At Roundhay St John’s Primary School we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and enjoy a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in preparation for their forthcoming secondary education.
We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills. For this reason, we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Whilst we have very good outcomes in phonics we are determined that every child should be a reader from an early age so have recently invested in a new programme of phonic teaching, ‘Little Wandle’ which we are implementing. A real benefit of this scheme is that includes a reading scheme of books and these are very closely aligned to the phonics that children are being taught at any one time.
All children in Reception, Key Stage 1 and, where necessary Key Stage 2, have daily phonics sessions where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified.
We recognise that systematic high-quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader. Comprehension is developed during whole class reading sessions using high quality texts and focused skill teaching. The key reading skills are: decoding, Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising/Sequencing (VIPERS). Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills.
All children read aloud daily during phonics and whole class guided reading; in addition to this, they read as often as possible with teachers, teaching assistants and reading volunteers, with a focus being on the lowest 20%.
We recognise the importance of developing a rich and extensive bank of vocabulary; therefore, we teach vocabulary directly linked to the text during every whole class guided reading session and within English lessons. This vocabulary is reinforced during the week, ensuring new vocabulary is embedded.
All classes read a class novel daily, for pleasure, to excite and engage the children, and to expose them to new and varied vocabulary. All books shared with children are selected to provide challenge and expose them to a diverse range of authors, characters and settings.
Reading at home is encouraged and expected. Children take home weekly reading books from the whole school reading scheme, where books are matched directly to a child’s current phonics or reading level. Pupils are also encouraged to read an additional book of their choice in allocated independent reading times. A love for reading is fostered through:
- carefully chosen class novels and texts
- an exciting learning environment throughout school
- reading challenges
- whole school reading events
- up-to-date class libraries and school library
- a modelled love of reading by staff
- author visits
As a Year 6 reader transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.