Context first: this is a mixed age Y5/Y6 class.
Why whole class?
An analysis of test results – as well as the use of standardised tests across the school revealed some common themes.
phrasing of some of the questions – e.g. the ’find and copy one word’ or ‘find and copy a phrase which shows..’
struggling to scan – running out of time
Vocabulary (an oldie, but common theme)
The first hurdle was the choice of text – as it was a whole new concept for the class I thought long and hard as I wanted something that was challenging and interesting. I wanted them to feel like we were trying something new, and potentially very challenging. We went for Treasure Island – and then built around this our literacy planning and activites. This ensured it was a key part of the classroom environment. Other texts that have worked well have been Journey to the River Sea, The Railway Children and we are currently leading Secrets of the Sun King.
Some Practical Points
- I still ‘just’ read the book to them, so sometimes they are just listening and enjoying!
- It is really important that they get their copy of the book to take home if they wish, to reread and refer to as we answer tasks, or work on linked work. Even to read on if they want.
- Share copies of books with local schools. Create a shared document keeping a list of the class books you buy so you can share them.
- Be inclusive – all children can be included in this. If struggling to read, encourage them to follow and listen. Rulers help.