At Fordham CE Primary School, we place reading for pleasure at the heart of our English curriculum.
Staff at Fordham enjoy using high quality texts as the basis of their English lessons and, wherever possible, link the text to our class topic. This ensures a range of cross-curricular writing for both audience and purpose, and a well-planned progression of lessons. In order to support this approach, we use and develop CLPE’s resources from ‘The Power of Reading’ as well as The Literacy Shed writing sequences and VIPERS approach.
We follow a read aloud programme allowing children to experience and enjoy stories that they might not otherwise meet and the teachers' model expressive reading. Teachers plan for talk providing regular and sustained opportunities to talk together and understand the importance of illustration and how pictures work with the text to create meaning for the reader. Through the use of drama and role play, the children are provided with immediate routes into the world of a story and allow them to explore texts actively; the children can then extend this understanding to their reading and writing. We also follow the Reading VIPERS approach in regular Guided Reading sessions (from Year 2 to Year 6) and enjoy all that the Literacy Shed offers: film, animation, photographs and picture books and use tools and techniques from Pie Corbett's 'Talk for Writing'.
At Fordham, we hold lots of exciting events to improve children’s understanding of English Literature such as: holding Reading for Pleasure book weeks, book fairs, Poetry Slams and competitions throughout the year. We also develop the children's skills in editing and debating. One of our Year 6 cohorts had the opportunity to develop their public speaking and debating skills with a visit from Lucy Frazer QC MP which is something we hope to do again. We feel that theatre and drama are really important in developing children's understanding of English as a subject and as such we organise trips throughout the year for children to attend including visiting a theatre in Ely to watch the Christmas pantomime. We have also enjoyed visits from a local author, Alison Bruce, Aesop's Fables and Chip the Storyteller where the children were able to take part in drama workshops.
Please see below for a snapshot of the high quality texts that we use as part of our Power of Reading English Curriculum. Please note that we review our curriculum termly and that these choices of text may change annually.
Power of Reading Long Term Map ~ November 2023 update
Year 5 visited the local Church to listen to a chapter of Goodnight Mr. Tom and feel what Willie Beech may have experienced when visiting the churchyard.
Year 1 enjoyed going on a hunt for clues to find out what their new Power of Reading book would be: The Gruffalo.
English Programmes of Study KS1 and KS2
Pie Corbett Grammar Progression Years 1 - 6
Years 1 - 6 Grammar and Punctuation Policy
English Glossary - guide created by the Government
English Appendix 2: Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation: Government
English Glossary - with useful examples
Reading For Pleasure
It is really important that children read a variety of texts and our aim is that they do it for fun. We have invested heavily into improving our school library and class-based reading corners so that children can access high quality texts throughout the day. Using rewards money from our bi-annual book fairs Please click here to find out more about Reading at Fordham.
We hold a bi-annual book week and run a range of competitions such as: 'Read in a Strange Place', Dress a Potato or Root Vegetable, 'Book in a Jar', 'Book on a Pebble' and lollystick book characters.
Previous Book Week themes have been: Magic, Dress as your favourite book character, Superheroes, Animals and more recently as an ambitious adjective to support our development of using ambitious vocabulary in our writing. We had great fun and learnt lots of new words too! The staff also enjoyed dressing up as crayons from 'The Day The Crayons Quit' for a whole school writing event.
We also run 'Travelling Books' book fairs in these weeks to help children to access high quality texts for home as well as in school. We get up to 60% commission on sales to spend on the Scholastic website. The Year 6 Librarians and School Council consult with Mrs. Bramley (English Lead) to choose which books should be bought for the school considering both KS1 and KS2.
We help children to develop their speaking and listening skills so that they can debate using the proper protocols. The children really enjoy sharing their views and ask challenging questions of each other!
Year 6 were fortunate to have had a visit from Lucy Frazer. She led the class in two debates:
1) Hot Air Balloon debate where we had to decide which character we would save
2) Formal debate: Should we ban school uniform.
The children had a brilliant time learning how to build confidence and develop their public speaking skills. The children were exceptionally well-behaved, listened attentively, asked relevant questions and answered articulately.
Her closing message to the children was:
'If you believe in yourself, then others will believe in you.'
Debate : Should animals be kept in a zoo?