Reading is central to our school curriculum, from Nursery and EYFS where children develop their Phonics, explore early readers and take part in daily story and song times to ensure they begin to develop a love of reading and start to develop their fluency. We ensure all our pupils have access to wide range of books from diverse authors and dual languages, that would appeal to all children. Each classroom has a well-stocked class library with high quality texts ranging from and new current authors relevant for the year group as well as the classics, where children can take a book at any time. Our curriculum is carefully planned to cater for the strengths and needs of our pupils and is well structured to ensure that all pupils make progress.
Teachers select a class reader which is read aloud at the end of each school day to develop children’s vocabulary and to expose them to high quality and challenging texts. They also look for opportunities to share texts in new and different ways, for example, through our ‘Mystery Reader’ and occasions where we ‘Drop everything and read’ (DEAR).
At Heathland, we use the Read Write Inc programme from Nursery to KS1, and for interventions for KS2 children. In Read Write Inc. Phonics pupils:
- Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
- Read common exception words on sight
- Learn to shoe a understand what they read
- Read aloud with fluency and expression
In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on misconceptions.
In Reception, we emphasise the alphabetic code. The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly and this learning is consolidated daily. Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings, called common exception words. We make sure that pupils read books that match their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers.
Our methodical approach to Guided Reading gives pupils the opportunity to explore challenging texts in depth as well as look at current news topics through First News and when they read for pleasure.
Children have the opportunity to read 1:1 with an adult at least once per week. Where possible, this is more frequent for children who may need additional support to become fluent and confident readers. As children move through school (or become more able readers), opportunities for sustained independent reading are provided. Books which reflect the current sounds they are learning in phonics are sent home on a weekly basis. Once children can read longer texts independently and with fluency, they will focus on their comprehension skills such as retrieval, inference, making a prediction and interpreting a story. A carousel model is used in KS1 and KS2 which can include comprehension activities, phonics learning, dictionary work and reading for pleasure, as well as a focus on a key text.