Reading and Writing
Our Intent

At West Bretton, reading lies at the heart of our curriculum. We aim to teach children to have the desire to love reading and want to read, as well as teaching them the skills of how to read and comprehend. We know every child can be a reader.

We believe that reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of education and employment. We encourage all children to explore a wide range of texts across fiction and non-fiction to further their knowledge of themselves and the world around them; we use high quality texts to promote acceptance and diversity in today’s modern society. 

At the core of our strategy is our whole school intention to harbour a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through daily Storytime in all classes. We carefully design teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and use thought-provoking texts that are changed and adapted for each cohort.

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are – it takes us into different worlds and gives us opportunities to explore different cultures and lives.

Our Implementation

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."

Nelson Mandela

Speaking and listening

Throughout school, children develop speaking and listening skills in a range of contexts including an emphasis on talk throughout the curriculum, role play, reading aloud and discussion skills. In order to develop the children’s confidence, clarity and awareness of audience, we ensure that the children are given many opportunities to participate in presentations and performances.

The use of Standard English is encouraged at all times and from as early as Foundation Stage, we recognise the importance of developing a rich and extensive bank of vocabulary; therefore, we introduce, teach and discuss vocabulary directly linked to books and topics. This is reinforced by all staff and we aim to ensure new and exciting vocabulary is embedded.

"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

Reading

At West Bretton, we teach reading not only as a discrete subject, but also centrally in all subjects we deliver. To do this we use well thought, engaging age appropriate texts from a variety of authors and sources.

As soon as children start in our Nursery, we begin to teach the skills need to listen. We engage the children in listening walks and start at Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds. As the children’s knowledge and understanding and listening, develops we introduce letter sounds. Alongside this, we develop children’s love of books by modelling reading, sharing stories and encouraging the children to explore a range of books as part of their daily routine.

The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. We use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc’ produced by Ruth Miskin. Our children are introduced to reading, through the Read Write Inc programme, in which the children learn the main 44 phonemes (units of sound) in the English language and their graphemes (written letter patterns representing sounds).

All children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, have daily phonics sessions where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current needs. Where necessary, in Key Stage 2, phonic booster groups will take place. Read Write Inc is designed to enable children to rapidly blend sounds to make words (decoding) and to secure their understanding of a text by giving lots of opportunities to talk about the text with their teacher and peers, to answer questions and to interpret the meaning and intention behind the words (comprehension).

Children working on the Read Write Inc programme take home a ‘book’ matched directly to their current phonics level; they are also encouraged (pre Covid) to choose an additional book to share with their family at home; during Covid, these books have been selected for them.  Following this, children work through our school reading scheme – these are levelled books which match the child’s current reading ability. The schemes used include: Oxford Reading Tree (Floppy’s Phonics, Songbirds, Traditional Tales), Rigby Star, Phonics Bug and Project X. We expect family members at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.

We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole school 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. Therefore, we endeavour to Read Write Inc train all our teaching staff.  The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Timely interventions are planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified.

We acknowledge that systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader, specifically comprehension. Throughout both Key Stages, we use whole class or small group guided reading sessions, where children develop their key reading skills of decoding, Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising (VIPERS). Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills.

Most children will have completed the Read Write Inc phonics programme, at the end of Year 1. They then begin English lessons throughout year 2. During this time in Key Stage 1, reading is still continually developed during guided reading, using high quality texts and focused skill teaching (VIPERS). Strong links are made between reading and writing, with well-chosen texts used as teaching stimuli. Within the classroom, and with the support of our School Library Service, children are able to read and enjoy high quality fiction and non-fiction texts in provision, which (where possible) are linked to their topics and interests.

All children read aloud daily during phonics or guided reading; in addition to this they read at least once more a week, where possible, with teachers and teaching assistants; the focus being on some specific children including pupil premium.

It is our belief, that reading should be fun and when listening to a story being read you could hear a pin drop. All classes engage in daily class reading either teacher led and, or in Upper Key Stage 2, independently. We feel this is a priority to excite and engage all children, but also an opportunity to enthuse those most reluctant to read. This time offers opportunity to expose them to new and exciting authors and promote the love of reading. All books shared with the children are age appropriate and matched to the level of the class/individual; however, in each classroom we have invested in broad and extended reading selections for those children who want to explore further.

Reading at home is promoted regularly through class incentives and parental engagement. Staff often recommend books with some writing reviews and share those on Class DoJo. Termly, we send out recommended reads. We have: regular book launches, celebrate World Book Day, our own reading machine, interaction with authors online; anything we can do to promote and excite reading we all, as a whole school team, undertake this challenge.

In addition to this, we are also the base for the ‘West Bretton Little Library’, the community incentive set up by one of our staff members. This ensures the village has a place and space to come and borrow books free of charge. They also arrange events during school holidays for families in and around our locality.

"If we teach a child to read but fail to develop a desire to read, we will have created a skilled non-reader, a literate illiterate. And no high-test score will ever undo that damage."

Kylene Beers

Our Impact

Our school leaders, including a dedicated RWI lead and separate English lead, monitor the provision of reading through learning walks in English, Phonics and Reading sessions. Our headteacher and teaching team monitor the impact of this provision through the analysis of end of year cohort data, Phonics Screening Check and end of Key Stage 1 and 2 Reading results. We also look at individual pupil progress throughout the year using on-going assessments.

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of Key Stage 1 showing good levels of comprehension and vocabulary development

Year 1 Phonic Screening Check pass rates: Our children are prepared for Government Phonics Test at the end of Year 1; they have been taught to recognise and read sounds in ‘non-words’, (eg taim, phimp), which gives them confidence when decoding unfamiliar words.

High progress measures from a child’s initial reading ability: The teachers and teaching assistants, evaluate the children’s reading development on an ongoing basis, with more formal assessments - Rising Stars - taking place half-termly and, three times a year, using the Salford Reading Test. We believe every child can succeed and will become a reader in our school.

A fostering of reading for pleasure: 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, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.

We’ve been told by our older children in school, that listening to stories being read is the best part of their day!

What are you reading at the moment?

Books for Topics: a superb website if you’re looking for a new book
Some of Class 4’s books reviews
Find Mrs Firth on Twitter promoting all things bookish!
Resources

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Tuesday 27 July 2021