Our overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
We aim for our pupils to:
At Cookham Dean we encourage all children to become independent, active and resilient learners and be confident in all strands of their learning.
The National Curriculum states that pupils should be taught to read fluently, understand extended prose and be encouraged to read for pleasure. Reading is singled out as of extreme importance since through it ‘pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually’ (p13) Reading allows pupils to ‘acquire knowledge’ and to ‘build on what they already know’ (p13).
The National Curriculum divides reading skills into two dimensions:
We recognise that both these elements are essential to success and that these areas are clearly linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary.
In Early Years and Key Stage One pupils learn to read through:
In Key Stage Two pupils progress and develop their reading through:
Across the school pupils are encouraged to:
Shared reading experiences are encouraged between upper and lower school. We also have a variety of whole school reading experiences during the school year including a poetry competition, story telling evening and story telling and reading theme weeks.
What is Bug Club?
We use Bug Club to support our reading schemes and development of reading. Bug Club is an online reading resource that also has hard copies of books that the children can read in school and at home.
The children will be reading Bug Club books and using Bug Club books for guided reading and reading comprehension activities and the teachers will be using Bug Club reading assessments to assess your children’s progress and reading attainment.
The Bug Club scheme provides the children with a user name and password so they can participate in online reading activities and games at home. The children can access Bug Club via the Active Learn Primary Website, where they can select activities and books of their choice.
Throughout the year, teachers allocate electronic reading books to all children in their classes so the children can read at home via the website. If your child has read all the books in their allocation then please let their class teacher know.
At Cookham Dean Primary School we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme.
We use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to plan and provide effective, daily phonics lessons. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound and that these can be used in a variety of combinations to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing. Our phonics teaching starts in Reception and follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. At Cookham Dean we also model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum.
How we teach phonics
Reading practice sessions
How do we assess phonic knowledge?
If you are a parent and would like more information about how to support your child with phonics at home, please follow this link to find the Reception and Year 1 overview as well as videos of the sound pronunciations, letter formation sheets and other helpful resources.
The National Curriculum states that pupils should:
The National Curriculum divides writing skills into two dimensions:
We recognise that both these elements are essential to success. We recognise that these areas are clearly linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary.
Writing is taught, developed, modelled and supported across the school through:
To measure the impact of our curriculum, we regularly use pupils’ books to capture an insight into the effectiveness of our curriculum. Pupils’ work demonstrates the effectiveness of the curriculum where age-appropriate grammar knowledge and writing skills are developed over a sequence of lessons which lead towards pupils writing independent pieces.
In addition, we regularly collate pupil voice to ensure our curriculum meets the needs of the children. As a result, children are exposed to a varied menu of genres and write for a range of audiences and purposes, with high quality models derived from a range of texts used to inspire their own writing.
Through pupil interview, children can articulate the resources they have access to in order to improve and establish themselves as authors in their own right.
Pupils’ gain cultural capital through the carefully crafted choice of texts used – the exposure to a range of genres, authors and novels allows for pupils to read often and widely and provide a stimulus and high quality model to inspire pupils to have future aspirations as authors, journalists, editors and beyond.
Examples of high quality work derived as a result of the writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling are used on our displays as a learning showcase. This ensures pupils are proud of their work and strive to work towards achieving the same high standards. Impact in the curriculum can also be seen through the Statutory Assessment Tests and through termly summative assessments across school which enables pupils’ progress and attainment in the subject matter to be evaluated.
Cookham Dean Storytelling Week 2020
We have had a fantastic storytelling week with lots of different storytelling activities.
The week started with our dance workshops based on Where the Wild Things Are (KS1) and The Lorax (KS2). The focus of the workshops was to retell the story through creative movement and dance.
On Tuesday, we had Storytelling Evening, run by the PTA. The children loved coming back to school in their pyjamas and listening to a bedtime with their teacher. The classrooms were very cosy and the evening was topped off with hot chocolate the biscuits Thank you very much PTA ladies!
On Wednesday, the teachers swapped classes and went to read end of day stories to different classes, the teachers and the children really enjoyed having a change of scene and change of teacher for a story!
On Thursday it was World Book Day. We started the day with a reading breakfast. The children really enjoyed having their breakfast at school while reading stories with their friends and families.
The children all looked fantastic in their school uniforms but with a hint of their favourite story character. The children’s hints were very creative and it was great fun guessing each other’s characters.
At 10am, we joined in with Maidenhead’s Big Read, Drop and Read. Everyone in the school stopped what they were doing and read for 10 minutes.
To end the week, we had our Everybody Writes Day. The children were working on Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack and the Baked Beanstalk.
KS1 focused in retelling and writing their own versions of Jack and the Beanstalk and KS2 focused on writing newspaper reports for Jack and the Baked Beanstalk, writing the story from the giant’s perspective and writing their own, very imaginative versions of the story.
Thank you to all the parents that came along and worked with their children to support them in their story writing.
Throughout the year we have our Everybody Writes days. These are days when the whole school works on the same theme or stimulus for writing. Each class will approach and carry out the writing in a way that is most appropriate their age group and curriculum aims. Parents are invited into each class to work with their children on their piece of writing.
We aim to use engaging and stimulating hooks for the writing tasks. We have had a mysterious door appearing outside school, the teachers putting a play for the children based on a well know story and we have alternative versions of traditional tales.
Look out for the dates of Everybody Writes Days in the school newsletter.
Reception and Key Stage One love having Mystery Readers!
The aim of ‘Mystery Reader’ is to show children that adults love reading too so we would like to invite parents, grandparents or other family members to come into their child's class to read a children's story. This could be a book you particularly enjoyed reading when you were growing up, a current children's book brought from home or a book selected from the school library. The children will not know who is coming into their class for each session so it will be a surprise when their reader arrives.
Mystery Reader sessions are on Mondays, 2.50pm-3.10pm. If you would like to come in to be a mystery reader then please speak to the class teachers.
We look forward to seeing you and hearing your stories!
Listening to readers
If you have some spare time during the day and would like to come into school to listen to readers then please speak to the class teacher and the class reps and then Mrs Conibear in the office so she can ensure that all safeguarding procedures are followed.
Cookham Dean CE Primary School, Bigfrith Lane,
Cookham Dean, Maidenhead SL6 9PH.
Tel: 01628 482734.