Reading and writing in the Junior School

Reading and writing in the Junior School

Being a clear, confident writer and communicator is such an important life skill. So whether it is letters, stories, poems or books, here at Redmaids' High Junior School we are constantly asking the girls, across all year groups, to put pen to paper.

Naturally, we aim to make writing fun with different challenges and competitions. During this years Book Week, for example, every single girl in the school produced their own book. They were given free rein to write and illustrate as they wanted to allow them to work within their own ability and speed. They were authors of graphic novels, non-fiction books to novellas. The results were  incredible – an example being The Whales Curse written and beautifully illustrated by Anna in Year 6. 

Year 6 pupils also write for our much-loved student publication Chinwag which is distributed once a term and read by all.

Key to literacy is reading. Reading helps young people develop a wide vocabulary, increase general knowledge and explore their understanding of the world but at this stage the most important thing is for children to want to read for pleasure. Here, every single pupil has a book on the go at all times and they enjoy a SQUIRTsession at least once a week when they Sit Quietly you it’s Reading Time. Exciting incentives to dive into books include a Readathon, to be released shortly, in conjunction with Read for Good and our regular book clubs where we have all read the same book and come together to discuss it; with squash and biscuits of course!

Our monthly, themed reading challenges support the introduction of a range of genres and authors into a child’s experience. May is Murder Mystery Month(as you might be able to tell from the picture) so the Robin Stevens' Murder Most Unladylike Mystery series is already in great demand. Of course having a well-stocked library, which includes digital books, reference material and dyslexia-friendly publications, helps. 

That said, we understand not everyone is ready to tackle lengthy books, so have developed Casting Call, an extra-curricular club which sees girls sight-reading scripts, song lyrics, poems or short monologues. It is great fun, and this range of reading-based activities mean the girls get a real sense of what they personally enjoy – for some it is poetry, for others it may be plays, or non-fiction.

To support all of this, we take time to hear each pupil read, and complete a range of formal assessments throughout each year to ensure everyone is making appropriate progress.

The best part is that most girls here develop a real love of literature and are genuinely excited to read, and our close links with Miss Bratt, the Senior School Librarian, mean that when they transfer across, we know they are in safe hands.

Post by Ms Browning, Junior School Literacy Co-ordinator 

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  Date Posted: 14 May 2021
Junior
Date Posted: 13 October, 2021

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