Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we ensure our English curriculum gets children into books right from the start. From the important foundations using our systematic and structured Phonics program to our wizarding Library, Giant reading bed, playground Book Nook and stunning class reading corners- we make sure our school oozes books at every turn. Our Staindrop Book Awards excited staff, pupils and authors alike. Reading whole class quality texts as a basis for literacy and many other subjects makes sure that children are exposed to the best in children’s literature and a full range of genres. Many books studied are the first in a series in order to encourage children to develop reading on for pleasure. Poetry, non-fiction, digital texts and picture books feature through the English syllabus from EYFS to Year 6.
We use the systematic Read Write Inc program for our phonics teaching. Sessions run for 30 minutes a day in small groups where children are taught to recognise sounds, read decodable green words, red tricky words and alien words. They then practise spelling these words and writing them down. Children are taught to apply their phonics skills and improve fluency through the Readwrite inc story books in used during these sessions.
All staff receive training and regular updates and development days to ensure continuity and increase staff confidence in delivering theses sessions.
Children’s progress in phonics is closely tracked and children are regularly assessed and regrouped as appropriate. The Reading leader tracks progress and identifies children who require 1:1 intervention which is then implemented in order for children to catch up.
EYFS/KS1 Home Reading Books
Home reading books are phonics based and exactly match our phonics program to ensure books closely match the sound being taught in lessons. Children take these home and parents are encouraged to support their children in reading these. There are also activities and questions for them to complete in the front and back of the books.
Children progress through the reading levels is again closely tracked and once the reach the higher levels of the KS1 reading scheme they are moved onto the Accelerated reader program which enables us to match them on the correct level books whilst also tracking their comprehension of what they read.
Children are given coloured bugs as rewards as they move through the different book colour levels. Once on the Accelerated Reader program children earn points for reading different books and are rewarded when they hit their targets.
KS2 Independent Reading Books
From KS2 onwards, children use the Accelerated Reader program to track progress and encourage them to read. Online Star tests identify children’s current reading levels and guide children to choosing books at an appropriate level. On completing books children take a short comprehension quiz and aim to score 100%. Various incentives run throughout the year where children can collect tickets for each 100% scored and win cinema trips, easter eggs or special experiences. This helps to incentivise reading and keeps children motivated to read and quiz.
Books can be chosen from our well stocked library, class reading corners, teacher VIP book shelves or books from home. Children keep a record of their own progress in their reading record books where they note down scores and write book reviews.
When children have read a million words this is celebrated with a special certificate and a £5 book voucher.
We use a whole class approach to guided reading in KS2. Whole class sets of books sourced from Durham Learning Resources are used. Texts are carefully mapped to link to books studied in Literacy lesson by genre, theme or Author. Several sessions a week are given over to reading the book and class discussion. One session a week is planned to teach a particular reading skill from
Vocabulary, Inference, prediction, evaluation, retrieval or summarising known in school as VIPERS. These lessons consist of a model question and practise questions for children to complete. Other written tasks may be used to further their understanding of the text. On a weekly basis VIPERS activities are used based on film clips, adverts, picture or text extracts as additional independent practise of these skills.
Reading as a fundamental part of literacy lessons and units of Literacy work are planned around and based on a quality text. Texts are mapped out across school to link with topics where appropriate and to ensure coverage of a range of genres, themes, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, authors, classical texts, new releases and best -selling authors. Contact with authors is encouraged and frequently classes tweet or email authors being studied and gain responses.
Please click the following link to see our literacy and guided reading text overview:
The school is organised to promote reading and inspire children to read. We have a Harry Potter themed library where children can choose books for home reading and non fiction books for research during lessons. Our playground Book Nook provides a sheltered place where children can go to be quiet and read at playtimes. We also host story times for the younger children read by the older pupils. In classrooms appealing reading areas provide a place to sit or choose a book and are often themed around the texts being studied in school. Every teacher has a special VIP book shelf where they keep their latests books and lend them out to children to create a sense of awe and wonder around books. Often teachers will order new books specifically requested by children and we have been known to have these delivered to children’s homes in the holidays. Our KS1 book gallery displays the books being read in classes to encourage discussions between staff and pupils. Reading is such a huge part of school life that teachers have even set up their own books clubs outside of school.
We celebrate reading through our now yearly book awards. We start by taking pupils to our local book shop to choose the shortlisted books, followed by whole school readings of the books. Children and staff then vote for the winners. We contact the authors and are excited for their responses. Children write book reviews and share the awards via social media. World Book Day is celebrated every year in a variety of ways such as door decorating competitions, chair creating activities, a giant reading bed and dressing up. Author visits enhance the work we do in school.