At Holy Trinity, we are a writing school. From Reception to Year 6 we ensure that our children are given the opportunity to express themselves through the written word for a variety of different purposes. Our writing tasks come through both current events and our class topics, which we hope will inspire and interest the children in what they are writing.
Writing begins with ‘mark making’ in Reception class. In their classroom environment, our youngest writers are presented with a range of different writing activities, from tracing letter shapes in sand and foam, to writing on whiteboards to proudly show off their work on display.
As our children progress through KS1, writing starts to become more structured and the children start writing ‘Star Writes’. All children have a Star Write book which holds all of these pieces of independent writing and are a great means of seeing just how much our children at Holy Trinity improve and progress in their writing throughout the year. At the end of each half term, each teacher chooses one child from their class to be awarded with a ‘Super Star Writer’ certificate to celebrate their efforts.
In KS2, our children carry on writing Star Writes and each child completes at least 2 pieces of independent work every half term. To further develop writing skills and content, KS2 children have ‘8 Minute Writes’. These are short, sharp bursts of writing – usually based on a picture stimulus – where our children can practise skills or grammatical concepts that they have learned in class.
Another crucial part of the writing process in Holy Trinity is ‘editing and improving’. The children are taught from an early age that even the best and most accomplished authors must check through their work before it is published and, bearing this in mind, we teach the children the skills needed to improve their writing in this way. As part of making their writing the best it can be, we also encourage our children to consider their presentation. In Holy Trinity, we teach cursive handwriting right from Reception and, as the children move through to Year 6, we expect cursive to be present in all of the children’s work across all subjects.
Writing progress and attainment is monitored closely to ensure that resources and topics are adapted according to the needs and interests of the children.
Reading is a key part of life in Holy Trinity. As you walk through Prep School, there is an abundance of evidence highlighting the enthusiasm for and importance of books. There is rarely a day when the Prep library is not full of children eager to share a story with a friend; borrow a book to take home or acquire valuable library and research skills.
Each classroom has outside its door, a poster sharing which book each class is currently reading. At Holy Trinity, we recognise the importance of allowing time to listen to and enjoy stories and so each class has at least ten minutes of reading time scheduled into their timetable every day. During this time, the children can listen to their teacher reading, listen to an audio book or discuss what they have read with their friends. These and other books that the children regularly experience in class, will inspire their work in a variety of subjects.
At Holy Trinity, we encourage our children to read a variety of both fiction and non-fiction. We do this by giving them access to a range of books, newspapers and other reading material. We also enjoy many celebrations of books throughout the year. Recent events have included Roald Dahl Day, Shakespeare Week and our annual celebrations of World Book Day. Participation in these events in Holy Trinity is exceptional and they are something both staff and children look forward to
As well as learning different reading skills through our inquiry-based themes each half-term, each class also has daily Guided Reading sessions. During these sessions, children will usually work through a carousel of activities throughout the week. Each child will have an opportunity to read with the class teacher or teaching assistant in a small group at least once a week. During this session, the children will be asked comprehension questions tailored to stretch and challenge them and to develop skills of information retrieval, inference and deduction and summary and comparison of a range of texts. During the rest of the week, the children will complete activities including comprehension tasks, grammar tasks, follow-up tasks based on their reading and, importantly, reading for pleasure.
Reading progress and attainment is monitored closely to ensure that resources and topics are adapted according to the needs and interests of the children.