We believe that books create belonging. They help us see each other and understand one another; they shine a light on the world.
Reading is central to a child’s understanding of the curriculum and is of vital importance in life. Fluent readers can access a full range of life experiences and can enjoy an amazing breadth of genres and writers. It is our intent that every child becomes a reader and develops a love and appreciation of reading which will stay with them for life.
Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen synthetic, systematic Phonics program. We share the intent of ELS to ‘Get all children to read well, quickly’ Follow this link to learn more about how children learn to decode words:
Children read daily – independently, in groups and as a class – in a literature-rich environment. The teacher frequently reads to all children; story time or class novel is time tabled and teachers prepare for reading so they can capture children’s attention. In EYFS and KS1 teachers re-read stories to build familiarity and understanding.
Our reading curriculum contains a broad range of text genres, styles, narrative structures and non-fiction texts - with a focus on increasing complexity. Representation is a key factor in text choice, both for taught texts and those accessed for independent reading (see Reflecting Realities, CLPE, 2021). This approach of exposure to a wide range of texts allows children’s understanding of the world to develop, leading to higher levels of comprehension.
Reading units are centred around a specific text. The curriculum reinforces the reciprocal relationship between Reading and Writing.
In Reception and Year 1, each child reads with a teacher in a small guided reading group at least twice a week. These sessions allow children to consolidate their knowledge of taught GPC’s by reading a book from one of our selected schemes. During these sessions, children engage in adult-led rich discussion. The teacher guides children in their understanding of vocabulary and leads wider discussion around characters' feelings, writer’s intention and predictions. Children are encouraged to ask what new words mean. Children in Year 1 who are starting to read fluently are introduced to written comprehension.
In the spring term of Year 2 the curriculum moves to large group guided reading. Adult-led discussions include how to improve word-reading skills and the introduction of new vocabulary as well as wider discussion around authorial purpose, writer’s intention, comparisons between genres and predictions. Children are taught to recognise different types of comprehension questions using the acronym ‘VIPERS’ (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and sequence or summarise) and explore these in class. Grammar and punctuation is referred to in the teaching of comprehension, which supports reading fluency and expression. Opportunities for pupils to read aloud are embedded into lessons. Intonation, tone and volume are key strategies that pupils are taught to convey meaning to the audience.
Book corners or areas are an important part of every classroom. Each one is a mini-library; a place for children to browse the best books, revisit the ones that the teacher has read to them, and borrow books to read or retell at home. Children take ownership of the area, and are encouraged to share books that they have enjoyed with others promoting a culture of reading for pleasure.
Every child is expected to read at home daily. Parents /carers are contacted and offered support if their child is not reading regularly.
- Children in Nursery choose a themed book pack each week to take home.
- In Reception and Year 1, children select two high interest books from the library each week in addition to their decodable reading book.
- Years 2 - 6 are invited to borrow from the library or book corner regularly.
We recognise that there may be specific barriers for certain children and these are identified early. Smaller group teaching and 1:1 sessions are offered to enhance support and build children’s confidence.
High quality phonics teaching and learning means that over time our children can tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. Adult-led rich discussion ensures that children acquire knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary and its shades of meaning for description and formality.
Children are able to discuss the books they have read with increasing confidence and articulate their preferences and opinions as well as answer comprehension questions of increasing complexity. Children are empowered with the skills and passion for reading that will serve as a strong foundation for lifelong learning and success.