At Fairways Primary School, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that Phonics provides a strong foundation in developing reading and writing skills, which underpins access to the rest of the curriculum. Upon starting our school, children learn to segment and blend, read and write phonetically, quickly recognise sight words and to develop an understanding of alternative sounds and graphemes. Lessons, across the school, are stimulating, fast-paced and engaging, therefore inspiring children to read and write for enjoyment. A growth mindset culture is embedded, enabling children to feel confident when reading unfamiliar words. This helps to promote reading fluently, confidently and reading for pleasure.
In response to the recent pandemic and the implementation of the government paper: The Reading Framework, we have created several main aims for our Reading Curriculum:
- To continue prioritising Reading
- To raise the profile of reading and instil a lifelong love of reading
- To widen pupils cultural capital and close gaps
- To stretch our more able readers
- To promote our parents/carers vital role in supporting reading development.
At Fairways Primary School we follow the National Curriculum (2014). Reading is a priority subject in our timetables. Pupils will participate in:
- Daily reading sessions which focus on the enjoyment of reading as well as expanding vocabulary, inference and comprehension.
- Daily English lessons which teach understanding and the use of different text types through reading and writing objectives and will include appropriate spelling and grammar instruction.
- English basic skills sessions which specifically teach age related aspects of spelling, grammar and handwriting.
Teaching and Learning
At Fairways Primary School, books form the heart of our curriculum. We aim to instil a love of reading and as such all learning starts with a high quality inspirational text that is carefully chosen in order to provide meaningful opportunities from which to teach other subjects such as Science, Geography and History.
During all lessons across the curriculum, children are given as many opportunities to read aloud as possible alongside modelled reading from adults to demonstrate fluency and engagement.
When using a text in any subject, teachers use questioning to check and deepen understanding. In all instances of reading, teachers model reading strategies including how to use phonics to decode unknown words. When choosing texts teachers’ pay careful attention to opportunities for expanding cultural capital.
In every classroom, there is a Book Corner (or Area) which contains texts that support and extend the class work. The texts in these areas have been specifically chosen by the class teacher and pupils have regular access to these texts to develop the skill of books as reference and developing understanding and engagement. Staff also select books which they feel passionately about and can be used to promote a lifelong love of reading. More Able pupils are specifically targeted by class teachers when selecting reading materials for this area.
Reading teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in two dimensions – word reading and comprehension; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics is emphasised in Early Years and Key Stage 1 classrooms.
Comprehension skills are developed through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to instil a love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum with an emphasis on closing gaps. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and gives them ideas and inspiration for their writing.
We passionately work towards the target that by the end of their time at Fairways Primary School, all pupils are able to read fluently, with confidence, in any subject, to prepare them fully for their forthcoming secondary education.
Through the discrete teaching of Phonics, detailed in our Phonics Policy, the children are taught the essential skills needed for both reading and writing. Phonics is taught daily to all children in EYFS and KS1 through systematic, interactive and engaging lessons. Children who require additional Phonics support in KS2 will continue to receive this through differentiated groups or 1:1 sessions.
Daily Reading Sessions
Daily Reading sessions are planned for separately and in addition to daily English lessons.
Each day, children participate in a 20 minute reading session, in which there are planned opportunities for:
- Independent Leisure Reading
- Access to the Book Corner (Area)
- Teacher-supported reading (In Key Stage 1 this is likely to be 1:1 whereas Key Stage 2 is more likely to be a group working with a teacher/adult)
Comprehension skills are developed through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher.
Teachers have an excellent grasp of the abilities of readers in their classes. This is underpinned by a Leisure Book banded scheme that children progress through. This begins in Reception with Smiley Level Books and runs up to Book Band 14, after which pupils become Free Readers. Pupils who join our school after Reception are assessed promptly by the class teacher and put onto the appropriate stage. Teachers use robust Running Records to assess whether a child is working at the appropriate level or able to move up to the next band. We would aim for our pupils to become Free Readers before starting Year 5.
At the end of each term, children complete the Progress in Reading Assessment test produced by Hodder. This generates a standardised score which can be compared to prior attainment scores. For children not matching or exceeding their prior attainment scores, teachers complete the gap analysis tool to identify areas for development and discuss targets at Pupils Progress Meetings. Standardised scores are recorded on Target Tracker to monitor progress and attainment over time. Other summative assessment materials may be used to support teachers when assessing children for the expected standard such as those produced by ‘Rising Stars’ and ‘Headstart’. In Year 2 and 6, SATS materials are used to support Asessment.
All assessments are discussed in Pupil Progress meetings, with a focus on the individual needs of children, using the tracking of prior attainment scores as the basis of discussions.
Situations may arise in which pupils need to work at a level above or below that of the rest of the year group or may need assistance to accomplish particular tasks. This will become apparent through teachers’ daily use of ongoing assessment. Any children identified as working below the expected standard or making less than expected progress will be discussed in Pupil Progress meetings. Teacher led strategies will be put in place in the first instance to help close any identified gaps.
Where children are thought to need further additional help, we have several Reading intervention programs that are used throughout different age ranges in the school. Children’s participation in these is organised in liaison with the SENCO and Deputy Head.
We see parents and carers as vital partners in the process of developing reading skills. We encourage parents to support their child’s learning by:
- Reading with them at least 4 times a week
- Communicating around reading with the class teacher through a ‘Reading Record’
- Updating guidance for parents as their children move through the school so they can continue to offer appropriate support
- Discussing Reading in detail at our Learning Conferences
- Regular guidance and prompts in the School Newsletter
- Promoting the public library: resources and events available
- Welcoming offers from parents/carers to assist in school by listening to children read
- Rewarding Reading through the school team point system
- Encouraging parents/carers in all year groups to continue to read aloud to children themselves
Children are encouraged to read at home at least 4 times a week with adult support as necessary. All children take home a leisure book which is appropriate to their level of ability. Children on the banded reading scheme will have a library book and a stage book whereas free readers will have 2 library books.
The School Library
Children visit the well-stocked school library once every week for a 45 minute session to explore the texts and choose new books from an extensive range. These sessions are well-structured and lead by the school librarian. All children can select a book to take home, regardless of ability. Children are encouraged to select a range of different types of book across the year, from fiction, non-fiction, biographies, classics, poetry etc. Children are given excellent support from teachers and the school librarian as necessary to select books and ensure the book is of appropriate challenge to them. Pupils who are working above or below the expected standard for their year group are specifically targeted during these sessions.
There are regular opportunities for children to engage in motivation challenges organised throughout the year by the School Librarian and Reading Lead. Passionate pupils in Year 6 have the opportunity to lead and inspire reading through the Librarian Role. Pupils across all year groups have the opportunity for further library visits through Library and Reading Clubs on offer.
Promotion of Reading
We aim to inspire children to read in a number of ways:
- We are all very proud of our book led curriculum.
- Excellence and effort in English is promoted in Celebration Assembly.
- Special guests to the school, such as visiting authors are actively sought, providing children with stimulating and enjoyable experiences associated with reading and writing.
- We enthusiastically participate in World Book Day every year and encourage children and staff to dress up as their favourite characters and bring in their favourite books.
- We also hold yearly book fairs and sponsored Readathons to encourage and celebrate reading for pleasure.
- We promote the importance of reading to our children, parents and wider community through Newsletters and drives such as the book stall at Learning Conferences and reading challenges throughout the year.
- Regular theatre experiences bring the world of reading to life.
- High quality texts are constantly shared with children.
- Our Library and our School Librarian are regarded highly and recognised as an outstanding feature of our school.
Through the implementation of our Reading Policy children will have developed their enjoyment of reading. Children will be positive about reading: they will understand the purpose, value and find pleasure in reading as a pastime. Families will engage in reading activities together. Children will read across a range of text types and authors. They will talk about books with strong opinions and passions.
All children will make good academic progress in Reading from their individual starting points, mastering the skills and knowledge of the National Curriculum. Evidence of pupils’ academic progress will be visible through their movement along the Leisure Book Banded scheme and summative assessments. The data collected at end of Key Stages: The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and KS1 and KS2 SATs results are a further indication of pupils’ academic achievement.