At Norton and West Chinnock Primary Schools, reading lies at the heart of our curriculum. We believe that reading is an essential life skill, and it is our intent to empower our children to become lifelong readers by fostering a love of reading through listening to and interacting with a variety of literature, genres and authors.
We aim for children to be absorbed in as many opportunities to enjoy and celebrate reading as this skill enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum. By enriching children’s experiences through imaginative stories and thought-provoking texts, we aspire to lay the foundations for academic success.
We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole federation approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.
Embedding reading throughout our children’s learning across all areas of the curriculum and their personal experiences is how we implement our vision. Our aim is to build a community of engaged readers who turn to reading for meaning and pleasure.
In Foundation Stage and KS1 we use a systematic synthetic phonics programme called Read, Write, Inc. which is supported by a comprehensive scheme of reading books. We have matched additional books to this level to broaden the reading opportunity for our children, while keeping them within their phonics ability. All children have daily phonics or spelling sessions where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current needs. Teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged, and identify those who may need additional support. For those children requiring phonics intervention, this is carefully planned for by assessing their individual gaps and using ‘Fresh Start’ by Read, Write, Inc to catch up.
We ensure that children are offered high-quality books that reflect the diversity of our modern world and recognise the importance of reading at home to develop and embed reading skills. Banded titles are closely matched to each child’s phonic ability are used for home-reading to ensure that children experience a wide breadth of reading opportunities across different genres.
Home reading is carefully tracked by teachers using our reading records and reading bookmarks. Children work through the wide variety of books at their own pace and teachers closely monitor their progress to determine when best for children to move onto the next banded reading level.
We recognise that systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are required for children to become accomplished readers.
In Years 2-6 we deliver daily reading sessions based on the content domains. High quality texts and passages are chosen, appropriate to the expectations of the year group or ability of the children, and teachers use these to develop high quality vocabulary and model the application of word reading and comprehension skills.
Questions stems have been developed to support the teaching of reading comprehension using the acronym ‘VIPERS’ (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve, Sequence/Summarise), which all classes use to structure conversations around reading.
Strong links are made between reading and writing, and children read and enjoy high quality fiction and non-fiction texts, which (where possible) are linked to their topics across the curriculum. All children read aloud daily during phonics or group/whole class reading and throughout other subjects.
In addition to this, the lowest 20% read at least once more a week with teachers, teaching assistants and reading volunteers. We believe it is important for each class to have a daily reading session where books are often chosen together with the children to be celebrated and enjoyed.
As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres cultures and styles is encouraged.
Children develop their reading accuracy and fluency as well as their knowledge and understanding of word meanings and vocabulary. Above all, children develop a love of reading, showing excitement and interest, inspiring them to be lifelong readers.
Please see the more information about how reading is taught and the progression from Reception to Year 6: