Focus area: Can an enriched reading experience in Year 1 and Year 2 have an impact on the potential to achieve Greater Depth writers in KS1?
I carried out the scanning phase with my Year 2 class and discovered that they did not link reading with writing development.
I decided to explore the reading experience of the Year 2 children and discovered that, as the children became for fluent and confident with their reading, parental support reduced. The children often read on their own and only some were read to by an adult on a regular basis.
My hunch was that as the children progressed through Year 2 adult support reduced and, therefore, the children were not monitored for reading accuracy or understanding. Also, as the adults reduced the time spent reading to their child, the exposure to story ideas and new vocabulary was limited.
New professional learning:
I attended the course Exceeding Age Related Writing and was made aware of the current thinking around access to vocabulary beyond the age of seven and the value of reading to children.
I created a questionnaire to collect data on reading patterns at the start of the academic year. I held an information evening for parents to inform them of the enquiry and ask for their support with reading at home. This included reading to their child and selecting texts slightly more challenging than their child’s reading ability.
I made reading more of a focus within my teaching and now make explicit links with writing. I am modelling selecting words or phrases from our reading and then using them in writing.
I have prepared a mini library of books for the children to select from if they wish and I have provided a list for the parents of books other children in the class are reading should they need ideas.
I am at the mid-point of this phase. To date, some of the children are reading more regularly at home compared with previous years and more children are being read to by an adult.
I have seen some early signs of selection of vocabulary from reading within the children’s writing but this has been guided by the teacher. I intend for this to become independent as we move through the phase.
Quotes from the children when asked ‘How does reading help you to write?’ include:
- It helps to give you new words.
- It helps you to put stories in order.
- It helps you to write in sentences because you can learn patterns and copy sentences.
- It helps you to spell and spot when words don’t look right so that you can get a dictionary.
If the impact is positive, I would like to continue this process by sharing with other practitioners and year groups. If there is little impact on writing, then I hope that the enquiry has allowed the children to enjoy a wider range of books.
Spirals is a fabulous journey and I can now see why it is a spiral as my enquiry has already generated more ideas to investigate. In particular, the Spirals approach of scanning first has opened up a new way of thinking and problem solving. I like the way the enquiries can be wide, whole school ideas or have a smaller, specific focus.