The teaching of reading is an integral part of our curriculum. We believe that being able to read gives children access a wide range of information in the world around them and supports their learning and development in all other areas of the curriculum. Our main goals are to foster a love of reading and give children the skills they need to be fluent, confident readers.
Early Reading and Phonics
In the Foundation Stage, the children’s phonic knowledge is developed through daily phonics teaching based on Letters and Sounds. The children are taught the 26 graphemes and practise them in the context of simple words and sentences. In addition to this, children learn to read a range of common and familiar words on sight. Children’s skills are further developed through shared and guided reading.
Daily phonics teaching continues in KS1 and children continue to learn new graphemes for the phonemes they already know as well as alternative pronunciations for the graphemes. In addition to this, they are taught the Common Exception Words for Year 1 and 2 set out in the National Curriculum (2014). Children continue to practise and apply their skills in Literacy and reading sessions. In Literacy, children are introduced to a range of age appropriate texts and authors. They are encouraged to discuss the texts and give their opinions. Teachers also model reading strategies, allowing children to apply their phonics skills and word recognition in context. In KS1, teachers plan a separate short reading lesson which is linked to a text and focusses on a specific reading skill. This happens daily on a fortnightly basis.
In KS1 and the Foundation Stage, children have a scheme reading book matched to their phonics as part of their weekly homework. Our main reading scheme is based on Oxford Reading Tree but this is further supplemented by a range of other books. Children have a reading diary where parents and pupils are encouraged to respond to books read.
In KS2, children’s reading skills are further developed through using a wide range of texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Teachers provide children with opportunities to develop their skills such as inference and using evidence based on a class text studied in depth. Children become confident in analysing, discussing and comparing texts. Teacher’s plan a separate weekly reading skills lessons which is one of the Literacy lessons and ‘Reading VIPERS’ is used to support understanding of the different question types.
In KS2, we use ‘Accelerated Reader’ for the home reading book which provides children with access to a wide variety of books. By using Accelerated Reader, children are given a reading range and can independently select a book. Once the children have completed a book, they take a short online quiz which continually assesses their understanding of what they have read. The children also take the STAR reading test on a termly basis which assesses their progress and provides a new reading range for them so the variety of books available to them is continually changing. Teachers track children’s progress using the quizzes and STAR reader test. Children complete a 15miniute ‘Relaxed Read’ session each day where they can read their own choice of book and this allows staff to support and work with individual children.
We have also invested in an on-line reading program called Reading Plus. In the final term of Year 5 and the first two terms in Year 6 the children improve their reading skills further through this personalised online reading program. Rooted in eight decades of research, Reading Plus is proven to raise attainment in reading as well as foster a love of reading. Our children love it!