Literacy is an essential part of every child’s education and at Percy Shurmer Academy we believe in striving for the very best possible provision.  We ensure that speaking and listening, reading and writing are taught from the earliest stages and we ensure that all children gain mastery of phonics to help them read and write.  We have a connected curriculum whereby we link our literacy and our topic work together.  This enables our children to become fully immersed in fascinating topics and apply their literacy skills a real context. 

Please read on to find out more about our Literacy curriculum. We regularly offer workshops throughout the year to support your child and you will be notified about these through the school newsletter and website.

Talk for Writing
We teach Literacy through Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. Talk for Writing, developed by Pie Corbett, is a hugely successful learning and teaching method because it is based on the principles of how children learn.  It enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.

Talk for Writing is used to teach fiction, non-fiction and poetry through a multi-sensory approach. There are three main stages:
IMITATION – familiarisation
This involves retelling a story or text until it can be told fluently. It also involves analysing the text and understanding the structural and language features.
INNOVATION – adapting the text
This involves using the model from the ‘imitation’ phase and developing the text even further.
INVENTION – creating your own text.
This involves building up a new story or text and applying the features taught throughout the unit to independent writing.
To support this we use a range of high quality texts linked closely to our ‘Connected Curriculum’ topics to engage all pupils and allow them to write for a purpose.

Speaking and Listening
We have daily speaking and listening sessions which link closely to our ‘Talk for Writing’ unit of work. This includes creating story maps, oral rehearsal of texts, drama, language games, sentence construction and grammar activities.

We follow the ‘Pen Pals’ handwriting scheme.  This will allow our pupils to develop a neat, cursive script by the time they leave our school.  In Key Stage 1 children write in pencil.  In Key Stage 2, children write in pencil until they obtain their ‘Pen Licence’. Please click here for more info on Pen Pals.

Reading is really important to us at Percy Shurmer Academy and we encourage all of our children to read every day, both in school and at home.  The children are taught to read through a structured and systematic programme that develops skills upon entry to Nursery through to Key Stage 2.  In Early Years and Year 1 the children are taught reading individually or in small groups using a variety of texts including Rigby Star, Project X, Song Birds, Oxford Reading Tree and Read, Write Inc.  From Year 2 to Year 6 our children follow the ‘Whole Class Reading’ model, whereby all children have the opportunity to study and discuss the same texts. These texts are carefully chosen in order to meet the academic needs of each year group and where possible to link with their topic.  By making the link to their topic we hope to engage the children and support them in developing a love for reading.

For those children who require additional reading support, they will also take part in additional supported sessions using the ‘Whole class reading book’ or other reading materials. We have invested heavily in developing our reading materials as we want our children to develop a genuine love of reading.  These programmes have been built for guided/supported reading with entertaining stories and non-fiction texts by top quality authors and illustrators. 

Independent Reading
We want our children to develop a genuine love for reading and so strive to provide lots of opportunities during which they can do this.  There are daily sessions of Independent Reading during which children have the opportunity to read with other children or in a small group or read individually with an adult.  

Home Reading
All children are provided with a reading book to take home. We encourage our children to read as often as possible and ask that parents hear children read three times a week.  Our children have a reading diary that is full of useful advice and children love it when parents and adults at home make a comment about their reading in the books for teachers to read. This can be a comment about how well the child has read or the questions adults have asked their children after reading, as this is one of the best ways that children can improve their reading skills. Additionally, children take home a reading book of choice from the library. These are books chosen by the children and can be read for interest and pleasure. 

In teaching Phonics we use resources from Letters and Sounds and Read, Write Inc to support pupils. Pupils are taught in year groups by their teachers and teaching assistants.  Children in Year 1 will complete the Phonic Screening Check during the summer term.  We strive for all of our children to pass the Phonic Screening Check and additional support will be put in place for those children who require it.  The children who do not achieve the pass mark in Year 1 will take the test in the following academic year, when they are in Year 2.

Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation (SPAG)
SPAG is taught to all children throughout the school using a variety of approaches and multisensory methods.  

We follow a spelling programme which is age appropriate and builds upon their understanding year on year.  The children will be taught how to spell specific words and spelling patterns.  Spellings are set weekly by the class teacher and sent home for the children to practise.

Punctuation skills are taught throughout in all literacy lessons and then specifically during SPAG sessions.  These skills are developed, practised and applied during Talk for Write units of work and the Connected Curriculum.

Grammar skills: teaching the children to recognise different types of words (noun, adverb etc.) and sentences (simple, complex, command etc.) and how to use these effectively in writing.  We provide children with an understanding of the effect that using different words and sentence structures can have on a piece of writing and enable them to make choices in their work.  Through Talk for Write and our Connected Curriculum, the children are given many opportunities to practise and further develop these skills. 

At the end of KS1 (Year 2) and KS2 (Year 6), all children will complete a compulsory Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling test which is devised by the Department for Education on a yearly basis. 

Useful links - for new style SATs questions 

Curriculum Coverage

3 Weeks: Fiction (Immersion/Imitation, Innovation, Invention) 
2 Weeks: Non Fiction (Immersion/Imitation, Invention) 
1 Week: Poetry
Quest taleRecountPoems on a theme
Wishing taleExplanationClassic poetry performances
Lost/found/chased talePersuasionModern poetry performances
Defeat the villain/ monsterInstructionsRiddles/Humorous
Warning taleDiscussionNarrative poetry
Problem/resolution taleNon-chronological reportPerformance poetry