Coley Primary School – How do we teach Reading?
The teaching of reading forms part of our English Curriculum. We aim to promote high standards of reading through clear progressive planning and effective teaching ensuring curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met. Teaching with a focus on reading access, practice and enhancing reading ability. Teachers will model and scaffold children’s reading so that children become strategic and knowledgeable readers. We are aware that reading gaps can open quickly and that daily acts of reading really matter.
Reading transports curious minds to wondrous realms of the imagination. It determines success not only in the classroom, but in life. At Coley Primary School, we want to foster a lifelong love of reading by exposing our children to a range of literature across all areas of the curriculum. We believe reading opens up a new world for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places, meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures and times. By using a variety of texts and teaching strategies, children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding will develop to help them have a better understanding of how to be successful citizens and value others.
Children must acquire good reading skills in order to access the information that will support their development in all curriculum areas and beyond. We aim to teach children ‘how to read’ as well as how to ‘read to learn’. Reading is a key life skill. Our children’s success will be defined by their ability to read fluently and skilfully. Through building up the children’s vocabulary it gives them the word power they need to become successful speakers and writers as well as confident readers. It is our intention for children to be read to every day. By teachers reading aloud, modelling appropriate use of story language and reading with expression to children, helps to improve their understanding of different story structures, to enthuse them with a love of books, inspire them as writers but most importantly, make reading fun.
We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to support their child’s reading at home.
Our school uses Read Write Inc. (R.W.I), an inclusive phonics programme for all children in Reception and Year 1 learning to read. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell. R.W.I. is the primary tool for teaching phonics to ensure a comprehensive and systematic approach.
Reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum so the ability to efficiently decode is essential. R.W.I sessions occur every day (30-minute phonics lesson) as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development. They follow the ‘hear it, say it, read it, write it’ model and follow the process of revisit, teach, practice, and apply.
Teachers and LSAs are responsible for planning for and leading their own phonic group. Phonics should be embedded in all classroom lessons and across the curriculum to ensure that pupils are secure in their use of the appropriate phonemes and graphemes.
All children in Reception and Key Stage 1 have a baseline assessment in phonics and are then grouped accordingly by the R.W.I. manager. Children are assessed every half term to ensure progress is monitored and that our children are making rapid and sustained progress.
The teaching of reading begins with phonics and decodable phonic books, making sure the reading books connect closely to the children’s phonic knowledge when they are learning to read. Books match the sounds they can sound blend and re-reading is encouraged to build up fluency. In addition, Reception and Key Stage 1 children have the opportunity to read 1:1 with an adult at least once a week. Children also take home a colour-banded book - linked to phonic phases and National Curriculum expectations - to share with parents to develop word reading and comprehension skills.
When children become a fluent word reader and they have learned all the letter and sound combinations, they will be able to try and read any unfamiliar words. At this point (usually by the end of Y2) children move on to Accelerated Reader the computer based program, the school uses to monitor reading practice and progress.
A Star test is completed as a baseline to assess children’s reading levels and then repeated at least four times throughout the year to allow children time in between to develop positive reading habits before they are tested again. Each child is given a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), which is the ideal range of text complexity for that child, neither too easy as to be unchallenging, nor so hard as to be frustrating.
Once children move onto Accelerated Reader, the expectation is that they can read independently. Children have more responsibility for selecting books to read in school and at home. A daily reading time of 20 – 30 minutes is timetabled in KS2 to promote reading. AR encourages substantial differentiated reading practise to create strong readers. Once they have finished reading a book, they take an AR quiz. These quizzes check that the child has understood the book. The percentage correct score and the points that are awarded for passing a quiz are highly motivating for children. Children challenge themselves to attain 85% or above. Teachers give children praise for their achievements and decide on incentives and rewards. With staff guidance and reviewing their latest score, children then make an informed decision about the next book to choose.
Whole Class Reading is used to teach the reading skills from the National Curriculum, word-reading and comprehension are taught using a variety of texts as well as developing a love of reading. Over the year children will get to encounter a wide range of genres – fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Our key principles for Whole Class Reading are:
We use the ‘Coley Primary School Whole Class Reading Planning Guide’ to plan for Whole Class Reading. There is no set formula, as planning needs to be flexible and led by the text’s potential, whilst still ensuring children are building the knowledge and skills they need. Prepare, read, react, explore and process are the five elements we take into consideration when planning Whole Class Reading:
What will prepare the ground for children? What will help to scaffold their encounter with the text? What will provide them with necessary hand-holds when they are reading?
What could make children’s reading of the text as engaged as possible? How should it be ‘released’ to them? What could help children to keep track while reading?
How might children be able to react to the text while reading?
How might children be able to react to the text immediately after reading?
How might children practise read closely or analytically – making inferences, picking out words, phrases or details, making connections and finding evidence for ideas?
How might children be able to process and record their responses and understandings after discussion – in writing, talk or another creative mode?
The same principles for Whole Class Reading are used throughout EYFS and Y1 with children listening to a wide range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts and encouraged to discuss them.
Reading for pleasure is promoted and encouraged throughout our school. From EYFS to Year 6, texts are shared and chosen carefully to inspire and motivate children to want to read. We recognise the value of teachers reading aloud, modelling appropriate use of story language and reading with expression to children, in order to improve their understanding of different story structures, to enthuse them with a love of books, inspire them as writers but most importantly, to make reading fun.
Some of the ways in which we develop reading for pleasure include:
At Coley Primary School, we strive to promote a positive reading culture where books and the love of literature is both celebrated and valued. Children will want to read widely for purpose and pleasure. Children will establish their own reading preferences and be able to talk about books and authors. As children move up through the school, they should be able to use a range of strategies for decoding, not solely relying on phonics. They should be able to read in any subject and be successful in their learning.
We aim to ensure that our children's attainment and progress is in line or exceeds their potential when considering their varied starting points, always aiming for accelerated progress and ‘closing the gap’. We want there to be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of children, e.g. disadvantaged v non-disadvantaged. The % of children working at and above Age Related Expectations should meet targets set at the beginning of the year. We want our end of Key Stage data to be on an upward trend and be closer to, meet or even exceed national expectations.
We measure this using a range of formative and summative assessment procedures, whilst always considering the age-related expectations for each year group. We use Target Tracker based on National Curriculum objectives to inform teachers and senior leaders of the knowledge and skills the children have achieved. Senior leaders closely monitor data, teaching and learning and hold Pupil Progress Meetings and Moderation Meetings to assess individual children’s needs. We intend the impact of our English curriculum will ensure our children are academically prepared for life beyond primary school.