Language & Literacy
Literacy and Language is a complete literacy programme for children who are working at Years 2-6 of the National Curriculum. As soon as children have completed Read Write Inc. Phonics, or are reading at National Curriculum Level 2a, they are ready to start Literacy and Language. Children working at Year 2 NC and whom finish Read Write Inc. Phonics during Year 2 should start on the Year 2 Literacy and Language.
Literacy and Language is designed to stimulate and challenge children’s thinking and create enthusiastic, lifelong readers and writers. The core purpose of the programme is to ensure that children:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- Develop a habit of reading widely and often for both pleasure and information.
- Acquire a wide vocabulary
- Use grammar correctly
- Appreciate our rich and varied literacy heritage
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences,
- Use discussion in order to learn: they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
- Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debates.
What will children be taught?
Reading, writing, thinking and spoken language are incorporated in all activities, to ensure the daily development of children’s comprehension and wider literacy skills.
Children are encouraged to take their own meaning from each text, becoming independent critical thinkers. Comprehension activities are designed to help children infer, summarise, question, clarify, predict and argue a point of view. The children also make connections between texts and their own experiences. ‘What if not…?’ provides the opportunity for children to speculate on how a story would change if the writer altered any one aspect of the character, plot or setting in order to develop their awareness of how one is affected by the other.
Children are taught the importance of using grammar correctly, so they can communicate clearly and convey their meaning effectively. Children meet examples of grammar as they study the context of the story, playscript, poem or non-fiction texts. The teacher explains the grammar concept and children are taught the grammatical terms. When the teacher models the writing process, the grammar concept is included so that the children can see how they use it in their writing.
Daily writing is at the heart of Literacy and language. Alongside the main, extended writing activities, opportunities are taken every day to create shorter pieces of writing. This allows children to focus on very specific skills, build up their confidence and stamina of writing, and develop their understanding of audience and purpose. What they read, talk about and see through teacher modelling encourages children to experiment with language to express their thoughts and ideas accurately and independently. Daily writing opportunities help children to develop a belief in themselves as writers. In Years 2 and 3, Class logs are used to demonstrate how to keep a personal log, as well as to collect combined responses from the class. The teacher writes some of the most pertinent ideas in the log and sticks in photocopies of children’s writing and pictures they collect. The Class log is displayed in a place where children can read it during the school day. Children in Year 4, 5 and 6 write in their Personal Log to
- Record responses to what they have read, thought and talked about.
- Experiment with vocabulary and structures
- Make notes, mind and story maps, diagrams and plans (some of these can be drawn upon for extended writing activities in week 2 and 3)
- Collect and paste related artifacts- tickets, photos, leaflets and drawings from home.
The stories, plays, poems, non-fiction texts include ambitious vocabulary. Before children read the texts, they are taught the meaning of more challenging words- both in the context of the story and in real life situations. The vocabulary is used throughout the lesson and week, until the words become familiar. New words and phrases are displayed and collected from one week to the next, keeping the favourite and most useful words on display.
Teaching children to articulate their thoughts and ideas out loud to communicate what they know and understand is embedded throughout. Children are taught to orally rehearse what they want to write before putting pen to paper. Teachers use ‘Think out loud’ to show children what is involved in becoming an effective reader and writer by: clarifying and modifying their understanding of what is being read, inferring and predicting, building pictures in your mind, identifying what is important, summarising key points, and more importantly, persevering when things become tricky. Children are expected to ‘Think out loud’ with partner to check their own understanding so their thinking is made clear to themselves and to others. Partner work is pacey, structured and meaningful. Children answer every question with a partner, comment on each other’s ideas, clarify each other’s thinking, and build upon each other’s thoughts and ideas. Teachers ask questions to take their thinking further and to clear up any misconceptions. Thinking and discussion skills are practised through a daily ‘Big Question’ which explores an idea linked to the aspect of the text covered that day. Children learn to express their opinions, justify ideas with reasons, negotiate, evaluate and build on ideas of others, as well as think in a deeper way about more abstract issues that come from the text.
The Read Write Inc. Spelling scheme is used alongside Literacy and Language scheme of work. (See Read Write Inc. Spelling scheme of work)