We believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. We are committed to promoting a love for reading and not only giving children opportunities to read in English lessons, but in the wider curriculum too.
In order to foster a lifelong love for reading, it is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between children’s motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal. Furthermore, we know that reading for pleasure is beneficial not only for reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing.
The curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, carousel guided reading groups, home reading, reading across the curriculum, reading buddies across year groups, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.
Children are rewarded for reading regularly through reading prizes and recognition in our celebration assemblies and weekly newsletter.
In Early Years and Key Stage 1:
The development of reading begins with the systematic and rigorous teaching of daily phonics, using
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. These 10-30 minute sessions are planned and resourced using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised approach and the connected Big Cat Phonics for Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised resources, to ensure that teaching is consistent in parallel classes and that all children receive the same high quality, systematic approach to phonics. In these lessons, children quickly build a knowledge of phonemes and graphemes, as well as an increasing recognition of sight words. Children are assessed at least every 6 weeks, to ensure they are working
at the correct Phase.
Reading at home is expected 5 x weekly and reading records are checked every Monday and when children are listened to by an adult throughout the week. Reading books at this stage are consistent with their assessed phonic stage. Children working through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds are given access to an e-book which allows them to apply their phonic knowledge at home. Children are also encouraged to take home a ‘reading for pleasure’ book which can be shared with parents. This book allows other reading strategies to be employed and children are exposed to a greater range of
vocabulary and genres. It also serves to meet their interests and preferences. Time is made in school for those children who are unable to have the relevant support at home to allow them to achieve this.
As well as Phonics teaching, as part of Early Reading practice, children are exposed to their phonetically decodable book through 2-3 x weekly guided reading sessions. These are carried out by Little Wandle trained teachers and assistants. As children become more fluent readers, carousel reading is introduced and smaller group sessions are used to explore a text or relevant piece of media and enables the practise of key reading skills. This approach depends on the time of year and
ability of the children.
For those children in Year 2 who did not pass the phonics screening test in Year 1 or who are not yet reading fluently at Phase 5 Set 5, additional, small group interventions take place.
Reading in Key Stage 2:
In Key Stage 2, the children who have not completed the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme are assessed regularly to ensure that they have phonics teaching pitched at the appropriate level. Children who are not yet reading fluently at Turquoise or beyond, including who did not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Year 2, are part of our 'Rapid Catch Up' programme from Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. The programme is taught by trained staff and overseen by the Reading Lead, who conducts as assessment after each stage of the programme.
We use the Big Cat Collins book band system to assess children on their reading ability. Children are assessed regularly to ensure they are being suitably challenged and any difficulties are addressed.
Reading at home is expected 5 x weekly and reading records are checked every Monday and when children are listened to by an adult throughout the week. Reading books at this stage allows them to develop an interest in a wider range of genres and build stamina and fluency across a variety of texts. Children are also encouraged to take home a ‘reading for pleasure’ book which can be shared with parents. This book allows other reading strategies to be employed and children are exposed to
a greater range of vocabulary and genres. It also serves to meet their interests and preferences. Time is made in school for those children who are unable to have the relevant support at home to allow them to achieve this.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through to Key Stage Two. As children transition into secondary school from year 6, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the
curriculum. In addition to this, parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly to home-school records.
Writing is a crucial life skill. Our intent is to provide children with the skills to write fluently and communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively while also developing their love for writing across the whole curriculum. Regular opportunities are given across the whole school for children to use and apply the written and spoken language skills they have acquired. This can be through trips and visits, exciting hooks to capture their imagination as well as using high quality texts to engage and excite children.
Children are able to build on their skills and knowledge each year in a range of writing, such as narrative, poetry and non-fiction. Every week children have the opportunity to plan, write, edit and improve their writing. As they progress through the school, further emphasis is added to developing an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We use the CLPE’s Power of Reading strategy as an intrinsic part of our curriculum provision, ensuring that high-quality text is at the centre of what we do. Through text-based, whole-class teaching, teachers demonstrate high quality modelling within each writing lesson. We provide opportunities for: word reading, grammar and punctuation, comprehension, vocabulary development and spelling, spoken language and discussion and writing.
A high standard of joined, cursive handwriting is modelled across school and children are encouraged to imitate this. Handwriting is taught and practised regularly in separate books but is expected to be evidenced throughout all work produced.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2. Most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
Target Tracker is used to analyse gaps in children’s knowledge and gain an overview of specific groups of children across school. Progress across classes is closely monitored by the subject leader and senior leadership team. Monitoring will include: regular book looks, lesson observations, gathering evidence of good practice, pupil voice interviews, looking at data on our assessment tool Target Tracker and regular learning walks. The findings of this monitoring will be used to inform next steps for the children and the implementation of writing across the school as a whole.