Making sure children become engaged with reading from the very beginning is one of the most important ways to make a difference to their life chances. For this to happen, however, children need to learn to read as fluently as possible and be motivated to continue reading. Children who are good at reading do more of it: they learn more and expand their vocabulary.
Children need both good language comprehension and good word reading to become good readers. Word reading and language comprehension require different sorts of teaching.
When children start learning to read the number of words they can decode accurately is too limited to broaden their vocabulary. Their understanding of language should therefore be developed through their listening and speaking, while they are taught to decode through phonics. However, when they can read most words ‘at a glance’ and can decode unfamiliar words easily, they are free to think about the meaning of what they read. They can then begin to develop their understanding of language through their reading.
When the children arrive from their KS1 settings we aim to build upon the teaching that has already taken place. For children who did not pass their Year 1 phonic test on the Year 2 retake we provide extra learning support, where they revise and practise the sounds. Year 3 staff also revisit the sounds for all pupils during their daily English lessons especially during the Autumn term. At Uplands we support the teaching of phonics with a single scheme of RWI phonics. This is also used by staff to support the teaching of reading, writing and spelling across school. Some children are also targeted for 1:1 RWI support on an individual plan. Children can take RWI books home to practise their sounds and children select home readers with a phonic base to support their learning.
At Uplands we aim to provide the children with a curriculum which is broad, well balanced, stimulating and exciting. We wish to develop a passion and instil a lifetime love of reading. Reading is a fundamental skill that crosses over many subjects. Reading is prioritised to allow pupils to access the full curriculum.
We encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction, non-fiction and poetry books to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in. We want them to establish an appreciation and love of reading to gain knowledge across the curriculum and develop their comprehension skills. By the end of the Key Stage it is our intention that children enjoy reading, read fluently and are able to confidently discuss the texts they read. Books are chosen to develop vocabulary, language comprehension and the enjoyment of reading.
We have a banded reading scheme so that children choose books appropriate for their ability. There are a range of books available. We don’t follow one particular scheme but have books from various publishers such as Oxford and Collins. When they reach a reading age of 9 ½ children can read books from our book corners, our library and from home as their reading book. The range of books available includes many by well-known and popular authors. With the consultation of the children, these are updated regularly. The children have opportunities to read their books individually to their teachers and teaching assistants. Once completed the children do a reading journal activity based on our Gems. (Domains)
Book Talk occurs 4 times per week where the children practice their reading and their skills. The children through a positive, inclusive and caring environment talk competently about the books using a range of Gems. (Domains) Comprehension lessons occur once a week where again reading skills are taught. These reading skills are also further developed and encouraged across all the curriculum. Children are also taught the natural link between reading widely and producing stimulating writing.
As well as our day to day reading assessments, through-out the year children take part in a variety of reading tests. They complete NGRT11 reading tests and Headstart tests. This process helps teachers target specific areas of reading. Reading fluency across the school also makes the teachers aware of children’s reading speed. We also deliver various reading interventions across school to strengthen children’s learning. As a junior school, we target children who still need to develop their phonic knowledge when they join ensuring gaps are addressed.
A range of curriculum enhancements in reading also occurs. This includes Starbooks Award, World Book Day, Authors in school, Roving Book Fairs, development of reading corners, use of our school library (children can borrow books), Reading Cloud and much more.
To encourage pupils to read daily for pleasure, all pupils are provided with a ‘Starbooks Loyalty Card’, which is attached inside their reading journal. Each time a pupil completes a reading journal activity, they hand this into their teacher who will sign/stamp the loyalty card. Once the loyalty card is completed, the pupil is rewarded with a mystery prize and a new loyalty card is allocated. We hope that this will encourage pupils to read regularly, carry out a variety of engaging reading related activities and to read a wide range of quality literature.
School Library and Reading Cloud
Each year group in our school is allocated a weekly lunch time session in the school library; every child is able to borrow a book of their choice to take home.
Our online Reading Cloud is accessible for pupils via the school website with an individual username and password. This platform allows pupils, staff and parents to view our school library catalogue online (including e-books). Pupils are encouraged to use the Reading Cloud to assist with research; to write book reviews; to blog about what they are reading/their favourite authors and to browse for new books.
The system includes a ‘Who Next’ feature, which recommends new books and authors based on the books that a pupil has previously read; this may inform the a pupil’s next book choice, encouraging them to widen their reading experiences by signposting a new author or series of books.