topic, but may also be read for pure enjoyment. We select texts that give the children exposure to challenging vocabulary which they wouldn’t be able to read independently. Reading is assessed in Reception and Year one using phonics assessments. Once children are in year 2, we use the PIRA assessment materials which breakdown different areas of comprehension.
The quality of children's writing is monitored by learning walks, book scrutinies and internal and external moderations to inform areas of improvement and examine the impact of new initiatives. Not only do we offer children cross-curriculum opportunities for writing, but we have also had success in writing and spelling competitions. Children develop skills and achieve well at Cookham Rise and are ready to start the next stage of their education. Their work across the curriculum is of a high quality.
FOR THE FOURTH YEAR RUNNING WE ARE A RWI BADGE SCHOOL
This badge recognises that we:
Raise standards in reading and writing for our children
Are all expertly trained by Ruth Miskin Training – including our headteacher!
Gain the latest programme updates through regular visits from our Ruth Miskin trainer
Support our most vulnerable readers with extra one-to-one teaching every day.
Well done to the whole staff team on this achievement with a particular thank you to Mrs Rogers, our Reading Leader.
Read Write Inc. Phonics, Literacy & Language, Fresh Start and Spelling are highly successful literacy programmes for 4-13 year-olds created by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. The training and support from Ruth Miskin Training, rated Outstanding by the Department for Education, ensure the programmes have the best chance of success in schools.
The four Read Write Inc, programmes are carefully matched to the new curriculum, giving your children the best chance of success in the national tests. They show teachers, teaching assistants and parents step-by-step how to teach all children to become fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.
Our school uses:
Read Write Inc. Phonics for our children in Reception to Year 2 and for our children in Years 3 who need to catch up
Read Write Inc. If needed - Fresh Start for our children in Years 4 - 6 with a reading age of nine and below
Read Write Inc Literacy and Language for our fluent readers in Years 2 to 6
Read Write Inc Spelling for our children in Years 2 to 6
Read Write Inc. Phonics is used by over a quarter of the UK’s primary schools. It is a comprehensive literacy programme, weaving decoding, comprehension, writing and spelling together seamlessly. Ruth Miskin developed the programme during her time as a headteacher in Tower Hamlets. She believes that in order for a school to be successful, every headteacher needs to adopt a consistent whole-school approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling. Fidelity to the teaching programme, rigorous assessment, tracking and one-to-one tutoring ensure that schools guarantee progress for every child.
For information and tutorials on how to support your child learning to read go to: http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/
Read Write Inc. Literacy & Language meets the demands of the new national curriculum in a fun and meaningful way. It is a complete literacy programme addressing the grammar and punctuation aspects of the new statutory assessments and raising attainment for all children. Drama and discussion are an integral part of the programme: Literacy & Language children love writing because they have a lot to say.
For information on how to support your child in the Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling tests go to: http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/resources/?q=grammar
Read Write Inc. Fresh Start raises attainment rapidly in reading and writing. The programme boosts children’s confidence by matching what they read with the sounds they know using specially created age-appropriate texts and anthologies. Read Write Inc. Fresh Start provides clear and cumulative writing activities to build vocabulary and punctuation.
For more information go to: https://global.oup.com/education/content/primary/series/rwi/fresh-start/?region=international
Read Write Inc. Spelling embeds impressive skills in just 15 minutes a day, quickly and effectively filling the gaps in children’s knowledge. To keep children engaged, aliens introduce spelling rules on an exciting online spelling planet and children complete quick-fire activities in their spelling logs. Progress is accurately recorded using practice tests and teachers learn how to move children on quickly.
For more information on Read Write Inc. Spelling go to: https://global.oup.com/education/content/primary/series/rwi/spelling/?region=international
How do we teach Literacy at Cookham Rise?
We believe that immersing children in a range of creative activities before reading and writing means that they are fully prepared, and excited, about the journey ahead of them. Through immersing a child within our themes, trips to relevant places and having visitors into school we aim to get the best from children in both their reading and writing.
We aim to provide children with a clear purpose to all reading, and especially writing tasks. Whether it's an invitation to the headteacher to attend a class assembly, an email to an author or an article for a school newsletter, our children know why the quality of their writing matters: because there will be a real audience for their published work.
Where possible, learning in English is linked with our creative curriculum theme. Well in advance of starting a new theme teachers collaborate and share their ideas for planning through a mind mapping process. Meaningful, creative activities are planned for, ensuring that all staff members know exactly what the children will be learning and why. RWI Language and Literacy is also used as a basis for our work.
Focused on strategies
We ensure that specific reading strategies are modelled explicitly to the class; this provides children with a holistic bank of skills to draw upon. This could include scanning a text, making an inference, predicting or creating a mental image. Our teachers use 'think aloud' statements to model to the children how these skills are used, and how they can help them become better readers. These strategies are then shared as a class, and then assessed in follow up guided reading activities.
Inspirational learning environment
Not only do we aim to display the children's work creatively, but there is a range of learning prompts to inspire and support all pupils. We want to encourage our children to discover new texts, genres and authors, and all of our children are members of Cookham library next door to school.
Drama to engage and inspire
The use of drama is such a powerful tool and staff use a range of techniques to promote the exploration of characters, situations and historical events. This process expands the pupils' imaginations, and provides them with the ideas they need to give their writing that extra spark and flair.
Rigorous teaching of spelling and phonics
In the infants, RWI phonics is streamed, so all children can benefit from tailored teaching, making maximum progress as a result. All phonics and spelling activities are fun and multi-sensory the aim being to meet all learning styles in the class. In the juniors, we try to make homework spelling lists as personalised to the child as possible to ensure that the spelling patterns stick in a meaningful way.
Grammar concepts taught creatively
Children begin to understand grammar concepts, and start to apply them in their own writing, when they start to read with a writer's mind. Punctuation rules and techniques are drawn from shared texts; texts which the children have already been immersed in and have a good understanding of. Exploring these, and embedding them creatively is how the learning takes place.
Peer and self assessment
With a clear marking key, success criteria and purpose in mind, children set about assessing either their own, or a partner's piece of writing. Modelled through the teacher's own formative marking, pupils know what the expectations are. They search for successful examples of the learning intention, articulating their responses to the work, checking the writing matches any targets and giving constructive feedback. Seeing the children learn in this way is hugely positive.