We believe that children should be inspired by the power of language. We ensure that our curriculum is broad, balanced and interesting so that the children enjoy developing their knowledge, skills and understanding as a reader, writer, speaker and listener. We are passionate about teaching pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate with others. We provide many opportunities for the children to practise their literacy skills.
Horfield Primary School
UKLA Literacy School of the Year 2017-2018!
“This award is more than a celebration of creative, enthusiastic and engaging teaching. It is a kite mark for excellence.” Tracy Parvin, UKLA President
In 2017 we were honoured to be awarded the national accolade United Kingdom Literacy Association School of the Year. We were very proud of the way in which our approach to teaching and learning in English was recognised as “ground breaking” by the visiting judges. They commented that “the quality of writing is a joy to behold.”
Mrs Taylor was asked to write this article for the education magazine English 4-11 to capture our cross-curricular, creative approach to English teaching and learning.
At Horfield, reading is important to us and we work hard to engender a love of and passion for reading in every child. This is an important part of our ethos and is embedded throughout the school.
We have a levelled reading scheme and every child has an individual reading book. Children have opportunities to read regularly to teachers, teaching assistants and volunteers. The children progress through the scheme until they become "extended readers" at which point they can choose books from their class book corner or the library. We actively encourage parents to hear their children read every night and a Reading Record aids home/school dialogue in this area.
We are proud of our library to which we are continually adding books and every year group has an allocated time in the library each week. Our highly successful bi-annual Book Fairs raise lots of money for the purchase of new books so our library books are constantly fresh and updated, and never tired.
Recommended reading list
Recommended reading for EYFS/KS1 & KS2. Please click on the appropriate links below.
Reading on the Rugs in the Apple Orchard
On sunny days Year Six deliver boxes of books and rugs to the Apple Orchard so that anyone who’d like to enjoy a book at lunchtime can relax and have a good read.
Our aim is for every child to enjoy writing and in every class we routinely provide lots of stimulating opportunities to encourage creativity. "Imagination Stations", where writing is inspired through the children's own artwork, is embedded across the school and often results in stunning work.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar
We have in place a rigorous and structured programme for teaching phonics, spelling, handwriting, punctuation and grammar which is firmly embedded across the school. Grammar is taught both discretely and through English lessons, and every Wednesday Years 2 to 6 have an early morning "Words on Wednesday" activity to help embed aspects of grammar and punctuation. The school has a wide range of strategies for the teaching of spelling and is firmly established across all year groups.
As a Platinum Artsmark school, we place a heavy emphasis on the importance of spoken language through performance; in English, we focus on the dramatic performance. Children across the school are exposed to a wide range of performance opportunities either as participants or as audience. We are fortunate to enjoy visits from the Old Vic Theatre School once a year where they entertain us with their version of the Nativity. Year groups enjoy occasional visits to the theatre to see shows which are linked to their topics of work. All children in Reception perform in their Christmas Nativity play and we have a thriving KS2 after school drama club which puts on a yearly performance.
For the last few years, Year 6 has participated in the Shakespeare Schools' Festival, the UK's largest youth drama festival; in the last four years they have performed "Julius Caesar", "Hamlet", "Romeo & Juliet" and "Macbeth".
At the end of each year, Year 6 come together to put on a performing arts extravaganza which celebrates all aspects of the performing arts. We believe firmly in the small performance opportunities and not just the large, and so children are encouraged to perform at every possible opportunity, in whatever setting they feel most comfortable whether this is to their class, in an assembly or to an outside audience.