English at OLOL
Our school library is packed with engaging texts from every genre. Our newly elected Year 5 librarians are here to help us out at break-times and lunch-times: choosing books, making recommendations and completing reading challenges.
Whole Class Texts
We share a range of whole class texts throughout the year to expand our vocabulary, develop our reading skills and inspire our writing. Here are our English Champions with their class’ texts.
Read with DERIC (KS1) or ERIC (KS2)
At OLOL, we love ‘reading with ERIC’. ERIC helps us to demonstrate our comprehension of the texts we read and to articulate which reading skill we are using when answering a question.
Drop Everything and Read (DEAR)
Every class has an allocated DEAR slot on a Friday afternoon to develop enjoyment of reading and development of reading skills in a relaxed environment. The texts are a mixture of pupil choice and class core texts...
We endeavour to get as many children as possible to apply for a library card and make maximum use of our local library in Yardley Wood. We organise visits from the moment pupils start school to show them what a safe and exciting space a library is and how many books you can access for free using your library card. Hera re some photos of a recent Year R visit...
Your Teacher Recommends...
At OLOL, we are a school of readers and we hope that by sharing the books we love as teachers and other members of staff, we will encourage children to try new and different books. Staff recommendations will appear in each week's newsletter and children are rewarded if they give the "Teacher's Choice" a try!
Our Class Library Spaces
Each class has developed a space in their room which is their class library - this area houses books for home reading, drop everything and read, class curriculum topics etc. The spaces are a welcoming, cosy place that celebrates the importance of books in our school and stock is regularly added to and improved...
As part of our ongoing celebration of reading, we embrace themed days during the school year. World Book Day is celebrated in March each year and in January we celebrate the World of Harry Potter. We acknowledge other such key authors like Roald Dahl Day, Winnie the Pooh Day, World Poetry Day, Tell a Fairy Tale Day...
Reading Diary Tasks
In our home reading diaries, we reading challenges. Our English Champions monitor diaries and tasks completed. When we complete our first ten challenges, we are awarded a bookmark. When we complete all twenty challenges, we choose a new book to take home from Mrs David.
Mrs D Reading Challenges
Every 2 months Mrs David challenges pupils to read books on a selected theme in a given time span - the challenges allow pupils to delve into a particular genre or author and increase their reading diet. Pupils note the books read in their reading diaries and at the end of the themed month, books are counted and children receive a certificate and new book from Mrs David's book boxes. Children and their families tweet #MrsDReadingChallenge as they do the tasks!
EYFS N2 Writing
We encourage the early development of literacy skills in all pupils attending our nursery setting - it is important that the earliest experiences of phonics, reading and writing are fun and meaningful so that the foundations for formal communication and information access are strong. Here are some photos of our Year N pupils developing letter shapes and phonics...
OLOL Book Review Journals
Each class has a special journal that goes home with a new child each week. Children choose a book they are reading (or have read) and write and illustrate a spread about the book to share with their class. It is hoped that this review journal will inspire others in teh class to try the same texts. Every child gets to add to teh class journal no matter their reading ability or preferences...
Miss Molloy's OLOL Book Exchange
Once a term, children are invited to take part in our pre loved book swap shop. This is a change to bring in a good quality, well read book that can be donated for another child to enjoy. Each child who donates gets a token to allow them to shop for a "new" book in teh exchange (or carry their token over for next time!).
We keep a record of our favourite authors, which we add to throughout the year, at the back of our reading diaries. We enjoy sharing our favourite authors with our friends.
National Handwriting Day
At OLOL we try to make neat, cursive handwriting a priority aspect of our curriculum. To this end, we celebrate National Handwriting Day with opportunities for pupils to do examples of their best handwriting (where they are not drafting or writing in a hurry) to show what they are capable of.
Once upon a time, long ago, people would inscribe their stories on the walls of caves. These included animals, humans, and other intriguing as-yet-unidentified objects. Some even resembled ancient versions of a graphic novel without the speech bubbles.
Of course, scientists believe storytelling has existed in some form or another since the development of languages, and the earliest evidence we have are these cave drawings. Then, as the world (and man) evolved, so did our storytelling abilities. The ancient cultures — Greeks, Sumerians, Egyptians — gave us oral stories. And then there was Aesop, who was probably also a teller of oral tales. Epic poems like the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey” were initially passed down by word-of-mouth and were only later written down.
Similarly, cultures and people like the Native Americans also passed stories down verbally, a tradition that continues to this day in some cultures. Over time, stories changed to incorporate modern inventions. Photographs, video recordings, and television became new ways to tell stories.
At OLOL, we love stories and so continue the tradition of reading and writing stories in our learning. During National Story Telling Week, we pay special attention to the joy of story and National Read Aloud Day.
At OLOL, we want to extend our language so that we are using unique and ambitious vocabulary in our writing. Every week, we study five challenging words in class. We use post-its to share ideas when delving into deeper meaning and investigating the origin of each word: finding synonyms and antonyms, writing sentences, modifying the word and locating its definition.
Which Vocabulary Ninja are you? Check out the 100 commonly over-used words and Vocabulary Ninja’s alternatives to help you move from Grasshopper to Shinobi to Warrior to Samurai to Assassin and finally the Grand Master.
Fantastic Writing at OLOL
Check out the superb writing we have produced inspired by the first texts we shared in our classes.
Enriching Literacy at OLOL: Class Act Theatrix
At OLOL we are lucky to work with Class Act Theatrix director and West End star, Ashley Russell who greatly enhances the communication and language offer in EYFS with her weekly Reception Class workshops. Funded through the Pupil Premium Grant, Ashley’s work develops the oracy and confidence of our youngest children, enriching their love of story, drama and vocabulary.
Ashley runs a wide range of classes for children of all ages outside school and runs a once weekly drama skills after school club at OLOL. She can be contacted via her website https://www.classacttheatrix.com