At Park Street C of E Primary School, reading is at the heart of our curriculum. ‘Making connections’ is our curriculum intent and we believe that becoming a confident, fluent reader provides our children with the key to both access learning and make connections across the curriculum.
We strive to:
– Ensure that all children will leave our school equipped with the skills to read easily, fluently and with good understanding in any subject.
– Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
– Provide our children with the chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually through reading.
– Enable our children to use their reading skills to make connections in their learning.
Our Reception and Year 1 children begin their journey into reading with daily phonics lessons following the Storytime Phonics programme. The systematic synthetic phonics programme ensures that our children develop their essential decoding and encoding skills within the context of real books. Storytime Phonics supports Park Street’s reading intent by ensuring that our youngest students develop a love of reading through exposure to engaging books and stories, making connections with their wider curriculum learning.
As our children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they practise and embed their learning by reading decodable texts which are matched to the progression of sounds taught in phonics lessons. The books are designed to give children the experience of a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts and allow children to practice their phonetic decoding that they have learnt in phonics lessons. Children are regularly assessed to determine that the books they read in school and take home are at the correct level for them.
Individual and Guided Reading
In addition to daily phonics teaching, all children from Reception to Year 6 will have daily or weekly reading teaching. In the EYFS, this may initially take the form of individual reading, enabling teachers to effectively assess and develop children’s decoding and early comprehension skills on a 1:1 basis as they grow in confidence as early readers.
As children progress into KS1, reading will be taught through either a daily guided reading carousel or a whole class shared reading lesson. In these lessons, children will work on decoding, fluency and prosody alongside a variety of the reading domains such as inference, prediction or retrieval. Guided reading continues into KS2, with reciprocal reading introduced in Eagle Class (Y5/6). VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summary) are used in KS1 and KS2 to ask questions focused on particular areas of comprehension, and which are designed to extend children’s understanding of the texts they are reading.
Children who have been identified through teacher assessment as requiring additional support in their journey to becoming confident readers read with an adult on a more frequent, individual basis.
We encourage and expect parents to be fully involved in their child’s reading journey throughout the school. In the Autumn term, parents with children in the EYFS are encouraged to attend a Storytime Phonics session in school to witness a session in action and understand how systematic synthetic phonics is taught. In both the EYFS and KS1, parents are provided with a suggested outline of home reading sessions, Storytime Phonics caption and action sound mats, and access to the correct pronunciation of sounds in order to best support their child with reading at home on a daily basis. Children’s progress and parental involvement is discussed at parent consultation sessions, and more regularly as required.
In KS2, as our children become increasingly independent readers, their reading record books continue to be monitored by teachers on a weekly basis. We expect parents to also be involved in monitoring and encouraging their child’s reading, and recommend that they use the VIPERS questions (on bookmarks) to check comprehension and discuss books with their children.
Reading for Pleasure
As we strongly believe in reading for pleasure, alongside their decodable reading book, children in the EYFS and KS1 also bring home a ‘reading for pleasure’ library book which the children select themselves and are encouraged to share with a family member.
Once children can read fluently and with a confident comprehension, they become ‘free readers’ with the privilege of self-selecting books to take home from a selection of appropriate books. Teachers supervise children’s weekly selection to ensure children are building upon their reading ability as well as gaining a love of reading for pleasure.
In our EYFS, reading is embedded throughout the classroom environment and children have free access to a breadth of high-quality picture books during their continuous provision time. In KS1 and KS2 as part of either guided reading carousels or morning choice activities, children are provided with a weekly free reading opportunity in their classroom or designated reading area to foster a love of reading.
- Formative assessment is used by teachers in daily phonics and reading lessons to identify gaps and next steps for individual pupils, enabling them to move on in their learning. VIPERS are used to focus on particular areas of reading comprehension for assessment.
- Summative assessments are carried out in the form of SATs (in Year 2 and Year 6), GL assessments in Spring term, and NFER reading assessments from Year 1 – 6 in Autumn and Summer term. Teachers use assessments to identify gaps in pupils’ learning and use this to inform future planning and to implement any necessary reading interventions.
- Reports to parents are written once a year, describing each child’s attainment in reading.
- In Reception all work is linked to the EYFS curriculum and assessed accordingly.
We ensure that all our children have the opportunity to develop into confident readers regardless of gender, race, physical or intellectual ability. Our expectations do not limit pupil achievement and assessment does not involve cultural, social, and linguistic or gender bias.
We ensure that we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children. We achieve this in a variety of ways by:
- Providing children of all abilities with access to appropriately challenging reading books
- Implementing effective interventions tailored to individual children from Reception to Year 6
- Supporting children with EAL at their individual level of English acquisition
- Providing additional resources to support individual pupils, including challenging our gifted and talented readers
- Making necessary adjustments for our SEND pupils
- Utilising teaching assistants to support the work of groups of children or individual children
National Curriculum Aims
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate