Power of Reading at Westmeads - Part of the Living with Lockdown series

Published on: 
Friday, 15 May 2020 - 12:20pm
By: 
Jamie Wraight, English Leader, Westmeads Community Infant School

 

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Our Living with Lockdown series looks at how teachers, schools and children are dealing with learning in lockdown. Here at CLPE we have created our Take 5 Home Learning Resources to help teachers continue Power of Reading learning while children are at home. In this blog, Jamie Wraight, KS1 Leader for Curriculum & Enrichment and English Leader at Power of Reading associate school, Westmeads Community Infant School, talks about their Power of Reading Journey and how their children are using the Take 5 notes to keep the Power of Reading alive at home. 

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At Westmeads we have been engaged in teaching in the style of the CLPE Power of Reading approach for many years, incorporating CLPEs Book Power ideas into our teaching. It is only more recently, in the last 3 years, that we have been trained in CLPE’s Power of Reading programme, allowing us access to a vast array of teaching sequences and ideas to support our curriculum.

We have long considered ourselves as a school who values the power of reading and we are proud of our children’s love of the pleasure in reading across the curriculum. However, we are amazed at the impact that the CLPE Power of Reading training has had on further embedding that love of reading at our school. Our children are engaged in their learning through high quality, relevant texts with learning based around this central text as a basis for all our teaching. The Power of Reading has allowed us to explore this approach with the confidence that the requirements of the National Curriculum are being fulfilled in a holistic and pertinent way.

Our infant school children look forward to learning a new CLPE teaching sequence, and the ‘slow reveal’ of the text element of the sequences are very popular with them – they quickly become hooked and cannot wait to find out what happens next. The developing vocabulary of all children through lengthy discussions around key elements of the texts, along with exploration of the illustrations and word choices make the learning process engaging and fun and produce keen, enthusiastic learners as a result.

Through our children’s enthusiasm and engagement, along with the commitment and dedication of our staff team, we were delighted to be made a CLPE Associate school and are very proud to be one of only 17 schools across the country championing the fantastic work of the CLPE team.

 

We were, therefore, delighted to hear that the CLPE were going to be producing ‘home learning’ ideas to support us during these unprecedented times. For parents to be able to continue fostering that love of reading and associated writing opportunities at home in the way we have worked so hard to achieve in school is wonderful and feedback from our families has been overwhelmingly positive. For children to be able to complete similar activities to the way they are taught in school has taken away some of the pressures of ‘am I teaching them right?’ from the parents, as they are able to follow a structure which really embeds the reading and writing styles of the Power of Reading programme which we want the children to develop at Westmeads. And the best part of it all is that parents are telling us that the children want to read more and are pestering them to go out and buy the books they have been looking at.

As a Year 2 teacher, the ‘Take 5’ resources have allowed me and my colleagues to ensure that the writing the children are doing at home is relevant and as similar as possible to what they would have had at school. The activities are sequential and, just like the Power of Reading teaching sequences, they can be tailored to children’s individual needs. Children and parents can pick the parts they enjoy the most and run with the interests of the children from the initial spark the sequence might ignite. It has also helped give our families an insight to how we teach the curriculum at Westmeads. It is also, during these unusual times, really useful that these resources are ‘ready to go’ and our teachers have been able to utilise their time to ensure the learning sent home is meaningful. For that, we are very grateful – in education we need to manage our time effectively!

 

Here are just some of the comments from our amazing families:

“My son enjoyed 'The Secret Sky Garden' Take 5. He was really engaged with it and had a great understanding of why Funni enjoyed going there.  He loved exploring the illustrations and being able to create his own version of the Sky Garden through text, this really enabled him to engage with the author’s text fully. Having a comparison of different versions of Funni's view was great and enabled us to use the text and illustrations to explain what we had included in our pictures and why.” - Year 2 parent

“The 'Moth' Take 5 really engaged my son, he enjoyed the language they used and it really opened his imagination. He loved exploring the pictures alongside the text. He enjoyed creating his own moths and I found that he really used the illustrations and text to create them. He said at the end he felt 'proud' of his work.” - Year 2 Parent

“From my perspective it was nice to have a variety of tasks to work with my daughter on all about one subject. It felt more like a project and meant she was often engaged for longer. (While the link to the reading of the book was useful, I think she would have been even more inspired if I had the foresight to order the book itself)” - Year 2 parent


My daughter especially liked the discussion elements and creating her moth. The Moth tasks obviously piqued her interest because she has since created two moth species 'Top Trump' cards as part of their continued work on mini beasts.” - Year 2 parent

"As a parent doing home learning with my 7 year old son, I have found the CLPE ’Take 5’ work to be more than sufficient. Each week the work set has been (to my relief) very manageable, in bite size pieces (not too overwhelming) and not too heavy on the amount of writing expected to be achieved. My son is a reluctant writer and will avidly tell you he doesn’t like literacy but despite this, he willingly completed the CLPE tasks and really engaged with each lesson. Lots of discussions and research ensued each daily task and lead to learning which covered lots of subject areas not just literacy. My son and I have both enjoyed the theme’s of work, they are all engaging interesting topics. My son particularly liked ’The Secret Sky Garden’ work (he even asked me to buy a copy of the book so he could read it all!) and the moths/mini-beast work. To conclude, I have found the CLPE resources to be positively useful and engaging. My son and I have had some valuable quality time and discussions together as a result of CLPE's high quality lessons." - Year 2 Parent 

 

Some photographs of the work produced from the home learning sequences:

 

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The Take 5 teaching notes discussed in this blog are available as part of our Power of Reading whole school membership.

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