Our vision for reading is to develop children who are fluent, enthusiastic, capable readers who take pleasure from independent reading. We want to expose children to a range of fiction and non-fiction books and give them the opportunity to discover the authors they like. We intend to develop the children’s inference and questioning skills, allowing them to engage with what they are reading, widening their vocabulary. This will allow them to access and appreciate a greater range of more complex books: developing reading stamina as they progress through the school.
Specific decoding skills are taught through daily phonics sessions following the programme ‘Letters and Sounds’. These skills are explicitly taught through six phases, beginning in Reception, carried through KS1 and, where appropriate and necessary, in to KS2. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and understanding. The direct teacher-led lessons enable all learners to develop and apply new skills while also providing opportunities to further apply these skills within fun and engaging activities and through continuous provision.
In EYFS and KS1, every child reads individually to an adult at least once a week and certain children, who are identified by their class teacher, are heard on a more regular basis. We have a number of parent readers who come into school on a voluntary basis to hear children read from across the school. Each child is assigned a book from the book band which matches their phonic ability. These books have been carefully organised to match the progression of phonics as outlined in our Phonics Vision, Coverage and Evidence document. Children are also able to select a book to support other reading skills such as Common Exception Word recognition, inference and prediction.
In Reception and Year 1 Guided Reading is delivered once a week in groups, with every child being in a group with the class teacher once every two weeks. From Year 2 upwards, it is delivered as a whole class session twice a week using texts from the ‘Reading Explorers’ scheme. Our Guided Reading sessions focus on teaching six key skills to develop reading comprehension skills; these are vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summary – VIPERS. The first of these sessions is about getting to know the text and focuses on new vocabulary and retrieval skills; the second session allows the children to understand the text on a deeper level and develops their skills of prediction, inference, explanation and summary.
As a school, we feel it is important to promote and develop reading for pleasure from an early age and have implemented a range of strategies to support this:
- The children listen daily to an adult read a class book
- Children from Year 5 and 6 are invited to apply for the role of school librarian and once appointed are trained and are then responsible for a fortnightly library duty
- Children are able to visit our school library during their lunchtimes and borrow books
- Authors are invited to visit the school to promote their books and run workshops with the children
- We have a bookmark reward scheme where children are rewarded with a bookmark each time they reach a certain number of home reads
- Selected children are taken to a local bookshop at the end of each term as a reward for regularly reading five times a week at home
The evidence of how successful our reading curriculum is, is largely monitored through assessment. Formative assessment takes place daily as reading is integrated into our whole curriculum, but also during Guided Reading sessions. From this assessment, teachers adapt their planning accordingly to meet the needs of their pupils and ensure progress in comprehension skills is made by all. Summative assessments take place three times a year, using the PiRA reading assessments. All formative and summative assessment results are recorded on an on-line tracking system to monitor progress. Through successful implementation of the curriculum, our reading results at the end of KS2 will exceed the national average and our progress scores will be positive.
A further way of measuring how successful our reading curriculum is, is through discussions between teachers and senior leaders. Formal meetings are held at regular intervals in the year, during which the reading attainment and progress of all children is discussed; these meetings involve the class teacher, Reading subject leader. The teaching of reading is also monitored through lesson observations, book scrutiny and pupil conferencing.
We believe that this ensures that our that our children leave Bemerton as fluent, capable readers. Readers who who can access and appreciate a wide range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live and to establish an appreciation and love of reading.