Read Write Inc (KS1) and guided reading (KS2) takes place every day of the school week which targets children’s reading and comprehension skills.
The home-school reading scheme allows each child to take home a book to read every evening. At Pennoweth School, we expect every child to read a minimum of five times per week. Not only does this involve a child reading aloud to an adult but also asking questions about what they have read, re-telling events in their own words and discussing the language that the author has used.
Reading does not simply involve stories, sharing lots of different kinds (or genres) of books and texts is important as it exposes children to new vocabulary and whole new worlds! Such reading can include: fiction (fantasy or science), biographies, information books and poetry. We also encourage children to read writing that they see in everyday life, for example: signposts, letters, recipes, instructions, etc.
Parents have a responsibility to listen to their child read and comment and sign the homework diary each day. Feel free to read pages or passages to your child – you are modelling good practice by doing this. Please discuss what your child has read with them, this will help to develop their speaking and listening skills, which are a crucial part of the English curriculum.
If a child regularly and consistently reads five times per week (and their reading is supported at home), then they may be awarded a Reading Passport To The World which gives them responsibility for their own reading.
Spellings are set and tested every week (you will be able to find out these days on the class pages). Learning the spellings for just a short time each day is more effective than leaving it all to the last minute. Different methods work for different children. Some children may prefer to use the ‘look, say, cover, write, check’ method which encourages the child to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the word before spelling.
Other ways to learn spellings include:
- Finding words within the word (there’s a ‘hen’ in ‘then’!)
- Breaking the word up into smaller parts (Wed + nes+ day)
- Break the word up into sounds (th-a-nk)
- Making up a silly sentence using the letters (big elephants can’t always understand small elephants spells ‘because’)
Children will have times tables to learn each week. Again, the type and amount will depend on your child’s age and ability. It is crucial that your child learns the times tables off by heart.
Initially, children start by learning the x2, x5 and x10 times table. Once these are secure, they then move on to x3, x4, x6, x7, x8 and x9 times table.
When learning a times table, children must say the numbers and words out loud, for example:
One two is two
Two twos are four
Three twos are six…and so on.
When practising through writing, they should be written as follows:
1 x 2 = 2
2 x 2 = 4
3 x 2 = 6… and so on.
Not knowing times tables off by heart is the biggest obstacle to achieving fast mental maths and also slows down learning when working on areas such as fractions and percentages in maths lessons.
Parents can test a child by calling out a random table, children enjoy the challenge of being tested to see how quickly they can write the answers out. The ‘look, say, cover, write, check method works well to develop this skill, however, rehearsing them on the way to or from school, during a journey in a car or while making a meal can be just as effective.
Additional homework will vary during the academic year and between year groups. This may include additional maths or writing tasks, topic research or related projects.
Year six children will be asked to undertake tasks to prepare them for SATS (the national tests) that they sit in May and to mirror the homework expectations in secondary school.