WDPS - Whole School Focus
Reading for the Stars
At WDPS we are always striving to ensure we are doing everything we can so that your child achieves their full potential on their journey through our school.
The Government makes changes to the curriculum for the ever-changing world in which we live and therefore we regularly reflect on the way we teach and the content of what we teach. Recently, this has become increasingly more challenging and reading is the area we are focusing on in order to meet the new demands of the National Curriculum.
What are we doing as a school to ensure we meet these needs and how are we continuing to develop reading at WDPS?
Firstly, as Literacy Lead, I am constantly keeping abreast of new and improved techniques and strategies which are available to support and improve reading across our school. This is then shared with staff and implemented across the different phases. Being a part of the Outer West Learning Trust, WDPS works closely with these schools, sharing best practice and working together to meet shared whole school priorities.
In the Foundation Stage, we have a comprehensive phonics programme in place (Read Write Inc) and last year we introduced Talk Boost in Nursery. This has been so successful we are now rolling this out in Reception too.
Throughout the year, there are regular phonics workshops where parents and careers can come into school to find out what they can do to support their child with this vital life skill.
Read Write Inc is continued in years one and two and this is having a positive impact on the phonics test in the summer term for year one children - with the best results to date and continuing an upward trend.
As a whole school, we have introduced additional guided reading sessions each week and we also a scheme to challenge children who are more confident in this area (Reading Explorers - a guided skills based journey and Rising Stars).
Your child's teacher is also sharing a whole class text at the end of each school day to promote a love of reading and to instil the habit of reading for pleasure.
You may have noticed our new and exciting library area in the foyer where your child can borrow books from fortnightly. They can also borrow books from our local community library once a half term.
Each class now has a stunning reading display around their classroom door.
The displays are intended to promote a love of reading and to enthuse and excite children about reading.
Other initiatives which are embedded at WDPS to promote a love of reading are:
- Weekly reading reward certificates given out on Fridays.
- Half termly reading reward prizes for two children per class who are demonstrating a real commitment to improving their reading skills.
- Reading journal activity booklets for homework.
- A parent / carer reading partner assigned to each class.
- Whole school reading weeks.
- £10,000.00 investment in a new reading scheme.
Three exciting initiatives we have introduced since September are Bug Club, Literacy Box and Literature Works.
Bug Club is an online reading comprehension computer program ( Year 2 upwards), where your child is assigned appropriate books for their age and ability; this is proving so popular that children are rushing to school to ask for more books to be assigned to their accounts. Your child has a copy of their own personal login but please speak to their class teacher if you need a replacement.
Literacy Box is an exciting and challenging reading resource used in the classroom.
Finally we are also now a part of Literature Works and we have access to lesson planning and case studies resources to aid and excite teachers when planning and delivering the teaching of reading and writing across the school.
So what can you do to support your child?
- Read with your child every day with few distractions around if possible.
- Read aloud until they are fluent and still read aloud when they are.
- Ask them questions about the book or text you have read together.
- Read their favourite book over and over again.
- Talk about what might happen next or what if?
- Ask your child about books they are reading in class and what they like to read best.
- Discuss the meanings of tricky words and even look their meanings up.
- Retake control of your TV and tablet time so children will be more inclined to read.
- Read anything and everything from comics and road signs to cereal boxes.
Together we can make the difference and help all of our children become lifelong readers and so increase their life chances. So let's reach for the stars and read for the stars.
This original English Literature play, which was written by William Shakespeare over 400 year ago, is all about a king (Macbeth) who killed all of the god fathers just to be the master of the kingdom. Macbeth killed his best friend in order that he did not tell anyone about the murder.
This was my favourite part of the book, when Macbeth sits down to eat with all of his kingdom. Suddenly, flash of white dazzled Macbeth… and the ghost of his friend appeared on his throne, yet Macbeth was the only one to see him (as he had been the one who had killed him).
On the other hand, the part I didn’t exactly enjoy was when he killed the god fathers because in my opinion it was gruesome to see that someone killed a person just to be a king!
As the book unfolds, it appears that Macbeth gets weaker and weaker as the ghosts haunt him. Also, there is a queen witch and 3 other witches and they try to kill him. The say the famous line “Hubble Bubble and there’s trouble”
In my opinion, I rate this book a 10/10 as I really enjoyed reading Macbeth and the challenge that Shakespeare affords and I recommend it to children age 10+.
By Milena Baginska
A Christmas Carol is a classic English novel, which was published by one of the most famous authors, Charles Dickens. He is famed, like William Shakespeare yet he created an encouraging story based on a bad-tempered, ancient man, Ebenezer Scrooge, who receives more than he gives. The story has been made into a plethora of new films and animations from numerous studios.
Recently, I was nominated to be Scrooge in the school production, but on the other hand, this is a book review; not a drama review. Ebenezer Scrooge was a grump who actually was richer than many. Yet one night, upon a Christmas Eve, he encountered a ghost, not any random one but his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley. Marley came to discuss Scrooge not avenging his death on Christmas Day, Marley also warned him of escaping his fate, no matter what he said he was condemned to be haunted by three spirits: the ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come…
I would rate this novel 9/10 because there are no writers who are as remarkable as Dickens, I would recommend this novel to ages 9+ and over.
The Boy In The Dress is by a fantastic author, who is really amusing, called David Walliams. This amazing book is all about the relationship between the boy and his dad. They don’t really get on but as you go through the book, the relationship builds up and gets stronger. I really enjoy his writing because he is a very talented writer and he makes things extremely hilarious, such as around the corner from the boy’s house there is a shop called ‘Raj’s Shop’. Raj, who is the shop keeper, has special deals like twenty four ice creams for the price of twenty three and he always cheers everyone up. David Walliams uses a lot of higher level words but I liked that because I learned what they meant. Whilst reading this book, I found myself laughing out loud. I also loved some of the little illustration by Quentin Blake, who is really good at drawing them to fit the writer’s description.
I would rate this amazing 10/10. I love this wonderful book so much that would definitely be recommending this book to people and I can’t wait to read some more of his marvellous books.
Book review – Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is and extremely famous book written by J.K.Rowling. Excitingly, this book makes shivers run down your spine, goose bumps trail up your arm because of the suspense in the piece of writing. The genres of this fascinating book are: Fantasy, sci – fi (science fiction), drama and fiction.
This book is about a boy named Harry; his parents passed away when he was a baby. Unfortunately, Harry was told to go live with his forbidding, malicious Auntie and Uncle (whose names were Petunia and Vernon) and their beast of a child… Dudley. However, one day a mysterious letter came through the post from Hogwarts (School of Witch Craft and Wizardry). There was no doubt that Harry was a unique wizard from his survival of the wicked Voldemort. Suddenly, Harry found out that he was a wizard; yet it was announced by an odd man, who had a vast, somber beard and was as monumental as a tree.
From that point onwards Harry’s adventures began. He experienced things he had never experienced before; his trip to ‘Diagon Alley’ for example. If Hagrid had never have turned up, if that letter never came through the post and if Hogwarts had gave up giving him letters… would Harry still be sleeping in the cupboard under the stairs?
Overall, I would rate this book 10/10 and would recommend to ages 9 +.
My War Horse Book Review
Today I’m writing a book review of ‘War Horse’ by Michael Morpurgo. I have picked this book because it gives you a lot of different emotions.
This book is an historical fiction text because he has wrote about something that has happened in the past but he has made up the characters; basing key events in the book from real events that occurred in WW1 . This book can break your heart then mend it, when Joey (a horse) goes to war; this is when Albert’s heart breaks because Joey and Albert had such a strong relationship/bond.
It began when Albert’s dad went out to buy a calf but he was drunk and ended up buying a horse that wasn’t even 6 weeks old. First, Joey met Zoey, who was very kind to him. Next, Albert came into Joey’s stable and that’s where it all began.
Months later, Joey was no longer with Albert nor Zoey. He was now with Captain Nichols and Corporal Samuel Perkin. Corporal Samuel Perkin’s was now training Joey to become a War Horse; however his training was very harsh. This was caused by him kicking Joey and stretching his mouth out.
Joey has gone to war but something has happened what could it be?
I recommend this book age 10+; my rating so far out of 10 is a 10/10.
By Emily Drummond
David Almond is one of my favourite authors as he wrote a book called ‘Skellig’. It is an interesting book and I recommend people to read it.
The book is manly about an old, wrinkly man called Skellig, who lived in some ones garage and a young boy called Michael moved in to the house. At this time his sister was seriously ill and she had to go to the hospital for a while. Michael went in to his garage and he found…
Someone living there behind all of the cobwebs, blue battens and the tea chest; the boy made a friend and a bit further in the story, Michael finally tells his friend about ‘Skellig’ and she was excited. When she first she met ‘Skellig’ and she saw what state he was in, she disappeared and then, in a flash and she was carrying a key for an abandoned house. Michael and his friend carried him to the house and made him a bed. It was then that found out that he had something on his back and the story get better and better. I personally would rate it five stars because it’s a good book for teens and adults, it may have some bad words in, so if you read this to you children just be careful.
By: Chantelle Kilgallon
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Book Review
The author of the Harry Potter books, who was J.K Rowling, done an extraordinary job at writing the marvellous books, this one especially. This is my favourite book out of the seven books she has written because of the amazing and unexpected plot twists. Overall it makes you think about what is going to happen next.
One of my favourite parts in the film is when Buckbeak, who belongs to Hagrid, gets brutally crucified, but is he really dead? I also think this part is extremely interesting because you can’t predict what is going to happen next. Another thing I like about this fantastic book is that there are many plots and twists and almost everyone plot links together in the end.
One of my favourite things about these books is that there are so many to read, I would recommend this book to children around the age of eight and onwards.