We believe being a reading centric school supports social justice, opens contexts beyond children’s own experience and enables access to the wider curriculum. We understand the critical importance of fostering a love of reading, supported by encouraging and positive staff who help our children build their resilience and focus.
We have a vocabulary rich approach woven throughout our curriculum. Early readers are given opportunities to engage with and extend their known vocabulary through teacher ‘read aloud’ sessions and class library books. Alongside the wider curriculum, this exposes children to the rich language used by high quality authors. As children become age-appropriately fluent, they encounter an ever expanding range of vocabulary during novel studies, read alouds, library books and throughout the wider curriculum.
We teach and learn using a systematic, synthetic phonics approach (Read Write Inc). Our goal is for all children to be reading fluently at an age appropriate level by the end of Year 2. Many children will achieve this earlier, where their breadth of content is widened. Groups are fluidly set so that teaching is closely matched with children’s phonetic knowledge. This is informed through constant formative assessment alongside half-termly summative assessments.
Through assessment, staff identify and support children who are at risk of gaps in learning emerging through quality first teaching and, where appropriate, 1:1 sessions.catch up
Children who are struggling in lower achieving sets are given ongoing 1:1 sessions, matched precisely to their phonetic knowledge.
Once children’s phonetic knowledge begins to be mastered, they transition to focusing on enhancing their fluency. This enables them to access, achieve and enjoy the novel study approach throughout Key Stage 2.
The Key Stage 2 National Curriculum for Reading is addressed primarily through a novel study approach. This consists of 30 minute sessions dedicated to reading and comprehending specifically chosen novels. This fosters a deeper love of reading and is typified by class discussion, debate and modelling of unfamiliar vocabulary. For the small number of children who do not reach our early reading goal or begin falling behind reading age-appropriate texts fluently, regular class based fluency intervention occurs.
Hearing a high quality book read aloud is the right of every child in our school. By reading aloud, our children hear the enthusiasm and prosody of an experienced reader, their teacher. They are awakened to a vast array of vocabulary, characters, contexts and plots beyond their own reading. We highly encourage our parents to continue reading aloud to their children whatever their age. To facilitate this, we have class libraries in our Early Years and Key Stage 1, a regularly used library in Key Stage 2 and suggested high quality books on our website for each age range.
We have designed our reading curriculum to include a spine of significant authors that are revisited. Our belief is this assists in developing a love of reading and enables children to open their eyes to authors beyond the most familiar. We know that given the right author, children will read passionately until they exhaust their works. We strive to not only introduce children to these ‘feeder authors’ but also those with a similar style that children can move on to.
We have designed our novel studies and read alouds to include a spine of texts that cover our writing concept map plot types. In addition, we have ensured there is a developing complexity to the novels both in terms of lexile difficulty (age-appropriate fluency) and depth of characters and issues (comprehension).
During early reading, children are assessed within the Read Write Inc framework. As they transition to building their fluency, our bespoke running records are used to guide teachers on who may need additional support at achieving or maintaining age-appropriate fluency. From Year 1 to Year 6 we use standardised reading tests. Alongside daily formative assessment, these enable teachers to pinpoint comprehension needs.
In order to support social justice as well as help children develop a love of reading, we have carefully selected a range of contexts that children will encounter throughout our reading curriculum, whether that be through read alouds or novel studies. We believe that by broadening the contexts that our children are exposed to, they will develop aspirations beyond their immediate setting as well as aid them in inferring.