We believe that the acquisition of the phonetic code, fluency and proficient comprehension as an entitlement for all children has the power to transform lives; it enables them to access the whole curriculum and engage more fully with the world around them. We ensure as many opportunities as possible during the school day to read, enjoy, share and discuss books.
Learning to Read
We follow a systematic approach to teaching phonics, using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, and teaching continues daily to at least the point where children can read almost all words fluently. This provides children with the skills they need to begin to read words, captions and whole sentences as soon as possible.
Focused reading practice: In Reception and Year 1, children practise reading using Little Wandle Big Cat decodable books that are closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge. Our children often reread the same text multiple times to develop their comprehension and fluency which includes their accuracy, automaticity (rapid recall of whole known words) and prosody (reading with expression).
Daily Reading practice: Pupils in all classes have opportunities to read daily: in reading groups in EYFS and KS1, whole class reading, or independent reading in KS2. Pupils also have opportunities to read in other subjects across the curriculum. Pupils who are less fluent will read regularly 1:1, with a focus on the lowest 20%.
Support to Keep up and Catch up: Until pupils are fluent readers, ‘Keep up’ sessions are used for pupils who teachers identify in on-going assessment as needing more support in consolidating their phonics knowledge. KS2 pupils who need more support in developing their reading skills receive intervention on an individual or small group basis if they are identified from Accelerated Reader data as needing support in addition to whole class reading.
Access to appropriate books: We recognize the importance of reading at home to practice and embed reading skills. Pupils in R/Yr1 take home their Little Wandle book and a sharing book to enjoy with a grown up. Pupils in KS1 who are not fluent remain on LW books until ready to move onto Accelerated Reader books.
From Year 2 to Year 6, our more fluent readers use Accelerated Reader, which is a program used to assess and match ‘real’ books to their individual reading level. The children select books within their assessed range, then read and quiz electronically to check their understanding of what they have read. We encourage children to read daily at home in addition to the 20-30 minutes of Accelerated Reader time that we allocate within the school day. We value reading highly and their progress is carefully monitored and celebrated. Parents can use secure login details to access their child’s reading progress by clicking here: Accelerated Reader Scheme. Parents can see which books their child has read and how they did on the follow-up comprehension quizzes. Parents will also be given suggestions on what their child could read next, based on their interests and ability.
Fluent readers in KS1, and all KS2 pupils can access the library as needed identified through the AR programme.
Support at home: Pupils all have a reading record to keep track of their reading. In all years, teachers monitor pupils’ reading through Accelerated Reader to decide when it is appropriate for them to move up a level. In KS2, teachers also monitor reading frequency and choices to expand their interest where needed via Accelerated Reader. Children are expected to read for a minimum of 20 mins of independent reading at school and are encouraged to read at home for 20mins a day.
In our Resource Base, the adults individualise the children’s reading programme depending on their ability. Children read with an adult daily. They practice their comprehension, retrieval, inference, deduction and decoding skills in small group sessions, with the use of individualised 2 minute reading challenges, topic texts and quality texts. In addition to this, children who are unable to use phonics to decode are supported with a programme such as Toe by Toe to aid sight reading. Children have the opportunity daily to free read and discuss texts with their peers and read to each other.
Reading for meaning
Explicit teaching of reading skills and strategies:
In EYFS and Yr1, pupils practise comprehension as part of the their reading practice. As soon as children master the alphabetic code and can read fluently in Year 2, we begin to use a whole class guided reading model. Reading lessons are three times a week for 30 -40 minutes. Pupils also have the chance to apply reading skills and strategies as part of ‘Everybody Reads’, a starter at the beginning of non-core subjects, where pupils read an extract either linked to prior learning or to prepare them for the ideas and vocabulary they will encounter in new learning.
Texts and extracts which are engaging to develop a range of reading skills:
We use ‘FRED’s Teaching‘ to ensure that pupils access a range of texts that they would otherwise not experience. Language rich non-fiction, poetry texts and visual texts are also used to teach skills and strategies. Every unit and lesson is structured in the same way so that pupils know what to expect, lessening the cognitive load: this is also within year groups and across the school.
Within the weekly structure, there are a variety of texts. Each lesson is structured to ensure pupils can access the vocabulary in the text, before practising a range of content domains. Each week there is a focus for reading, where the teacher will explicitly teach one skill which is then highlighted in subsequent lessons. The teacher models prosody and fluency, so that all pupils can access the text, with a chance to ‘fly solo’ at the end of the lesson. Pupils work in mixed ability reading pairs, carefully planned to ensure that pupils have peer support.
Pupils demonstrate their learning through a mixture of discussions, group work and written responses. Teachers assess daily through questioning and provide feedback orally, and through monitoring the quality of pupils’ responses. NFER tests are used for formal summative assessments three times a year and analysed to identify gaps in pupils’ understanding. Star Reading Tests three times a year are also used to inform planning.
Love of reading
Access to quality texts: The schools’ Accelerated Reader library ensures pupils have access to a range of relevant, diverse and engaging texts. Classroom libraries are also being restocked with a reading spine of quality fiction and non-fiction.
Allocated time for independent reading :
Pupils start the day with independent reading in their Accelerated Reader session, and are expected to have a reading book on their desk during the day.
Daily story time and reading together:
Story time happens in every class, to ensure the children are read to everyday and share, discuss and enjoy the endless possibilities of books. Pupils have an input into the choice of text, and the reading spine and often the FRED extracts inspire the book to be shared.
At The Avenue, we don’t just want our children to learn to read. We want them to LOVE reading and develop the desire to want to read for themselves. We encourage this by:
- Reading to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at our school and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
- Classrooms have inviting book areas that encourage a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books. We provide reading time and comfortable places for children to read throughout the day.
- Having a wide range of quality reading books in our school and class libraries.
- In Early Years, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
- All staff demonstrating their own love of reading and by teachers selecting and recommending quality texts that the children will love.
- Encouraging all children from Reception to Year 6 choose a reading book to take home and this reading book is changed weekly.
- Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
- As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
- Giving opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
- Regularly celebrating reading progress.
- Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events - we plan annual author visits and workshops to inspire the children and celebrate World Book Day.
- Promoting books through displays.
- Involving children in the selection of new books purchased for both Accelerated Reader and our libraries.
- Each class visits the local library during the course of the school year.
- The school library is made available for classes to use.