To raise standards in Reading, we focus on 7 main aspects to achieve this.
1. PRIORITISING READING
Improving reading is a top priority for our school and we recognise the strong correlation between children's reading abilities from a young age and their future life chances.
Our curriculum places reading at its heart, we use books as both a focus and stimulus for other learning. Teachers prioritise reading in their timetables and there is daily dedicated time for teaching reading skills and celebrating a love of reading. In Early Years and KS1, children read every day in Read Write Inc lessons as well as dedicated story time each day.
In KS2, our approach to whole-class reading ensures that all children develop the comprehension skills they need to access the wider curriculum and beyond.
Governors prioritise reading by funding high quality reading books, staff training and is an agenda item at every governor meeting. Leaders regularly discuss the quality of reading and reading is a key priority in the School Improvement Plan and a focus in all monitoring.
Walking through the school you can see that we are a reading school. As you arrive in the entrance, you are greeted by a reading display and the chance to read a book while you wait.
- In every classroom there is an inviting reading area
- The library is at the centre of our school and reflects reading is a priority and celebrates our reading rewards scheme
- Reading opportunities are everywhere in the EYFS
We believe in making every child a reader and we identify our poorest readers to read daily to an adult in school and take part in RWI 1 to 1 interventions.
2. HOW DO WE PROMOTE A LOVE OF READING?
- All staff are expert readers, modelling reading skills, discussing texts and sharing their own love of reading.
- Teachers read to children every single day to promote a love and enjoyment of stories, immersing children in the world of imagination. We read stories as well as class novels from Y2 up. We know this because senior leaders are regularly invited to drop in and join in with these sessions.
- We purchase the pink loan boxes and sign up to the gold library service in order to have the most inspiring books and texts for all children, as well as topic focus books.
- We select high quality books that are relevant and that relate to the topics and the children’s interests. Mr Couch said, “I chose Stig of the Dump’ to link with our Stone Age topic – a classic text and perfect topic link ”.
- Storytimes are engaging. We further engage through the use of different media, storybooks and audio books. Staff have read stories which all children can watch by accessing on the school website.
- Members of the school council gather the views of pupils of different ages and then select books for the library from the library van based on this information.
- Initiatives such as ‘The Masked Reader’ and ‘World Book Day’ create a love of reading and stories from a young age.
- Our weekly newsletter has a reading focus where staff have shared their favourite books and we currently suggest high quality recommended reads.
- Most of our pupils can describe their favourite books and authors.
- 98% of our parents say we promote a love of reading in our annual survey.
- Our learning opportunities incorporate a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, to expose pupils to different texts that they may enjoy.
- Whole-class reading sessions teach an understanding of vocabulary as well as comprehension skills: children can access a wider range of texts and gain further enjoyment from books by benefiting from a more in-depth understanding.
- We select a range of books for children - classic and traditional to modern and current to ensure children experience a range of genre and have a rich narrative storehouse to draw language from. Pupils have access to 'class libraries' which are regularly updated with new and exciting books and are encouraged to regularly change their books.
- Parents – our reading rewards encourage children to read to an adult at home. We run workshops for parents about improving reading and supporting their child. We run competitions and regularly have a book swap. We regularly host a book fair to engage families in reading and provide exciting new books at a low cost.
3. HOW DO WE MAKE SURE PUPILS MAKE GOOD OR BETTER PROGRESS?
- Phonics is taught every day following the RWI progression of sounds to ensure a systematic approach. Planning includes assessment for the graphemes taught. Phonics is assessed half-termly to identify gaps in learning and to inform future planning and intervention. We send support materials home to parents and there are word mats and posters in classrooms for children to access. We play spot the 'Special Friends' and practise sounds when learning through play too!
- By the end of their first term in reception all children should know Set 1 and Set 2 sounds
- Pupils in Key Stage 2 who are not yet fluently reading, benefit from 1:1 or small group interventions following the RWI programme. This ensures they are reading books matched to their phonic ability.
- Children in Year 3 - Year 6 complete termly assessments to support teachers in ensuring all pupils are progressing in reading. Where teachers have concerns about pupil progress, they provide additional support though interventions.
- Pupils in Key Stage 2 benefit form highly-successful whole-class reading lessons that support comprehension and vocabulary development.
We expect all children to move up a book band per half term
We focus additional efforts on our poorest readers by ensuring they read to an adult every day.
4. HOW DO WE MATCH THE PUPILS' READING BOOKS TO THEIR PHONIC ABILITY?
- Every six weeks, children who are using the Read Write Inc. scheme celebrate the improvements they've made by completing a reading assessment. The reading assessment shows the sounds each child has learnt; which words children recognise by sight and which words children can blend using their phonic knowledge.
- Reading teachers use this information to select books (for school and for home) that are very closely matched to children's phonics ability.
- All children are able to use the phonics skills that they have been taught to access any reading materials they are given. Books that children read match the sounds they have been taught. No child has a reading book with unfamiliar words in.
- Our books are banded to ensure that books match the children’s reading abilities
- Many of our children change their books daily, some weekly, depending on the size and genre of the book they are reading
- Adults check pupils reading books frequently and we have half termly reading assessments
- Pupils increase their reading fluency with each banded phase
- Parents support progress by recording in a home-school book.
5. HOW DO WE TEACH PHONICS FROM THE START?
Children start learning phonics from the very first day in school – in nursery this is sound discrimination… and in Reception they begin to learn phonemes.
Phonics is taught through Read Write Inc. and begins within the first two weeks of school.
By the end of the first term at school children have learnt to recognise the Set 1 Speed Sounds (below) and are blending these sounds together to independently read words, such as fun, pin and ship.
First, pupils will learn to read:
- Set 1 Speed Sounds: these are sounds written with one letter: m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x and sounds written with two letters digraphs: sh th ch qu ng nk ck
By the end of Reception year children will know all 44 sounds
Children who have not mastered their phonic understanding have 1 to 1 interventions and small group interventions with skilled staff to ensure they catch up.
6. HOW DO WE SUPPORT PUPILS TO CATCH UP?
- We aim for every child to meet their individual potential. Some children may need a little extra help to get there.
- In all year groups, we provide targeted support to the lowest 20% of readers so that all children develop into confident and fluent readers. In almost all cases, the class teacher teaches reading to the lowest 20% of children to ensure they make rapid progress.
- In addition, reading tutors (typically Teaching Assistants and Intervention Teachers) provide targeted 1:1 and small group support to enable children to catch up with their peers.
- Reading is a weekly agenda item at staff meetings
- The National Curriculum states that ‘if children by the end of Year 1 are still struggling to decode and spell they need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous ad systematic phonics programme so they catch up rapidly’. We analyse data immediately following assessment and ensure we target children who do not achieve the year 1 phonics screening check.
7. HOW DO WE TRAIN STAFF TO BE READING EXPERTS?
We ensure a staff audit of training in reading.
Phonics teachers have attended RWI training and the Reading Lead delivered initial whole school training to all staff.
In the 2020/2021 academic year, we dedicated two days to training phonics teachers and teaching assistants to become reading experts.
NQTs attend phonics and reading training as part of their NQT year and visit outstanding schools
We run reading progress meetings, lead planning and ensure up to date interventions.
Regular observations of whole class reading the teaching of phonics take place and support is offered by the Reading Lead.
We believe that all staff are reading experts and promote a love of reading.