At our school we believe learning to read is the most important skill our pupils develop during their time at our school. Due to the importance we place on this, a great deal of our curriculum time is spent developing reading skills.
Our pupils need to be confident speakers, responsive listeners, critical readers and creative writers, in order to be able to succeed in a global society. The ability to use language effectively lies at the centre of the development and expression of our emotions, our thinking, our learning and our sense of personal identity.
For our pupils to attain highly and make exceptional progress, English in our school must:
- Develop competent decoding and comprehension skills
- Foster a shared love of language, reading and books
- Make rich and meaningful links between the elements of English (Writing, Reading, Spelling, Grammar and Speaking & Listening)
- Expose pupils to a wide variety of vocabulary, texts and experiences
Free access to books online
Watch our video below to find out how to sign up for the library online. You can then download the BorrowBox app on any tablet or phone and sign in with your library details to get free access to online e-books and audio books for your children to enjoy.
Early Years and Key Stage 1
At our school, we use a structured, synthetic phonics approach to teaching pupils to read. The scheme we use is called ‘Read Write Inc’
The teaching of sounds represented by letters starts in Nursery when pupils are identified as being ready for this learning. This means that in Nursery, individual pupils will start their phonic learning at different points during the year. Once pupils have learnt some single letter sounds, they will be taught to hear a sequence of sounds and then blend those sounds to say a word.
Support for parents on Oxford Owl: how to say the sounds
On this Phonics made easy page click on the red links in the “Phonics audio guide: how to say the sounds” section.
Fred is the ‘frog character’ used in lessons and he can only speak in ‘Fred Talk’. For example Fred says ‘S-I-T’ and pupils blend the letters together to say ‘sit’.
When pupils join the Reception classes, they continue extend their phonic learning. The pupils have four RWI lessons a week, each lesson is 30 – 40 minutes. Target phonic work takes place in the afternoons. Pupils learn sounds that are made by 2 letters together or 3 letters together. The blending together of sounds is an essential skill. Initially pupils will say the sounds out aloud and blend together, they are then encouraged to say the sounds quietly and eventually in their head (Fred in your head) with the aim that pupils will develop the ability to decode automatically (automaticity).
The next step is to see the word, say the sounds that are seen and blend together to read the word.
Readers must be able to recognize words quickly and accurately. … Automaticity is crucial to building reading skills because students who are able to automatically decode words are free to think about the meaning of the words they are reading. Thus, skilled word decoding is a building block for reading comprehension.
As soon as they are able to blend, pupils begin to read the specially written, story books in every ‘Read Write Inc.’ lesson. Once pupils are reading the books, we start to develop their understanding of what they are reading.
In Year 1 pupils continue to learn more sounds and blend more complex words. They also develop their comprehension skills during the ‘Read Write Inc.’ sessions. Pupils have four RWI lessons of 45 minutes each week.
Some pupils complete the RWI phonics programme before the end of year 1. These pupils continue to consolidate their phonic knowledge and learn to apply their skills to decode more complex multi-syllabic words. These pupils read more challenging texts (Reading Detectives) and develop their comprehension skills.
Some pupils continue the ‘Read Write Inc.’ phonics and reading programme through to the end of Year 1 and a small number of pupils may need to continue the phonics programme as they enter Year 2.
While following the ‘Read Write Inc.’ programme, pupils’ phonic knowledge and application is assessed every six weeks and pupils are then placed into groups according to their reading ability.
All of pupils take reading books home, which are matched to their reading ability and we actively and positively encourage parents to share these books with their pupils at home and listen to your child read. It is an expectation that you listen to your child read a minimum of three times a week.
As pupils move through the scheme, the ‘Read Write Inc.’ Leader carefully monitors their progress. Any pupil who is experiencing difficulty and is not yet making the expected progress will be targeted with specific intervention work.
In Year 2 pupils continue to consolidate their phonic knowledge and comprehension skills. Our school uses the ‘Read Write Inc.’ comprehension programme and the Language and Literacy programme. Year 2 pupils have four reading lessons each week.
These reading lessons extend pupils’ comprehension ability and prepares them for the challenges of reading as they move into KS2.
In all of our teaching we aim to foster and nurture the feeling of success as a reader and to develop a love of reading and books. We value parental support with pupil learning at home.
Support for parents on Oxford Owl: a free e-book library
Key Stage 2
Years 3 to 6 have four whole class reading lessons each week using a scheme called Language and Literacy. These lessons are differentiated to the individual needs of the class to ensure maximum progress for all. Through these lessons, pupil’s comprehension skills are developed and supported through a range of short, engaging texts.
Once a week, pupils from Year 3 to 5 take part in a group reading session during which they engage deeply with a quality text. This occurs 3 times each week for all Year 6 pupils.
Those in need of additional support receive one-to-one reading sessions with a fully-trained TA.
It is expected that pupils are read with at home at least 4 times a week and both pupils and parents/carers are rewarded through the weekly ‘Star Reader’ competition, as an acknowledgement of their hard work. If pupils are not regularly reading at home, parents and carers are supported fully to ensure that pupils meet this minimum requirement. Pupils are encouraged to change their home reader regularly.
For pupils who are developing readers, we use a banded book scheme. The difficulty of book they take home is determined by teacher assessment and is regularly monitored to make sure they are reading at the correct level to ensure they make maximum progress. Once pupils get to the end of the banded books scheme or are confident readers, they progress to our Accelerated Reader programme to develop their comprehension and vocabulary skills. Pupils are encouraged to choose books which they feel they will enjoy in order to help them develop a love of reading. Once pupils have read a book, they complete an online quiz to assess their understanding.
Years 3 to 6 have four whole class reading lessons each week using a scheme called Language and Literacy. These lessons are differentiated to the individual needs of the class to ensure maximum progress for all. Through these lessons pupil’s comprehension abilities are supported through the use of short, engaging texts.
Once a week, pupils take part in a group reading session during which they engage deeply with a quality text. These sessions are delivered by two teachers and one TA to ensure all pupils make progress.
Pupils in need of additional support receive one to one reading sessions with a fully trained TA.
It is expected that pupils are read with at home at least 3 times a week and that this is recorded in their reading records. If this doesn’t happen, parents and carers are supported fully to ensure that pupils meet this minimum requirement. Pupils are encouraged to change their home reader regularly.
For pupils who are developing readers, we use a banded book scheme. The difficulty of book they take home is determined by teacher assessment and regularly monitored to make sure they are on the right level to ensure they make maximum progress. Once pupils get to the end of the banded books scheme or are confident readers, they progress to our Accelerated Reader programme to develop their comprehension and vocabulary skills. Pupils are encouraged to choose books which they feel they will enjoy in order to help them develop a love of reading. Once pupils have read a book, they complete an online quiz to assess their understanding.