Reading is central to all the children's work here at Waterloo. We aim to foster a love of reading and books from the very start.
Children in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 are able to take home a book to share with their family once a week. These books are drawn from our Waterloo Core Booklist which ensures our children experience and enjoy a range of classic and modern age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction. The children also hear these stories read to them by their teachers throughout the year.
We have a well-stocked library from which older children can borrow books to enjoy at home and which they visit regularly. Each classroom also has its own book corner for children to use and enjoy. Books are celebrated across the school in our displays, work, reading sessions and in special events such as Literature Weeks and World Book Day.
In addition, all children in Reception and Year 1 are allocated a book from our reading scheme (Floppy's Phonics) to read at home. These titles are completely phonetically decodable to ensure children can read them as independently, confidently and fluently as possible. Once the children are secure in their use of phonics to decode new and unfamiliar words, they are able to access the reading scheme for older children. All children in years 2 - 6 take home a levelled text to practise their reading at home. This ensures children make progress throughout their time at primary school and are always reading a book that is both accessible and providing a suitable level of challenge.
Each class enjoys at Waterloo has a daily storytime session to develop the children's love of reading and stories further. There are three to four set texts in each year group from years 3 to 6 which the children read at storytime with their teacher and also study in reading lessons. In this way we are able to ensure the children experience a wide range of modern and classic children's literature throughout their time at Waterloo. Reading high-quality fiction together as a class develops the children's vocabulary enormously; develops their knowledge of literature and authors; broadens their knowledge of the world, and has real benefits for their written work. The class novel is often the starting point for children's work across the curriculum in art, drama and writing, and sometimes links closely with other topics being studied.
You can find details of the Waterloo Core Books by clicking on the link on the previous page.
We aim to ensure that children are always writing with a clear audience and purpose in mind. Children write in a range of styles and genres in school - you can find more detail about this on the class curriculum pages. We ensure that children have opportunities to write a range of stories, poetry and non-fiction each term.
At Waterloo teachers follow the Waterloo Writing Approach. Children generally study a model text as the basis for their written work in Literacy lessons. They learn to say the text orally before reading it, allowing them to embed the grammatical structures of the text and other key features in their spoken language. Teachers plan lessons to help children become secure in the key features of a text - such as vocabulary and relevant grammar skills - before writing. They then have opportunities to 'innovate' on the model, writing their own version based on the original; and finally to write a further text with greater independence and reduced levels of teacher support.
We plan for the children to write based on real, vivid experiences wherever possible, such as outings, visitors to school, or drama and speaking/listening activities.
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