Reading curriculum statement
“Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. Alongside this, good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.”
Department for Education, Reading programme of study (2014).
At the Oaks Community Primary, the curriculum has been designed with reading at its core and it is woven across all curriculum areas. We share and promote a love of reading for all pupils as we recognise that learning to read raises children’s self esteem and self-efficacy and develops the wider characteristics of effective learning. This learning cycle involves pupils’ developing and strengthening their metacognitive processes to know more, remember more and ability to do more, which enables pupils to enhance their view of the wider world.
We want our children to know that reading can make a difference throughout their whole lives.
From Early Years through to our transitional work with our local high schools, the knowledge and skills required to be a proficient reader are continually evaluated and developed to facilitate all our pupils including the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities are able to understand and apply these transferable skills and strategies across the curriculum.
Our curriculum is strengthened by the use of research and collaboration with external partners. The curriculum we have constructed is built upon a secure pedagogical content knowledge and reflects the school’s local context to powerfully address social disadvantage. This knowledge transcends throughout our curriculum by experienced teachers who recognise the importance of closing the educational gap through explorations, questioning and interrogation as our pupils’ access a broad and extensive range of texts/genres and online platforms to understand the effect on the reader.
The curriculum addresses gaps and extends pupils’ knowledge and skills, as we ensure all pupils have access to schemes of work which are purposeful, effective and connected. This we believe ensures all our pupils’ have ever improving outcomes to become proficient fluent readers. We recognise that learning to read and developing fluency contributes to an individual’s learning power and supports their resilience, concentration and perseverance of the written word.
The curriculum has been designed to explicitly show the variety and importance of the written word through modelling, scaffolding and explicitly celebrating the written word within a print rich environment.
We strive to encourage and foster a love of reading, where pupils are able to answer with confidence and understanding how reading can and will make a difference to them now, through the transitional phases of their future education and their success as future citizens in the world.
At the Oaks Community Primary, the steps to fostering a love of reading are the cornerstone to delivering our curriculum as we recognise that the ability to be a fluent proficient reader enables pupils to succeed in their educational careers at primary school and beyond. Reading is a skill that requires continual development and the curriculum implemented endeavours to facilitate every individual to develop, grow and become readers.
Staff are experts in early reading:
All staff at The Oaks recognise the importance and successful implementation of early reading. All staff have regular CPD sessions in delivering our systematic synthetic phonics programme. This is delivered through the Read Write Inc (RWI) scheme and begins as soon as pupils join our school in the Early Years classroom. In order for all children to read the sounds that make up words we deliver high quality phonics lessons daily by RWI trained teaching staff. The lesson structure shows fidelity to the RWI programme, remains consistent throughout learning stages, year groups and teaching staff. Our RWI lessons progress from sound recognition to word reading, ‘ditty’ and then sentence level reading ensure our pupils are supported to become confident, fluent readers.
The mantra ‘special friends, Fred talk, read the word’ is at the heart of reading at The Oaks to pupils who are accessing or have accessed the RWI program. This is an effective strategy which enables children to decode successfully and then blend with accuracy, applying the skills they have been taught. This arms our children with a superior method for decoding and reading words with independence across the breadth of the curriculum in all Key Stages. Once a word has been decoded we can then begin to address drawing meaning and understanding. This is supported by opportunities for pupils to consolidate the GPC’s which can already be read through a well-managed reading scheme organised according to the growing complexity of the GPC’s within them, therefore our pupils will be able to use the decoding skills taught to read more and make progress, this ensures the virtuous cycle of reading as pupils become confident readers, develop fluency in decoding, experience success in reading simple texts, are motivated to read more and with increasing skill. These skills are supported in school and at home as parents/carers/our pupils are encouraged to support their child’s reading progress and proficiency daily within their home environment.
Our Reading Curriculum:
Underpinning all learning at The Oaks is our shared view that an extensive vocabulary and understanding of what is read is the key to success in all areas and pupils are encouraged to think about the effect on the reader. Discussion with adults and peers, find read talk, pair reading, pausing, think aloud, clarify, skim, pausing, questioning and making links to prior experience are all different strategies which all play a part in supporting each child to understand and embrace what they are reading.
From Reception through to Year Six, every pupil has access to a daily succinct reading curriculum which develops reading comprehension skills, supports pupils vocabulary knowledge and learning within the wider curriculum. The Steps to Read scheme developed by Literacy Counts has been adopted within our school and supports a curriculum which is purposeful, effective and connected. Within a lesson, learning will incorporate a clear sequential teaching sequence that explicitly teaches reading skills and strategies. The use of high quality, language rich texts broaden a pupil’s reading experience through fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts which intend to engage the reader, enhances knowledge and provides a clear focus on reading progression through each academic year. Steps to Read is a whole class shared reading program which has four clear stages within each lesson:
- Read – teacher and pupils explore the anchor question to enable pupils to have a purpose to read. Vocabulary is explored and discussed, in KS2 this is with the increasing independent use of dictionaries to explore vocabulary and make predictions from meanings of language discussed and key questions raised. Reading fluency is enhanced through choral reading to develop fluency.
- Model -Teacher models reading skills and strategies explicitly demonstrating how these are applied when ‘being’ a reader. Teacher also models the important textual evidence required to answer Anchor Question(s).
- Practise-Children explore new vocabulary and through paired and table discussion, read the text again. Children text marking is a common feature of this step of both new vocabulary (underline) and important evidence towards the Anchor Questions (circle evidence which supports the anchor question).
- Apply -Children demonstrate how they have internalised new reading skills, strategies and their understanding of the vehicle text. Within EY/ and Year One evidence is gathered in floor books. From Summer One pupils in Year One will be supported to complete work in Reading books which are used in Year Two-Year Six.
Supportive Online Platforms:
In addition to the physical resources within our school environment, pupils have access to online platforms including Accelerated Reader (AR). Each pupil is able to read different text in accordance with their Z.P.D. These platforms enable pupils to deepen their knowledge of subjects across the curriculum alongside developing reading for pleasure through pupil choice. Each half term information is collected to create projects within bookfinders with AR are researched to provide further purposeful reading opportunities, these texts can be used as part of the teaching learning cycle within school or as additional homework.
Staff foster a love of Reading:
As a reading teaching team, we constantly strive to hone our teaching skills to ensure a high-quality, rich learning environment for all our pupils and recognise the importance of staff as reader role models. Staff are guided by research which states developing a positive attitude to reading facilitates greater reading attainment and writing ability and recognises the reciprocal cycle to an individual’s holistic development.
Throughout our school environment, reading is celebrated, the importance of reading can be evidenced across the curriculum through numerous initiatives:
Well stocked and thought out library areas in each class provide all pupils and staff to read and experience a range of text/media types and genres including newspapers, maps, children’s classics and poetry. Within each school day, pupils are encouraged to choose texts to read for pleasure, this fosters a love of reading through choice and variation. This initiative supports pupils’ reading development through choice, satisfaction and interest; as a staff we understand the active process to promote a positive reading attitude: a greater insight into human nature, other cultures and breadth of vocabulary.
Alongside this, pupils are encouraged to develop their reader voice by predicting or reviewing texts which can be used by other pupils, this can trigger an interest in a reluctant reader, furthermore, buddy reading systems encourage pupils to explain, teach and can provide a confidence boost to support reading for pleasure.
Vocabulary work across the curriculum is supported within our Reading and Writing approach, pupils develop broader, deeper vocabulary knowledge through planned activities to facilitate pupils to question/justify the use of language chosen by an author through Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary. Pupils are supported to develop and deepen skills which interrogate the text, these discussions by staff and pupils are important to make links between the effect on the reader and the effect as a writer which incorporate the how, what and why the writer has chosen/created a phrase/paragraph/piece of writing.
After each unit of work, the vocabulary which has been introduced and applied in their reading and writing activities continues to be accessed and applied in further learning across the year,
Supporting all pupils to be readers underpins our ethos at The Oaks, evidence from the Pupil Premium Guidance (EEF, 2020) found how a targeted approach can have a positive impact through structured interventions, small group tuition and one-one support to support learning progress. At The Oaks, carefully selected interventions aim to ensure all pupils are competent readers.
At The Oaks we believe that in order to consolidate learning and build strong foundations for reading, reviewing sounds previously taught is integral to retaining the learning. Children review a carefully considered selection of sounds and words each day in order to cement their understanding and build fluency of skills. Reviewing occurs in each lesson and is also addressed throughout the school day during ‘pinny time’ aimed at securing specific knowledge on an individual basis.
Better Reading Programme
The Better Reading Partners (BRP) programme system supports pupils working below age related expectations. It is used as it harnesses many of the skills and expectations of teaching of English. BRP works on the principle of three reads; a familiar text, to focus on fluency, expression and comprehension; a new text, for testing decoding ability; a recent text, which would have been the new text from the previous week, for developing speed and comprehension -this would then act as a rota for progress.
To support pupils within our school and in collaboration with our SENCO, Beat Dyslexia is a carefully structured programme that helps the learner understand the linguistic and phonological structures that underpin literacy. It is underpinned by a multi-sensory approach that encourages pupils to use more senses in order to learn letter-sound relationships. Looking and saying as well as hearing and writing reinforce learning through visual, auditory and kinesthetic approaches.
From assessment, this targeted approach provides an online interactive learning platform which aims to jump start reading and supports the development of reading skills. ReadingWise is used from Reception through to Year Six to support individual reading skills and provide additional development for readers including EAL and SEND.
Guided reading taught through Language and Literacy
Focused small group work formed from assessment enables well trained practitioners to model, teach specific skills adopting the Steps to Read teaching process and allows pupils and staff to have discussions and complete activities to develop fluency and understanding. These reading comprehension activities focus on the learner’s understanding of the written text. Pupils are taught a range of techniques which may incorporate which enable them to comprehend the meaning of what they read. Using evidence from the EEF, 2020, the aim of the reading comprehension approaches allow activities to be carefully tailored to pupils’ reading capabilities, and involve activities and texts that provide an effective, but not overwhelming, challenge. Within small group work, resources can be used to support all readers including greater depth learners.
At every opportunity throughout the school day pupils are able to explore new texts or develop an aptitude for reading for pleasure through our Breakfast reading club. This is available to all pupils and pupils are offered the opportunity for breakfast and quiet reading time, alongside this, pupils have the opportunity to read to an adult. Further to this, throughout the year, each year group is offered a place at library club, during this designated time pupils can participate in different activities linked to reading including: discovering new authors, compiling quizzes for pupils in school, illustrating book covers, book reviews or simply offering a quiet space for pupils choosing to immerse themselves within their chosen current text.
To continue improving links within the community, all pupils at The Oaks are members of our local library and regular planned visits throughout each year group take place at least twice a year.
Within our school community, we recognise the support of parents and carers is vital to ensuring success for our pupils. To support our parents/carers communication is vital regarding their child’s reading progress. These forms of communication may happen daily, weekly, half termly following assessment and during parents evenings. As part of fostering a love of reading our ‘Strive for Five’ initiative celebrates every time a pupil reads for a ten minute session, supporting literature is available to all our parents/carers on our school website and staff are available to discuss concerns with parents/pupils before and after the school day.
In line with The Oaks Assessment Policy, the purpose of assessing pupils reading abilities informs the teaching and learning sequence. The ability to read is an essential skill, therefore it is essential to ensure timely and accurate assessment. Assessment information is collected at the end of each half term and includes formative assessment alongside professional judgements.
Within teaching and learning activities key questioning techniques are used to gauge pupil understanding and knowledge, this may then lead to discussions and planned activities which deepen understanding. Reading assessments include RWI, Benchmarking, Accelerated Reader Star test. The assessment pupils undertake is dependent on the stage of their reading journey. From this, teaching staff are able to target pupils who need 1:1 or group interventions and data is used to plan the next unit of work.
The development of this reading curriculum is inline with our 3 year school development plan.
The Oaks Community Primary has developed experts in the teaching of early reading and the Read Write Inc phonics programme will be embedded – whereby pupils make swift progress through their reading development and pupils develop confidence quickly and are thereby motivated to read more.
All teaching staff will foster and nurture a love of language, value the intrinsic link between reading and writing and understand the complexities and support pupils to overcome and develop skills and strategies to become a successful reader.
Our reading curriculum will address gaps in knowledge and skills and pupils will then be able to adapt the skills and knowledge developed within the reading curriculum in all curriculum areas in accordance with the Early Years Development Goals and the National Curriculum. Our pupils will develop skills which will make a difference to the depth and breadth of all their learning and will perpetuate an ever increasing thirst and eagerness for inquiry as they gain knowledge and understanding of the world they live in. This thirst will be embedded within their education in Primary school and continue in their further education and into adulthood.
The English curriculum lead and SLT will use meaningful reading assessments which promote a deep understanding of each child’s development of reading skills. All pupils will make at least good progress in Reading from their last point of statutory assessment to meet or exceed age-related expectations. They will respond to pupil’s views on teaching and learning opportunities and offer continuous professional development.
Children will have a love of reading, will be animated about language acquisition through discussion and pupils will have knowledge of how a writer has used techniques and tools to have an effect on the reader. They will understand the benefits of reading and choose to read. Pupils will be proficient, skilled readers and all pupils will value the process of reading, have confidence and engagement when reading, are motivated to read throughout each day and understand how every read can make a difference to them.
Documents referenced in this document:
Preparing for Literacy, Education Endowment Fund (2018)
Improving Literacy in Key Stage One, Education Endowment Fund (2020)
Improving Literacy in Key Stage Two, Education Endowment Fund (2017)
Pupil Premium Guidance, Education Endowment Fund (2019)
Educational visits and visitors as part of our curriculum enrichment include:
Visit to the local library
Author visits online
World Book Day
Trips linked to our reading curriculum include A forest walk, Evacuation experience, Museum visits, A Victorian experience.
Here is a selection of quality texts shared with pupils across our reading curriculum:
Covid-19 please copy this link into your browser for free Oxford Owl ebooks whilst your child is at home https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/
Reading strategies Early Years/Key Stage One
Reading strategies Key Stage Two
Reading at our school
Our key question we want all our pupils to answer is:
‘How does Reading make a difference to me?’
At The Oaks, we are passionate about reading and enthusiastically spreading a love of and enjoyment of reading and books.
Children at The Oaks participate in regular whole class interactive shared reading sessions focused on enhancing pupil enjoyment of reading and deepening pupil understanding. The school adopts a Steps to Read approach to provide a sequential teaching sequence within our daily whole class shared reading experience. Within each reading session the teacher works with pupils to explicably teach reading strategies based on evidence based research from Literacy Counts. During shared reading, pupils are involved in lots of discussion around rich vocabulary and the effect this has as a reader. Each session is linked to quality chosen texts and pupils are given opportunity to practice and develop specific reading strategies.
In addition, all pupils in Year 1-6 participate in weekly group reading session with the guided reading ‘Flying Squad’. All pupils across the school are given opportunities to read for pleasure and read their own choice of text including storybooks, poetry, magazines, comics and newspapers within our class libraries.
Additionally, pupils may also receive 1:1 reading using the Better Reading Partnership programme – children read 3 texts (sections or extracts of larger texts) within a session. The 1:1 sessions focus on building pupil confidence in their own ability as a reader, increasing fluency and developing comprehension.
Some pupils also follow the Reading Wise programme focused on decoding and building fluency.
Pupils in KS1 also participate in daily phonics sessions focused on word recognition – more information can be found on our phonics page.
Children take home 2 reading books – 1 book to match their reading level or age and one book chosen for pleasure.
Within school, to highlight that reading is at the core of our curriculum, we have implemented ‘Strive for Five’ reads across the curriculum – this includes reading for pleasure, Steps to Read and Storytime. As a school, we encourage pupils to ‘Strive for 5’ reads per week, please support and encourage your child to read as much as possible and achieve their 50 or 100 reads!
To support all of the reading in school and to ensure pupils become fluent efficient readers, the links below offer support to all of our school community to support reading at home. Take a look at the documents below to help support your child with reading at home.
‘How does Reading make a difference to me?’
Key Stage One Reading and Phonics Scheme
These books help the children to build on the phonics work that they do in class every day. Reading is taught through: shared, guided and individual reading sessions.
Children also bring home a reading book alongside their reading record each night. We ask that you try to read with your child each night and fill in their reading record letting us know how they have got on and any words they may have needed support with.
The school uses the ‘Read, Write Inc’ phonics programme which starts in Reception and continues through Key Stage One. This is a highly successful programme for delivering phonics across the country.
Our phonics sessions are taught daily for up to 60 minutes. The initial part of the lesson focusses on the teaching and learning of new sounds, including written application, followed by revision of previously taught sounds. The remainder of the lesson allows children to apply the skills taught through reading high quality books which are closely matched to their ability and accompanying written tasks.
If you would like any further information or details about the ‘Read, Write Inc’ programme please click on the link below:
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