Storytelling is at the very heart of our school. Children hear stories which are then learnt orally, deepened through a variety of creative activities, innovated upon and then have opportunities to invent their own. We ensure that all narrative plots are covered over the year and children use these to develop their narrative writing skills. Non-fiction text types are also learnt through this storytelling approach and are all mapped out on our curriculum overviews to ensure there is effective coverage across the school. Poetry is also included through the deepening activities and we feel that it is an essential part to language learning and playfulness.
Hooks into learning are always encouraged and these may be through school-based activities or class trips. Outcomes and purpose to learning and writing are always sought. Assemblies, book launches for parents, displays, publications on the website and blogs are used to highlight the classes’ fantastic learning.
We want the children at Mayflower to be excited about their writing and the opportunities through the speaking and listening skills learnt through storytelling has a fantastic impact on enjoyment and attainment. English Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation (EGPS) is covered creatively through shared writing opportunities to make it meaningful, as well as through discrete lessons linked into class topics.
We are extremely proud of our phonics learning at Mayflower and recently achieved over 97% pass rate in the Year 1 phonics screening. We work closely with an external advisor to ensure our methods in phonics are kept to the extremely high standards we expect.
Reading is taught through shared and guided reading sessions which occur daily. Key Stage 2 children are now involved in the Accelerated Reader programme to encourage them to read even more widely and challenge them appropriately. We have a peer mentoring programme set up with children in KS1 and LKS2 whereby the older children are listening to a child from a class 2 years below them and supporting them on their reading journey. Teachers, Teaching Assistants and local visiting business partners also give children 1:1 reading support.
We have two Reading Recovery teachers who run the very successful and intensive reading recovery programme, which runs daily for 20 weeks. This is available for those Year 1 children who find reading and writing challenging and enables them to catch up with their peers and become more independent.
An inviting, stimulating and topic related book corner can be found in every classroom and is just a part of what our school offers to encourage reading. All children are expected to read daily at home with their parents’ involvement and encouragement.
As well as reading books from the classroom selection, children can also find a huge collection of exciting new books in our delightful school library. There are also regular planned visits to our local Idea Store in Chrisp Street Market.
We want the children at Mayflower to develop a love for reading which follows them throughout life. Through our dedicated story times throughout the day, celebrations throughout the year (especially during World Book Week), book fairs and exciting rewards for resilient and fantastic readers, we hope we have created an environment for that love of literature to grow whilst they learn in our school.