Whitstone Community Primary School
Reading Curriculum Statement
Our aim is for children to become confident, fluent readers with excellent understanding. We encourage them to read widely and often for both pleasure and purpose. We foster a love of reading by sharing fantastic books, holding events and encouraging a life-long passion for reading.
We believe our English curriculum, including our phonics and reading provision, fully equips our children to achieve this aim throughout their time with us.
Our Reading Intent:
- Ensure our children have access to a high-quality English curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable.
- Provide our children with a variety of high-quality reading materials & opportunities, which will enable them to develop as lifelong readers with a love of reading.
- Enhance all children’s vocabulary and use of standard English both written and orally.
- Ensure all children are confident and independent readers.
- Inquisitive readers who ask questions about the text – active learners
- Equip all children with the reading skills needed to successfully research areas of personal interest.
- Support children & parents in taking reading into the home. For example: home readers and reading diaries.
Phonics is taught through discrete daily sessions from Foundation to Year Two and in KS2, booster sessions are delivered where a need is identified. We follow the highly successful, ‘Read, Write, Inc’ systematic approach. This means that the children are taught the 44 phonemes (sounds) in the English language, linking letters or groups of letters with sounds. We use the Read, Write, Inc programme for phonics, early reading and writing to ensure a sound foundation in these skills. We endeavour to make learning phonics as practical, fun, engaging and memorable as possible for our children. You can find out more about this approach to teaching early reading here:
All children engage in reading skills lessons as part of their literacy. The purpose of this is to teach the many skills required to become the confident, fluent readers with excellent understanding, which we aim for.
These skills include skimming, scanning, predicting, inferring and summarising. As with phonics, we work hard to ensure that these lessons are engaging and enjoyable, using quality texts to inspire and motivate the children. These are done as a whole class session, with small group discussion and activities.
One to One Reading
Children have regular opportunities to read one-to-one with an adult. This could be the class teacher, teaching assistant, student or volunteer. All one-to-one reading will be recorded in children’s reading diaries and class reading folders. Children identified as having a significant need, will receive more regular 1:1 reading as ‘priority’ readers.
Class Reading and Storytelling
We aim to share quality books at every opportunity. Children never grow tired of listening to a good story or poem and all class teachers engage enthusiastically in this practise. Every half term, a ‘core text’ is chosen in line with the class topic and forms the basis of the Literacy learning. In addition to this, storytelling and book sharing is timetabled daily - with older year groups enjoying a chapter book in instalments and younger pupils sharing a picture book or poem.
Pupils are also encouraged to share their favourite stories and authors with their class.
Oral retelling of stories and re-enacting stories through drama also ties in with our approach to writing through the “Talk for writing’ method.
Class Reading Nooks
Children have access to a ‘book nook’ in their classrooms. These are inviting, themed reading areas where they are encouraged to select books appropriate to their ability and personal interests. A wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, including books related to the current class topic, are available and teachers aid and encourage pupils in their selections. They also have access to a much wider selection of books within our whole school library.
At Whitstone, we encourage and support pupils to engage in reading at home as much as possible. Books are taken home so that parents can help by listening to and reading with their children. This is an expectation as children who read regularly at home are more likely to become independent and successful readers. In the early years/KS1, teaching staff select ‘phonetic’ books in line with the sounds being taught in school in order to provide further practice at home. We also encourage parents to share stories and read to their children as often as possible. ‘Early Years’ teachers hold regular workshops and offer guidance to support parents with the developing stage of emergent reading.
As the children start on their reading journey, they choose books from a selection of colour-banded texts. These texts get progressively more challenging as they work their way through the colours. At Whitstone, we use various different reading schemes. Our children have the opportunity to read books from a range of schemes enabling them to experience as vast a range of texts as possible.
In Reception and Key Stage One, children will bring home a phonetic levelled book to share with an adult at home. Once the children have worked their way through these books, they will become free readers, and choose non-scheme books to read at home. In Key Stage Two, children are encouraged to continue their development as enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers.
Reading Diary and incentives.
Pupils from Year 1 upwards are encouraged to select their own books within their level. Reading diaries are sent home daily and should be signed, by an adult, at least three times a week. Children are rewarded in class for reading, to an adult, at home and accrue stamps for each signed home reading session. When a certain number of stamps has been amassed, children can collect a prize. Class teachers keep a record of readers and awards are given accordingly. This is celebrated both in class and in whole school assemblies. If children’s reading diaries aren’t signed by an adult at home, we will contact parents to offer guidance and support. When children move up a book band, parents will be notified via their reading diary. This informs the parent of the book band their child is working on and offers some suggestions for ways they can further support them at home.
Each reading session has a clear learning objective, children’s progress is assessed against this. Objectives are tracked to ensure coverage and progression. One to one, small group reading also provides evidence to inform teacher assessments. Gaps in learning are highlighted and used to inform planning. Whole school moderation ensures our assessments are accurate and consistent.
For more information and advice for reading with your child …see the following links:
Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about reading and writing and understand the importance of this subject. They can also talk about books and authors that they have enjoyed and can make reading recommendations.
Evidence in Knowledge
Pupils can make links between texts and the different themes and genres within them.
They can recognise similarities and differences. Children understand the reading and writing process.
Evidence in Skills
Children are taught reading and writing progressively and at a pace appropriate to each individual child. Teachers subject knowledge ensure that skills taught are matched to National Curriculum objectives.
At the end of each year we expect the children to have achieved Age Related Expectations (ARE) for their year group. Some children will have progressed further and achieved greater depth (GD). Children who have gaps in their knowledge receive appropriate support and intervention.