We endeavour to teach children to read independently, as quickly as possible, and believe this is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These fundamental skills not only hold the key to the rest of the curriculum, with 75% of vocabulary coming from reading, but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.
We teach children to read effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme (RWI), which is delivered in small groups, tightly focused on current attainment in reading. It incorporates the teaching of synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation.
We teach pupils to:
● Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills;
● Read ‘tricky’ words on sight;
● Understand what they read;
● Read aloud with fluency and expression;
● Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words.
In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This is progressed into KS2 with Reciprocal Reading; a reading approach to develop comprehension strategies in a supportive context, by making explicit links to what readers do – predict, clarify, question and summarise. It also develops children’s content knowledge and topic vocabulary.
Alongside this children in KS1 and KS2 learn how to comprehend text in discreet Snap Reading lessons, using a range of texts and genres. The texts used are often short extracts. The focus is to develop skills to become complete readers, including knowledge of decoding, skimming, scanning, comprehension, fluency and prosody. As children move through KS2, they are taught to become more analytical as readers – being aware of authorial intent and the implication of historical and cultural context on a piece of writing. A progressive, detailed curriculum ensures all areas of content domain are covered through the year and this is built upon, with clear progression from Y1-6.
To compliment this we ensure children are read to, enjoy, discuss and work with around 82 core books. These ‘essential reads’are a store of classics, creating a living library inside a child’s mind. This is the ‘Reading Spine’.
We believe great books build the imagination. The more children read aloud expressively, the more children are able to savour, discuss and reinterpret literature through the arts, the more memorable the characters, places and events become, building an inner world. Each book develops the imagination and equips the reader with language. Great stories speak to us as individuals and some children will return to certain books again and again. Reading develops the ability to think in the abstract; to follow lines of thought.
Our reading curriculum is further complimented with varied opportunities to both use books as a vehicle for learning and further promote a love of reading. Experiences include: The Big Read, taking part in World Book Day and World Poetry Day, Bedtime Stories, English themed days and poetry at sunset.
Read Write Inc. is taught from Nursery through KS1, or until the programme is completed.
RWI is taught in:
Nursery – children are introduced to RWI
Reception to Year 2 – children are taught in groups closely linked to reading ability
KS2 children who have not yet completed the programme
A daily one hour lesson for KS1 is complimented with a book to take home which is carefully matched to ensure children are able to read fluently and confidently. Phonics packs and teaching videos are sent home with children who need extra support and communication with parents supports children to access this. Children are also encouraged to choose a library book of interest, promoting a love of reading. As children progress on their reading journey, books are selected independently, from a range matched to their reading ability. This ensures children enjoy the books they read.
In addition KS1 and KS2 children have Snap Reading lessons, to develop reading comprehension. A range of texts are used and predominantly linked to current topics. Clear progression mapping and half termly reading outcomes are in place to ensure progression.
Furthermore, KS2 have Reciprocal Reading lessons to support independent comprehension skills and provide opportunity to collaborate over text and develop the art of conversation, discussion and debate.
Time is allocated for all children to read to an adult weekly, giving the opportunity for even the most confident readers time to read out loud and talk about reading with an adult. Reading levels/genres read are carefully tracked to ensure books are appropriately matched and children are exposed to range of authors and genres.
At Dell we have a well-stocked library and a weekly timetabled slot for all classes. In addition, the library is open after school and children are encouraged to use the library with their families.
All classes have a class reader which are read to children by an adult. Choices are inspired by children’s interests and chosen carefully. In addition to this we have a school Reading Spine:
- In the Foundation Stage and Year 1, a spine of 12 great picture books with which children build a strong acquaintance.
- Year 2 is a transition year, with both great picture books and ‘chapter stories’ included.
- Key Stage 2, have six novels in each year with a focus on one core picture book.
Formative assessment in reading lessons is tracked using check for understanding and summative assessment takes place termly. RWI assessment and re-grouping takes place half termly, as does speed reading assessment in KS2. Assessment informs subsequent planning and intervention needed to close any gaps in understanding. This is timetabled daily and closely monitored by teaching staff.
Through our Reading curriculum children will:
- be confident in the art of speaking and listening and to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning
- be able to read fluently both for pleasure and to further their learning
- be able to succeed in all English lessons because learning will be appropriately scaffolded
- have a wide vocabulary and be adventurous with vocabulary choices
- make good and better progress from their starting points
- build a good knowledge of 82 core books
Assessment and Monitoring in English:
- Lesson observations, book monitoring and learning walks.
- Skills progression evident in children’s books.
- Bespoke CPD for teachers, in response to monitoring.
- Gathering pupil voice (Junior Leaders) – to check understanding, understanding of key skills and knowledge, progression, confidence in discussing English.
- Moderating pupils work in school and in cluster meetings with other schools to ensure accurate assessments are made.
- Tracking pupils’ progress each half term in Reading through summative assessment.
- Check for Understanding used as a formative assessment tool and informs subsequent planning and intervention.
- Pupil progress meetings ensure different groups (including EAL, PP and SEND) and individual progress is monitored, and interventions organised to support good and better progress.
- Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly to home-school records.