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Our next Parent Workshop will be on Thursday 7th March at 10am. This will be led by our maths lead and will focus on developing maths through play.
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Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

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Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

Literacy

The curriculum and strategies used to support development of Literacy  skills

What learning looks like in Willow pathway within this AoL:

  • We develop children’s vocabulary through moving on from Objects of Reference to visuals with photographs and then symbols
  • We use a whole class and individual visual timetables
  • Staff act as models of good Reading the World of School & Community to build up children’s vocabulary and understanding, expanding the challenge of educational visits as children grow within Willow
  • We use roleplay and modelling to build up literacy skills based on well-chosen books that build core vocabulary and opportunities to revisit previous learning (e.g. animal names or seasons)
  • We continue to build up children’s sound and sight vocabularies through repeated songs, and phrases reinforced with key Makaton signs and visuals
  • We work through Phase 1 phonics and introduce Phase 2 when/ if children are ready for this
  • We encourage children to show speaking skills through using AAC and other means to capture their voices, wants, likes and needs
  • We encourage children to explore a range of materials and make meaningful marks with an increased range of mark making tools
  • We work on developing children’s grip and fine motor skills as precursors to writing
  • We use story and narrative understanding to build links for children and develop their cultural and social capital

What learning looks like in Elm pathway within this AoL:

  • We develop children’s vocabulary through visuals with symbols, moving onto black & white images and there is a range of different ways in which pupils manage their timetables
  • Staff act as models of good Reading the World of School & Community to build up children’s vocabulary and understanding
  • All educational visits are planned with literacy and communication opportunities in mind
  • We use roleplay and modelling to build up literacy skills based on well -chosen books that build core vocabulary and opportunities to revisit previous learning
  • Our Book Study Units a have a clear sequence that builds up knowledge over time that is informed by research into successful reading development and skills acquisition
  • We continue to build up children’s sound and sight vocabularies with key Makaton signs and visuals
  • We work through Phase 2+ phonics and introduce decodable books at each phase, so that children can develop their reading
  • We encourage children to show speaking skills through purposeful interaction sessions
  • We encourage children to write for a purpose with an increased range of mark making tools
  • We work on developing children’s grip and fine motor skills to support their writing skills
  • We use stories and key symbols within our RE teaching as we believe learning through narratives can build links for children to develop their cultural and social capital

What learning looks like in Cherry pathway within this AoL:

  • We develop children’s vocabulary through visuals with black & white images moving towards print only cards, and there is a range of different ways in which pupils manage their timetables with high independence
  • Staff act as models of Reading the World of Words & Books through book sharing, Book Study Units, phonics and Atelier style explorations
  • All educational visits are planned with literacy and communication opportunities and independence in mind
  • We use roleplay and modelling to build up literacy skills based on well -chosen books that build core vocabulary and opportunities to revisit previous learning
  • We work through Phase 2+ phonics and introduce decodable books at each phase, so that children can develop their reading
  • Our Book Study Units a have a clear sequence that builds up knowledge over time that is informed by research into successful reading development and skills acquisition
  • We encourage children to develop effective speaking & listening skills through planned opportunities to practice conversations, supported by sentence starters and minimal scripts
  • We encourage children to write for a purpose with attention to legibility and creating more complex sentences
  • We work on developing children’s grammar and vocabulary so that they can develop expressive communication
  • We use stories and key symbols within our RE teaching as we believe learning through narratives can build links for children to develop their cultural and social capital

Strategies and teaching tools used to support development of Literacy  skills: 

  • Phonics- we have adapted the Letters & Sounds materials for Phase 1 and use Little Wandle Letters & Sounds scheme for all other phases
  • Book Study Units- we want to expose our children to a wide range of high-quality books, poems and songs throughout their time at Oaklands. This will include traditional and contemporary tales from across the world to reflect and celebrate our diverse community. We will choose texts which will often be just above children’s current language levels as we are ambitious for them to be stretched and experience culture and art. We will ensure all children gain something meaningful from these texts through well planned units that build meaning over time and ‘chunk’ learning so that pupils can access the texts. Book study units will have the following format:
  1. Pre-teach core vocabulary & key concepts (e.g., conquering our fears, changes from birth to maturity)
  2. Introduce key characters
  3. Close reading of key images & labelling (predicting/ inferring skills to be modelled & used)
  4. Explore key emotional content & plot points
  5. Read story through (can chunk this after 1 full read through)
  6. Willow & Elm: Explore through sensory elements & tuff spots etc
  7. Cherry & Chestnut: Explore story further through 5Ws/ summarising/ retelling
  8. Cherry & Chestnut: linked writing tasks (matching/ sentence frames/ summaries etc. / Willow: linked mark-making & matching tasks

 

  • PECS: See Communication Skills and Interaction & Social Skills (CISS) handbook
  • Colourful Semantics: Colourful semantics is an approach created by Speech & Language Therapist Alison Bryan. It is aimed at helping children to develop their grammar, but it is rooted in the meaning of words (semantics). Colourful semantics reassembles sentences by cutting them up into their thematic roles and then colour codes them. The approach has 4 key colour coded stages to answer the questions Who? What doing? Where? What? There are further stages for adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions and negatives.
  • Dough Disco, Pen Disco & other fine motor & grip strategies are used to support children to develop their hand muscles and develop the grip to use writing implements effectively.
  • World of Books Days are linked to other ‘Big Days’ so that we can deepen children’s awareness and understanding of key cultural and religious events or scientific concepts. Over time we hope to build links with local and national writers and have special performances that are book-related on these days. Their main aim is to promote a love of words and reading
  • Immersive art & performances: watching and being involved in art and performances can create many spontaneous opportunities for communication and self-expression. Through our involvement in the SENsory Atelier project supported by the Arts Council & the Richard Attenborough Centre (beginning in Autumn 2022) we hope to develop our whole team’s expertise in using the arts to support holistic development. 

Resources, training & CPD for staff & families:

 

 

Staff CPD-see staffshare & OneDrive CPD folders:  Literacy folder

Strengths we celebrate about teaching & learning within this AoL:

 

  • Staff understand The Three Worlds of Reading and can now actively support children to ’read the world’
  • Phonics is embedded and each pathway has a bespoke approach to how it is taught to meet pupil needs
  • More classes have book corners that are used appropriately and there is book sharing in every class
  • We have a lot more print readers than in recent years and in Cherry classes children are building their confidence by reading aloud with their peers

Areas for development & refining within this AoL:

  • We want to enhance facilities and resources for immersive environments, building on the good work of World Book Day 2023.  
  • In Elm & Cherry pathways, we want to embed the idea of speaking aloud, so that all children’s voices are heard more frequently, and there is an expectation of vocalising in your own chosen voice.  
  • We want to plan at least Two book days for the whole school 
  • We want to ensure that the books chosen for Book Study texts are of high quality and embrace the diversity of our school community. 

 

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