English at Rushmore
Temporary English Lead: Rebecca Bedding
At Rushmore, we are passionate about teaching our children how to communicate effectively. From Nursery to Year 6, we use an agreed set of differentiated talk stems and dedicated lesson time to teach the children how to support and listen, show understanding and build a discussion with their peers.
Click here to see an example of a Talk Mat used by the children.
We begin to cultivate children’s reading skills in Nursery, where daily sessions of Read Write Inc (RWI) teach children how to decode new words and begin to develop their comprehension skills.
Once this programme has been completed (usually by Year 2), children move on to Destination Reader (DR). This approach involves daily sessions incorporating whole class modelling prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading.
Rushmore was lucky enough to be part of shaping Destination Reader - developed by the Hackney Learning Trust - and have found that teachers and children alike are really enjoying this approach. Children now have a clearer understanding of what makes a good reader and are given the time to develop these skills. We are also beginning to see the impact of these sessions in their writing: children are writing as readers with their readers in mind.
We are always looking for support in our reading sessions. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email Cat Sutcliffe: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are very proud of the Rushmore Library which has just celebrated its 3rd birthday! Every child visits the library weekly and is able to borrow a book for up to two weeks. We have a constant supply of books being added to the library, most of them requested by the pupils! We also have a team of Year 6’s who keep the library looking at its best and they are also in charge of cataloguing the new books.
This year we have been working hard to make our library a more diverse and inclusive place. We challenged a group of children to find themselves on our bookshelves; this led to plenty of animated discussion about how important it is to see a true reflection of Rushmore within what we read. In September a number of our teachers took part in a sponsored climb of Snowdon, raising over £1000. This money was used to buy new books for the library, which celebrated BAME, LGBTQ, disabled and refugee characters and authors. The books arrived just in time for the libraries 3rd birthday, and the children were given the opportunity to read them with a partner from another year group.
Our teachers use a range of exciting topics as a stimulus for writing tasks. We value the importance of giving the children a reason to write. We encourage the children to explore and evaluate good examples, build up their vocabulary, and use drama as a tool to unpick different genres before teaching them to plan and write their own pieces. We also have bi-weekly Big Write sessions from Year 1 onwards, in which children are encouraged to build up their writing stamina and complete an independent piece based on the theme or topic that they are studying. Our children are part of the discussion in terms of their next steps and work together to peer assess each other’s work and to give advice on how to make their writing even better.
You can also see amazing examples of our children’s writing displayed proudly throughout the school, so keep your eyes peeled!