English - Reading
Reading is important, if you know how to read then the whole world opens up to you." - Barack Obama
At All Saints’ Primary School, we understand how important it is for children to leave primary school as fluent readers who understand texts well. Equally, we believe that a quality Literacy curriculum should develop a lifelong love of books for all pupils so reading becomes a hobby, as well an essential life skill. Therefore, we have put together a carefully crafted reading curriculum to ensure that all children can become confident and fluent readers who able to decode and understand a wide range of texts. We strongly believe it is crucial for children to be able to comprehend what they are reading to prepare them for their later life. We understand that reading is the foundation for learning in the wider curriculum and enables success in future studies, and is therefore, at the heart of everything we do.
It is important at All Saints’ to expose children to a wide range of genres and authors so that they can develop their own opinions and personal preferences and discuss these with ease and confidence. A balance of fiction texts, non-fiction texts and poetry are covered across the school and copies of books used in reading lessons are available in book corners for the children to read and enjoy at their own pace. Emphasis is placed on children developing into active readers by being about to link what they have read to their own life experiences, the real world and other books whilst asking questions, summarising, making inferences and predictions.
We hope that by embedding these reading skills, children will be successful in their end of Key Stage 2 SATs tests (and any future test experiences), but that they will use these skills to enrich their lives.
Starting in EYFS, we have a thorough programme of Phonic teaching in place to ensure that our pupils know all of the essential phonic knowledge they will need to become fluent readers. Our Assistant Headteacher for EYFS and KS1, who is a phonics specialist, oversees phonic teaching across the school. We have a systematic approach to phonics using the ‘Read Write Inc.’ programme. Pupils are taught in targeted groups focusing on individual sounds, groups of sounds and common exception words which have been grouped and are taught in phases.
In Key Stage 1, children are exposed to texts that are appropriate to challenge their reading level. The children will take part in Reading lessons where they will be exposed to a range of genres and VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and sequencing) style questions to develop their comprehension alongside their decoding skills.
In Key Stage 2, children are exposed to high quality age-appropriate texts to challenge and extend their decoding skill. The texts are a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and they have been carefully checked against the recommended age levels given on Love Reading 4 Kids, the Accelerated Reader program and Flesch- Kincaid grade level. Children focus on different content domains during whole class reading sessions to develop their comprehension. They have an opportunity at the end of the week to practice using these VIPERS reading skills independently.
Parent information sessions (known as ‘Reading Cafes’) are run for all year groups so that parents can see modelled examples of how reading is taught at All Saints’. Parents are provided with question stems and shown what is expected from their children in relation to their age. These sessions offer parents an insight into the children’s reading journeys within school and provide a chance for the children to share their enthusiasm for reading with their parents and carers. We believe that parent and carer involvement and support is crucial in developing both decoding and comprehension skills and our cafés provide a wonderful opportunity to develop our home-school partnership.
Accelerated Reader has been purchased for all children from Year 2 to Year 6. This programme has recently been implemented with the hope that it will create a structured progression for the children who were originally ‘free readers’. Once they have finished a book, the children independently complete a quiz online with the aim to achieve 80% or higher. In class and year group competitions have been designed to help motivate the children to score as high as they can, so that they have the chance to collect prizes. Also, to help with motivation, a reading vending machine has been purchased for the school. The children have certain goals to aim for and when these goals are completed, they win a token for the vending machine and can choose a book to take home. These books are not focused so much on difficulty level, but on enjoyment. For example, there are football themed books, arts and crafts books, comics and annuals. The children are encouraged to share the types of books they would love to win, and these are bought for the vending machine so that there is further motivation to score well on their online quizzes.
Reading is assessed through age-related test papers from PiXL. The children complete the independent tests, their answers are inputted into a Question-Level Analysis and this helps the class teacher to identify gaps and areas to work on. This should inform planning for whole class teaching and help to identify children that would benefit from being in a smaller intervention group that focuses on a particular skill. This can also be used help the class teacher recognise misconceptions that are apparent across their whole class or whole year group, and these can be addressed in starters or additional lessons can be planned to tackle the issues.
Children at All Saints’ will have read stories and extracts from different authors and be able to share their favourite stories and authors. In addition, they will have been exposed to a range of fiction texts, non-fiction texts and poetry, which we hope will inspire their writing. They will understand that reading can be for pleasure but also it often serves an important purpose. Receiving this Reading teaching and being exposed to a wide range of exciting texts, will ensure that our children achieve well in their national assessments. In addition to all of this, we would like our children to leave All Saints’ with a love of reading!
At All Saints’ Primary School, all pupils make excellent progress in Reading. This starts from with a firm foundation in EYFS, with 65% of pupils in our 2022-2023 cohort achieving the word reading Early Learning Goal and 61% achieving the Early Learning Goal for comprehension. Our end of KS1 assessments for 2022-2023 show that the percentage of pupils achieving expected outcomes in Reading is 70%. This is supported by the high number of pupils that pass the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1, with an 85% pass rate and 97% for Year 2. This is a direct result of our excellent Phonics curriculum and teaching. Most of our older pupils are equipped with the English skills they need to succeed at secondary school when they leave us. This is reflected in our end of KS2 assessments for 2022-2023, with 75% of pupils meeting expected outcomes in Reading. We are proud of the progress the children in our school make in Reading, which we know will allow them to leave primary school well prepared for their future.