At Asquith Primary School we believe that reading should be a fundamental part of childhood and a skill which should be developed to support lifelong learning. Our aim is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture within our school community. We are striving towards our children becoming confident and competent readers, who will foster a love of reading through a rich and varied experience of texts. We hope that in doing this our children will become empowered to exercise freedoms of choice and independence. Our role is to inspire our children to read for pleasure and offer them varied and rich opportunities in which to do so.
At Asquith, we balance the teaching of reading between word reading and decoding skills, comprehension strategies and response to text, in order to develop fluent readers who can understand and engage with a wide variety of texts.
To develop the language comprehension strand of reading we use the ‘magic eight’ within our whole school approach. These eight interlinked skills relate to the reading domains of statutory assessment and are taught explicitly in order to enable children to act as readers, comprehending and gaining knowledge and pleasure.
· use of background knowledge.
· predict and ask questions.
· think like a detective.
· notice meaning ‘breakdown and repair;.
· read like a writer.
· capture the gist.
Teaching of the eight skills occurs in every classroom and they are evident in formal and informal reading sessions.
To develop the word recognition strand of reading we progress through from the use of a systematic synthetic phonics programme (Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised) and apply sight recognition and decoding skills through the use of Read Write Spell from Years 2-6. Keep up programs and structured interventions based on diagnostics of the reading occur from entry into school. We use Lexplore to assist in diagnostics and tailor support to need.
Reading runs through every aspect of the curriculum. Books are selected by teachers with a view to how they link with themes across the curriculum and how they are relevant and motivating to the pupils. A rich diet of fiction, non-fiction and poetry drives learning and pupils are empowered to see themselves as readers who can choose to open doors to new experiences, perspectives and knowledge via the written and illustrated word.
In Key Stage 2 we teach reading every week through multiple vehicles:
· Pupils are read to everyday
· 200 minutes of reading is the expectation in every classroom- this encompasses whole class, small group and individual reading.
· The English planning is text driven and the class text is used for a whole class ‘guided reading session’: teaching reading skills.
· Pearson Workbooks, accompanied by collections of diverse texts are used to consolidate reading skills in short whole class and targeted group reading sessions.
· In addition, targeted reading interventions are delivered to those who are working below age related expectations and this will be accompanied by reading aloud to another regularly.
· Pupils access at least one ‘reading for pleasure’ whole class session. This is an opportunity to journal in relation to a book; become immersed and engage with reading for pleasure; construct and share reviews; scrapbook – using reading skills to research and document an area of interest of a collection of books.
· Pupils access banded reading books from the ‘Bug Club’ Pearson scheme. They also have access to the phase libraries and select books. Both can be taken home and the school reward system recognises the value of home reading.
We recognise that reading is a multifaceted skill that is gradually acquired over years of instruction. However, we are fully committed to developing curious and motivated readers who can enjoy the doors that texts open.
‘So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky.’ William James
Implementation of Phonics and Early Reading
At Asquith Primary School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why, from Spring 2022, we will be teaching early reading using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme.
Foundations for phonics in Nursery
Early reading skills are taught from Nursery with a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and Language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include: sharing high-quality stories and poems, learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes, activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending and attention is given to high-quality language. At Asquith, we ensure Nursery children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
Phonics is taught for up to 30 minutes a day with daily Phonics lessons starting in week 2 of the Autumn term in Reception. We follow the progression of lessons in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
Phonics lessons and targeted support for children who did not pass the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check continue in Year 2 and beyond.
At present, we use the Rapid Phonics programme to teach Phonics and Early Reading to KS2 children.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. Through their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read.
Attainment in reading is measured using statutory assessments such as the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2 and following the outcomes in the Year 1 Phonics Screening check. Any child not passing the Y1 Phonics Screening check is given additional support and resits it in Year 2. Additionally, we use assessment for learning and summative assessments from Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it. We provide a range of interventions, complementary to the foundation of Little Wandle, to secure pupils learning ability through-out KS2 and ensure that pupils who have challenges are supported to progress.
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. We want pupils to possess the reading skills and love of literature which will help them to enjoy and access any aspects of learning they encounter in the future.