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Learning and Pupil Support

Learning and Pupil Support

Learning to read


At Osmaston Primary School we will be introducing a new way of learning phonics from January 2018, using the acclaimed Read Write Inc method.   You can find out more about this method and access lots of online resources by clicking here.  
As children move beyond learning to say the sounds that the letters and blends of letters make, they start to learn about basic spelling, grammar and punctuation.  In addition they also learn comprehension skills - this means making sure that they actually understand what they are reading.  We use whole class reading (pupils are read stories), guided reading (reading in small groups with a teacher or teaching assistant) and one:one reading to ensure that all children learn how to read fluently and develop a love of reading.

We know that some of our older children are not yet reading fluently and so, as part of introducing this new programme, we are also assessing all of our older children and providing a special catch-up programme for them.  For Y5 and Y7 pupils this is known as Fresh Start and is a programme especially designed for older pupils.

Research shows that children who read for pleasure do much better at school than those that don't.  We therefore strongly encourage all our children to read outside school.  It doesn't matter if this is a story book, a magazine or even web pages - as long as they are reading and enjoying it (for our youngest pupils its all about having them enjoy the pictures in a book and listening to stories).  It is generally better to get a book that is quite easy for the child to read as this will encourage them to read more.    Even better if parents can spend some time each day reading with their children and modelling reading for their own pleasure.  This sets up good habits in children for life.   The short video below highlights the importance of reading with your child and how it can make such a difference to their success in the future.

All pupils at the school will also be issued with login details for an online reading support programme called Lexia.  This programme is proven to help children progress in their reading and is also very 'state of the art' in that it adjusts what is shows on the screen to each individual child.  There are 17 levels in the programme that child progress through and if they are stuck, the programme will alert the teacher that the child needs some support.  Children are awarded certificates as they complete each level.  For some tips on how to get the best use out of Lexia at home, click here. (PS, the very first time that you log onto Lexia you will be asked to enter the teacher's email address.  You should enter:  lexia@osmaston.derby.sch.uk).)

We have recently completely refurbished our school library and this includes the purchase of a lot of new reading books.  We are therefore confident that there is something to interest all of our children within its four walls.  As you will see from the pictures we also have attractive displays about featured authors as well as somewhere comfy to sit while the children are reading.


Above left:  Nicholas Allan, acclaimed children's author opens our refurbished library, above right:  children demonstrate the cosy reading area in the library.

Not sure what book to buy next for your child?  Have a look at this great website that can make personalised recommendations.

Knowledge Organisers

Children throughout the school are regularly issued with 'knowledge organisers'.   These set out, usually on one page of A4 per subject, all the facts that we expect children to have learned (memorised) in each subject by the end of the unit of work.  Children will use these in school as well as taking them home.  It is very helpful for the children to look at these regularly at home and to self quiz using them.  This means that the child covers up one part of the knowledge organiser and then is able to say what the part covered up is.  You can see an example knowledge organiser below and can find copies of the current KOs on the class pages to download.  NOTE:  We will not be using knowledge organisers for Read, Write Inc during the spring term until we are fully familiar with the new programme and its requirements.  In the summer term we expect to issue knowledge organisers for each colour of Read, Write Inc group, including Fresh Start which is the phonics catch-up programme for Y5 and Y6 pupils.

Memory Techniques

We are very mindful of the principles of Cognitive Load Theory in our school.  This theory talks about moving information from our working memory into our long term memory in order to really learn something and be able to recall it in the future.  We therefore teach our pupils various memory techniques in order to be able to do this well.  Parents can support us by using these memory techniques at home too (also useful for adults so try them yourself).  You can find lots of information about various memory techniques on the Junior Memory Championship Website.  We are pleased to announce that we have joined this website and are aiming to take part in the Junior Memory Championship in 2018.