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. This group of children are monitored closely to ensure that they ‘keep up’ with the standard of their year group.
Steps to Read
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.
Reading at Townfield
Have a look below to see what the children of Townfield have been up to this term in their Reading lessons.
In Nursery children have been learning how to handle books carefully and have spoken about what they can see in the pictures of books.
Reception have been reading Room on the Broom, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks.
So far in English, we have enjoyed sharing our Vehicle text - A River, and studying the Model - Circular Narrative text, which we are gathering ideas from. We have had fun with creating similes and noun phrases, which we are looking forward to using in our own story writing based on a journey.
Year 3 have been reading books about forces, magnets and rocks! They have been learning about how to locate information in non-fiction text and retrieve answers.
The children in Year 5 love reading and like to read a wide range of different books. Some of our favourite books are the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Michael Morpurgo, Skull Duggary Pleasant by Derek Landy and all the Harry Potter books. The children have a real passion for reading and especially love Fridays when they take part in #LibraryFridays where they get to read a book for ten minutes at the start of the day.
Both classes have been really enjoying our whole class read “The Infinite Lives of Maise Day” by Christopher Edge which is a story about a young girl who get lost in an infinite world of alternate universes.
In the forest the children have been enjoying Brightstar by Vashti Hardy which is about when twelve-year-old twins Maudie and Arthur's world comes crashing in when their explorer dad is reported dead in his mission to get to South Polaris.
Children in Year 6 have been studying World War Two. They have been reading a non-fiction book all about the Second World War and children have also been reading Anne Frank's diary. Year 6 enjoyed practising their retrieval and deduction skills when reading the non-fiction text and have enjoyed summarising some of the main parts of Anne's diary.
Subject leaders across the school have worked collaboratively to produce a 'Reading Spine' of fiction, poetry and non-fiction books that captures the curriculum in each year group. This also included ‘classics’ and signed stories (BSL). The children engage in story time every day. Every Woodland session also includes a dedicated story time around the fire pit!
Each class has a reading area where children can select books and read quietly. 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). 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.