Reading at Offmore
Think of all the things you couldn't do if you couldn't read...
Reading is at the heart of Offmore and we are passionate about empowering children to become lifelong readers. We have an inviting and well-stocked library where classes can often be found snuggled up with a book or eagerly listening to an adult or older child read.
Our creative and exciting curriculum allows the children to have opportunities to apply and continue to develop English skills in a fun, engaging and meaningful manner. Reading skills, such as word recognition, decoding and phonological awareness, are explored explicitly during daily phonics sessions throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1.
English in the Early Years
During English lessons, and other lessons across the curriculum, children are exposed to a wide range of rich texts and different genres. They get to explore both fiction and non-fiction books and this gives them the opportunity to understand both the texts' audience and themes.
Guided reading sessions focus on the teaching of reading skills and enable the children to confidently retrieve information, become familiar with new vocabulary and develop their love of reading. We use Reading Vipers to help develop our skills of:
V - Vocabulary
I - Inference
P - prediction
E - explanation
R - Retrieval
S - Summarise/sequence
Below are some examples of what VIPERS looks like across the different key stages.
Please find out more by clicking the link below to take you to our Early Reading phonics page.
The beginning of phonics at Offmore Primary School starts in Nursery. Children learn and practise many of the skills that they need for reading and writing from a very early age. They do this through a wide range of activities and experiences, at home, in settings and in school. They explore and learn through singing and saying rhymes, making and listening to music, talking with others, sharing books with adults and other children, dressing up, experimenting with writing and using puppets and toys to retell and make up stories.
When children enter the Reception class they take part in high quality phonics sessions every day. These are fun sessions involving lots of speaking, listening and games, where the emphasis is on children's active participation. At Offmore Primary School we use a systematic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds alongside our very own friendly Offmore alien mascot who teaches us actions for each sound and a jingle for the letter formation.
All children at Offmore are expected to read at home with an adult at least 3 times a week and for it to be recorded in their reading diaries. Our belief is that this doesn't only help to develop their reading skills but also promotes a lifelong love of reading. We have a school leader board in the hall and each week the class teacher works out the percentage of children that have read the required amount of times at home. These scores then get added to our leader board so everyone can see which class is doing the most reading. Children that have read the required amount of times each week are entered into a prize draw for a special Tea Party at the end of each half term.
As the children move through the different Key Stages they become more independent in recording what they have read in their diaries. Children will work their way through book band colours until they become free readers. We feel it is really important for children to choose their own books as this promotes reading for pleasure and is more enjoyable for the children. Each class has their own selection of books that children can use to read in school.
Writing at Offmore
We are so proud of our writing that each month every teacher will chose an impressive piece of writing to be displayed on our Writing Journey display.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development in English
Success in any curriculum area depends upon good basic writing skills. It provides children with an important form of self-expression and creativity as well as making available to them the wealth of the written word. Here at Offmore, the children have daily English lessons, that are driven by rich texts, that link in to our exciting and engaging topics. They are taught vital skills such as planning their writing, drafting ideas as well as editing and improving what they have written. They have the opportunity to write for a number of different audiences and to explore writing lots of different text types such as letters, narratives, instructions and much more. Our lessons also encapsulate the teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar by giving it context.
Have a look at the slideshow below to see all of the fantastic writing opportunities the children have at Offmore.
At Offmore, from Year 1, we use Spelling Shed to teach spelling. Each week, class
teachers will set a list of words for the children to learn which will be the spellings
they are quizzed on weekly. These will appear on the child’s home screen if set. If
these specific words are not set, a child is still able to practise and play relevant
spelling words for their year group. The stages reference the year group e.g. stage 2
= year 2. It is so important to keep revising previous year group’s spellings
throughout a child’s spelling journey.
Additionally, class teachers may set topical words to practise or any words relevant
for revision of previous rules etc. Children can choose to access any spellings from
their year group to help improve their spelling by clicking on more lists/ the relevant
Spelling lists will also be put into children’s reading diaries each week. There are
many other fun ways to practise spelling, such as:
*Make it in playdoh or slime.
*Rainbow write it
*Write it backwards
*Pyramid build it
*Write it in funky writing
Parents Guide to Spelling Shed
At Offmore our handwriting programme links to our systematic phonics approach. You will see an example below.
The handwriting images are displayed in each classroom and modelled throughout all teaching.
We are really proud of our presentation at Offmore and know that 'If it isn't nice, then we do it twice'! We have presentation pointers that we move to show where our best piece of writing is and this ensures we are constantly trying to get better!
These links take you to sites with lots of different games to help you develop your writing skills.
OTHER USEFUL WEBSITES