We follow the national curriculum and have invested in two schemes: ‘Read to Write’ for English lessons and ‘Steps to Read’ for Reading lessons. The schemes pair with each other and also link to our wider non-core curriculum. This provides enhanced opportunities for pupils to gain subject knowledge and embed skills across the curriculum as learning is revisited.
We want all children to be independent, fluent and reflective readers. From their starting points, pupils are taught how to read using a systematic phonics programme (please see Phonics tab). Running alongside this and beyond, we teach reading through ‘whole class shared reading’. We explicitly model and teach reading comprehension skills to ensure pupils are able to access and engage with text. We aim to promote a life-long love of reading which develops their cultural, emotional and intellectual awareness. Our core values; resilience, respect and responsibility are continually developed through all English learning.
Steps to Read is organised into units of work linked to both our English lessons and our non-core curriculum. This enables us to provide further curriculum knowledge for our pupils. The units are sophisticated and vocabulary rich which enable pupils to explore texts beyond their reading age with the teacher leading as the expert.
We want every child to be a confident and competent reader. For our younger pupils, additional guided reading and 1:1 reading takes place whilst they are learning how to read.
‘Keep up’ not ‘catch up’ Reading
For children with SEND or disadvantaged children, we ensure that they have additional guided group reading or 1:1 reading on a regular basis. We also use an online programme called IDL to support reading and some children attend specialist classes run by an Orrets Meadow Teacher. The Class Teacher and Reading Lead monitors this group of children closely to ensure that they ‘keep up’ with the standard of their year group.
Steps to Read in Action
Steps to Read is taught every day for half an hour in all classes from Reception to Y6. Each lesson has an ‘anchor question’ that the children explore as a class or in pairs after reading a section of text. The children are taught specific vocabulary that they will meet in the text. The teacher as the ‘expert reader’ teaches specific reading skills such as predicting, summarising and clarifying.
Subject leaders for English, Science, History, Geography, RE and PHSE have worked collaboratively to produce a 'Reading Spine' of fiction, poetry and non-fiction books that capture their curriculum offer in each year group. This also included ‘classics’ and signed stories (BSL). The children have ‘reading time’ three times a week. During ‘Reading time’, children are told stories, poems or read information by their class teacher in class or the Forest leaders in their Woodland Learning session.
Each class has a reading area where children can select books and read quietly during 'catch up time'. Areas are stocked with a wide range of books including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and newspapers that are suitable for the age of the children.
Supporting Parents with Reading
In the autumn term, we invite parents to attend a reading workshop. This is to help parents understand how we teach early Reading (phonics). Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, this did not take place in autumn 2020. We also have regular webinars with ‘Literacy Counts’, our English provider. Gareth Davies, who runs Literacy Counts, leads regular webinar sessions that support parents with Reading and Phonics. All parents are welcome to access these free webinars (see website for more details www.literacycounts.co.uk). On our Phonics tab, you will find links to many other Reading resources that will support your child at home.