The aim of our reading curriculum is to enable pupils to read a wide range of materials fluently, critically and with understanding, for enjoyment and for information.
We want our pupils to develop the following essential characteristics:
- Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
- Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
- Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.
- An excellent comprehension of texts.
- The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.
- Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.
The following factors have been taken into consideration when designing our reading curriculum:
- We promote a culture of reading, not simply as a life skill, but to also develop in pupils a love of books and literature that will enrich their lives.
- The importance of reading in supporting learning across the wider curriculum.
- We recognise the important role that reading has to play in developing pupils’ social and emotional skills.
- The books our children are exposed to have been chosen very carefully to ensure they reflect the needs of our community and the aims and values of the school.
As children progress through the school, they revisit key reading skills in multiple different contexts and teachers help children to make connections and build their reading schema by making explicit reference to these skills.
In order to support this, ‘Reading Toolkits’ have been developed which are an integral part of all reading lessons. We encourage parents and carers to use these toolkits when reading with their children at home.
EYFS and KS1 Reading Toolkit – Please click here
KS2 Reading Toolkit – Please click here
Reading in EYFS
A range of carefully-planned provision is continuously accessible for pupils in both Nursery and Reception in order for them to develop their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. These opportunities regularly link to the whole-class text being studied. Quality adult-interaction with pupils ensures that the provision is being accessed appropriately and in a way that will provide experiences for them to practise developing core skills and make progress.
Adult led reading activities in EYFS include:
- Whole class daily phonics lessons
- Daily adult-led phonics activities (both indoors and outdoors) to revisit and embed skills
- Daily story time sessions
In addition to the above, our Reception children develop their reading skills through:
- Whole class daily literacy sessions with a focus on speaking and listening, shared reading and shared writing
- Daily guided reading groups
Reading in KS1
Children in KS1 develop their reading skills in the following ways:
- Whole class daily phonics lessons
- Whole class daily English lessons based on core texts in the English curriculum map
- Daily guided reading sessions (further information below)
- Daily story time sessions
- Reading skills are also developed through lessons across the curriculum
Reading in KS2
Children in KS2 develop their reading skills in the following ways:
- Whole class English lessons based on core texts in the English Curriculum map. On average children take part in 8 hours of English lessons per week with a minimum of 3 hour per week of whole class reading lessons (further information below).
- Daily story time sessions
- Years 3 and 4 have daily vocabulary lessons planned around the ‘Mrs Wordsmith’ resource
- Reading skills are also developed through lessons across the curriculum
Reading and writing skills are intrinsically linked and we believe that children learn best in both areas when lessons are designed around high quality and engaging whole class texts.
English curriculum maps are set out for each year group which contain the ‘core texts’ to be covered in each half term and include fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. These texts have been selected very carefully to meet the needs of our specific school community and promote links with the wider curriculum where appropriate.
Please follow the links below to view our English Curriculum Maps:
Year 1 English Curriculum Map – click here
Year 2 English Curriculum Map – click here
Year 3 English Curriculum Map – click here
Year 4 English Curriculum Map – click here
Year 5 English Curriculum Map – click here
Year 6 English Curriculum Map – click here
English lessons include a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies to develop pupils’ specific reading skills. These include:
- Drama, role play and debate
- Reading aloud and 'Readers’ Theatre'
- Vocabulary activities
- Reading journals
- Text marking
- Responding to illustrations and demonstrating understanding of a text through art
- Story Mapping
- Story-telling and story boxes
- Written comprehension activities including PEE tasks (Point Evidence Explanation)
- Research and note-taking activities
- Writing in role
- Literature circles
- Book reviews
Guided Reading Sessions in Reception and KS1
We use colour banded texts to achieve clear progression as children move through EYFS and KS1. This ensures teachers can closely match guided reading texts with children’s development in phonics. As a school, we have developed detailed lessons plans and resources for each text to support teachers and teaching assistants with delivering effective guided reading sessions which take place daily with different groups of children.
Over the course of an average week, each group in KS1 will take part in: a guided reading session with the teacher + a follow up activity the next day and a guided reading session with a teaching assistant + a follow up activity the next day. The fifth session of the week will usually involve ‘reading for pleasure’ however teachers may use their professional judgement to ensure children are completing a meaningful learning activity during this time. Pupils in Reception take part in an adult-led Guided Reading session each week and access provision on a daily basis that supports the development of their reading skills.
Structure of guided reading sessions:
1) Starter activity to revise previously taught content (e.g. high frequency words, tricky words, digraphs, punctuation, spelling rules etc.).
2) Key vocabulary sheet used to introduce children to any key words they will encounter in the book (with a visual image when possible).
3) Book introduction to discuss the front cover/blurb etc. and activate prior knowledge (e.g. knowledge of the world and other texts) which will support understanding.
4) Strategy Focus where children are introduced to the key reading skill they will be working on during the session.
5) Children read in pairs to a given page whilst the adult listens. The adult checks understanding of any challenging vocabulary before continuing.
6) Key questions are asked which relate to the reading objectives for that stage. There is explicit teaching of appropriate strategies needed to answer these questions.
7) A follow up task is explained for children that they will complete the next day without adult support.
Whole Class Reading Lessons in KS2
In KS2, teachers plan and deliver eight hours of English lessons a week which are based on the core text from the English curriculum map. A minimum of three of these hours will be whole class reading lessons which follow the structure below:
1) Pre-teach vocabulary: Three to five words per section/chapter are explained and discussed in context.
2) Reading the text: The adult models reading a paragraph/section of the text then different children are chosen to read out loud as the class follows in their own copy of the text.
3) Whole class reading discussion: The teacher presents 3-4 key questions on the board which children work in pairs to answer before taking part in a class discussion led by the adult.
4) Independent Task: Children complete tasks which are matched to their reading needs. At least one PEE (Point Evidence Explanation) activity is completed each week but other children will undertake a variety of activities to develop their reading skills e.g. research and note-taking, text marking, demonstrating understanding through art etc.
5) Reading Stamina: Activities which build children's reading stamina and their ability to read aloud with increasing fluency and expression e.g. preparing a section of dialogue with a partner or reading the next chapter and summarising the key points.
Story time takes place daily in every year group for approximately 15 minutes (after lunch whenever possible in KS1/KS2 to promote consistency). The primary aims of story time sessions are to promote a love of reading in our children and to ensure they are exposed to a wide variety of literature (and vocabulary) which supports both their academic and personal development.
Reading across the curriculum
Developing our pupils’ English skills, their knowledge of vocabulary and promoting a love of reading is a key aspect of our whole school intent. Therefore, in addition to dedicated English lessons, guided reading sessions and story times, teachers integrate regular opportunities to develop reading skills in their lessons across the curriculum. Subject leaders also support this by including key vocabulary and suggested books for further reading in knowledge webs which have been created for each unit in foundation subjects.
As a school, we recognise the importance of developing our pupils’ knowledge of vocabulary, not just in terms of their reading comprehension skills but due to the impact this has on their future academic success.
Vocabulary likely to contribute to academic success (known as tier 2 words) and topic specific vocabulary (known as tier 3 words) is explicitly taught in every year group in order to ensure our children can access the curriculum appropriately. In every subject, teachers identify the key vocabulary and these words are displayed in pocket charts within classrooms for children to refer to later in the week/unit. Subject leaders support this by including a list of key vocabulary for each unit on the knowledge webs. Teachers use a range of strategies within lessons to develop and deepen understanding of these key words.
As explained above, explicit vocabulary instruction forms a key part of both EYFS/KS1 guided reading sessions and KS2 whole class reading sessions. In addition to this, in Years 3 and 4 we use the Mrs Wordsmith Storyteller’s Dictionary resource to teach daily vocabulary lessons
Children in KS2 classes use the online resource Bedrock Vocabulary. Children access this resource twice each week. One session takes place in school and pupils are also expected to complete at least one session at home. Provision is made for children who do not have access to the appropriate technology at home so that they can complete both sessions during school time.
Every classroom has a dedicated reading area which is exciting, attractive and promotes a love of reading.
A programme of author visits has been designed to enthuse and motivate pupils about the joys of reading (and writing). The visits are planned well in advance to ensure they can have maximum impact on pupils’ learning and teachers integrate the visit into their English lessons. Authors of texts contained in the English curriculum map are chosen so that the visit has real meaning for the pupils in terms of the links to what they are studying in class. Efforts are also made to ensure many of the authors are from a BAME background in order to reflect our own school community and promote high aspirations for our pupils’ futures.
Book Week takes place every year in the spring term. A different theme is planned each year in order to take into account school priorities however the overall aim is always to promote a love of reading. A wide range of fun and exciting activities take place including library visits, dress up as your favourite character, special assemblies, ‘Drop Everything and Read!’, book swaps, competitions, adult reading sessions etc.
Supporting your child with their reading at home
We recognise and value the impact which reading at home has on pupils’ reading development and we work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure children have access to high quality books at home every week.
Children are expected to read at home for twenty minutes on a minimum of five days a week. They should record what they have read in their home reading records which should be signed by parents/carers at least once a week. Teachers check these records regularly.
Colour banded books
Children are provided with books matched to their current reading level (colour banded books). In EYFS and KS1 children are provided with two books and each book should be read twice that week in order to build fluency.
Ready, Steady, Read!
In each year group, a collection of forty books form the basis of a reading challenge to encourage pupils to read at home regularly. These include twenty fiction and twenty non-fiction and poetry texts which have been very carefully chosen to interest and engage pupils but also to link with the texts in the English curriculum map and the topics which children study in the wider curriculum. These links have been highlighted on the book list to help pupils and parents/carers chose the books which can be read to extend and deepen pupils’ understanding at appropriate times in the year.
Special stickers indicate which books are part of the reading challenge. At the beginning of each year, children are given the list of books and are challenged to read as many of them as possible with certificates given to reward them once them have read 10 (bronze), 20 (silver), 30 (gold) and 40 (platinum) books. Children should complete a short book review in the space provided on the list (in EYFS and Y1 parents/carers may help children to complete these reviews).
The primary aim of these texts is to develop pupils’ love of reading. Particularly in younger year groups, parents and carers are asked to read these books with their child as the text may be above their current reading ability.
The lists for each year group can be found below:
The School Library
The School Library contains a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books which are available for pupils to borrow using the electronic lending system.
The library is also opened up each morning from 8:30am to 8:50am for parents/carers to use with their children (when COVID restrictions allow). A rota system is in place and library cards have been given out to parents/carers to ensure the site is kept secure with no unauthorised adults accessing the space. Application forms for library cards can be downloaded here.
Reading workshops for parents and carers
We believe it is crucial to work in partnership with parents/carers to promote a love of reading and encourage regular reading at home. In addition to giving parents/carers appropriate information about how they can support their child with reading, we believe that workshops are most effective when they involve the parents/carers working with their children during the session. For this reason (when COVID restrictions allow), we run regular workshops for parents which involve a short presentation from the English lead or other appropriate member of staff followed by a session in class where parents/carers can watch teachers/support staff model the strategies discussed or put them into practice during a reading activity with their child. We also look to promote reading at home by providing parents access to bilingual texts so that they can share stories with their children in their home language.
Online Resources to support reading at home
We have invested in a number of online resources to support reading at home. These include:
- Busy Things
- First News iHub
- Bedrock Vocabulary
What if my child needs additional support with reading?
Children who require additional support with their reading skills predominately have their needs met through quality first teaching in the classroom however in some cases additional support is provided outside of ‘normal’ lessons. When this is the case, every effort is made to ensure pupils do not miss out on their right to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Interventions are time limited and progress is tracked carefully by the SENCo. We use the following interventions in school:
- Small group phonics sessions are run by support staff who have received specialist training. These sessions are run at 8:30am (20 minutes before school starts) so that children do not miss out on ‘normal’ lessons.
- Inference intervention is a small group 12 week programme of two 45 minute sessions each week. This is aimed at pupils who are able to decode effectively but have issues with reading comprehension.
- Beanstalk 1 to 1 reading sessions: These sessions are targeted at developing the confidence of pupils in Year 3 who did not meet the age related expectations for reading by the end of KS1.
- Reading volunteers: We actively encourage parents/carers and local high school students to volunteer with us (when COVID restrictions allow) to run additional 1 to 1 reading sessions to support pupils who are working below age related expectations. These volunteers are given training by the English lead in order to ensure the sessions can be run effectively.
- Dyslexia Gold: An online programme designed to support pupils who have been identified by our SENCo as requiring specific reading support.
The primary reason for assessment is to provide the pupil and the teacher with vital information which can then be used to improve future teaching and learning. Teachers will use a range of strategies to gain information about how well a child has understood an objective during the lesson including the use of effective questioning and collecting evidence from written work completed. Appropriate verbal and written feedback and peer or self-assessment tasks is then used to provide children with the information they need to continue to make rapid progress. Teachers evaluate each lesson and identify steps which need to be taken to address any gaps in learning or misconceptions.
Summative assessment and reporting to parents and carers
Different summative assessment tools are used to track pupils’ progress carefully throughout the school:
- Phonics assessments using the online tool ‘Phonics Tracker’ and half termly phonics checks in Year 1.
- Running records are used to assess a child when a teacher believes they are ready to move up to the next colour band (up to white colour band only).
- Termly NFER comprehension tests from Year 2 to Year 6.
Teachers use their assessments to set children two personalised reading targets (including appropriate strategies) each term. These targets are discussed and agreed with the child during their mentoring meeting and this report is shared with parents and carers. Parents are able to discuss the progress their children are making in reading informally at any point during and are also invited to Parent Open Evenings once every term. End of year reports include a summative assessment of pupils’ progress across the year.