Reading is regarded as a tool for life at Farnsfield St Michael’s. We aim to develop a love for reading and for the children to read for pleasure regularly, for ‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.’ (Joseph Addison – Poet and Playwright). Reading provides the children with a sense of well-being and often enables them to experience a new world. As Dr. Laurie Helgoe (Author and Psychologist) said, ‘Reading is like travel, allowing you to exit your own life for a bit, and to come back with a renewed, even inspired, perspective.’ We hope to encourage our children to live this in their life in a balanced and reflective way.
We encourage all children to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop an understanding of others and the world in which they live; to establish an appreciation of the power of a story on themselves and others; to gain knowledge across the curriculum; and develop their comprehension skills. Within this breadth of reading, we also aim to develop the children’s language skills and a rich vocabulary to encourage not only their understanding of the text, but their discussion, presentation and participation confidence, supporting them in any subject in their primary and secondary education and beyond.
Implementation in EYFS:
Outlined below, is a guide to how reading is taught within the Literacy strand of Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
In EYFS, we teach reading through daily Phonics and Literacy sessions. The children develop their understanding through whole class discussions and answering questions verbally.
In EYFS, we use the Twinkl Phonics Scheme which follows the systematic, synthetic approach of the DfE Letters and Sounds programme. We start Phase 2 of the programme at the beginning of Foundation, followed by Phase 3 and Phase 4 as the year continues. Phases 2 and 3 teaches children to read and write CVC words and sentences using single phonemes and digraphs/trigraphs. Phase 4 teaches children to read and write words with consonant blends using the phonemes and graphemes they learnt in Phase 2 and 3, for example: CVCC, CCVC and CCVCC. Phonics includes the teaching of the phase specific high frequency words.
The children start with Lilac Band picture books for their reading books to develop their language and story-telling skills, whilst they are developing their phonic knowledge. Once they have learnt the first few sounds and are beginning to blend, children are given Pink Band books – simple CVC word books. They then move through the colour bands as their fluency and comprehension develops. There is an information slip in the front of the Reading Record as a guide for what colour band children should be on in each year group, but each child is different and moves at their own pace.
Implementation in Key Stage 1:
Outlined below, is a guide to how reading is taught within the English framework in Key Stage One (KS1).
Whole Class Reading:
As in EYFS, we teach reading through daily phonics sessions and carefully selected. We teach children to ‘read like a writer, write like a reader’ and constantly make links between reading, writing, grammar and spelling.
In addition, we teach reading daily through a Guided Reading carousel (approximately 25-30 minutes four days per week). Each day, one group will be with the teacher and have a time to discuss a novel or text they have read. These sessions focus on using Reading Dogs from Twinkl, to cover these domains in a KS1 appropriate way. Each dog links to the different content domains with a fun, memorable name.
In Year 1, we recap Phase 4 for four weeks to consolidate consonant blends including the Phase 2 and 3 phonemes. We then move onto Phase 5 which covers alternative graphemes for known phonemes, recapping where needed in preparation for the Phonics Screening in June. We use the Twinkl Phonics Scheme throughout EYFS and KS1 which incorporates a systematic, synthetic approach to teaching the DfE Letters and Sounds programme. In Year 1 Phonics, there is a greater focus on decoding by blending as a reading skill.
In Year 2, we recap Phase 5 and then teach Phase 6 of the Letters and Sounds programme, which continues to teach alternative spellings (such as silent letters and spelling patterns, homophones etc.). Phase 6 has a greater focus on choosing the correct grapheme for spelling.
All Phonics teaching throughout EYFS and KS1 includes the teaching of the year group specific common exception words.
In KS1, the children choose a new colour band reading book each school week and then over the weekend, the children choose a 'Free Choice' book to enjoy. The colour bands are linked to children’s phonic ability, requiring them to read fluently within that level before moving up to the next.
There is an expectation that children read with an adult at home at least three times a week and their Reading Record is signed to record this. This is monitored weekly.
In addition, Phonics interventions are run throughout the year to support children to pass the Phonics Screening.
Implementation in Key Stage 2:
Outlined below, is a guide to how reading is taught within the English framework in Key Stage Two (KS2).
In KS2, we teach reading daily through a Guided Reading carousel (approximately 25-30 minutes per day). Each day, one group will be with the teacher and have a time to discuss a novel or text they have read. These sessions focus on using VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarise) linked to the content domains identified in the National Curriculum.
Within these sessions, we teach the children the techniques and skills they need to comprehend the text they have read. This will include VIPERS, but it will also be about un-picking what a question is asking; the content behind what they have read; grammatical structures and choice; discussing what the children have found out or what they haven’t fully understood. Between the children's weekly Guided Reading session, they may be expected to read a section of a book they are studying. In Years 5 and 6, this expected reading will require the children to take a book home and encourages reading discussion with their parents/carers. We liaise with parents/carers further when we feel children would benefit from shared reading to support their understanding of the text.
On the other four days, children work independently on a range of tasks including questions to answer on the text they have read after their teacher-led session (these questions can be: multiple choice, sequencing, true or false or written).
In addition to the teaching of reading in class, we also offer a Year 6 Book Club, who meet monthly to share a text, which has been loaned to us by the Education Library Service. In this book club, the children are expected to read the set novel and we then discuss if the children enjoyed it; if they would read a sequel; key character traits and moral messages it can bring – developing reading for pleasure.
Independent Reading Books
The majority of children in KS2 will be classed as free readers and therefore have a vast array of choice for their reading book, which they choose independently. Although a child may be classed as a free reader, there are still colour bands (possibly only five or six bands, depending on where they finish in KS1) to move through, and therefore they are encouraged to choose an appropriate banded book to their reading ability.
As there are fewer colour bands across KS2, the children move through them more slowly than when they were in KS1. The colour bands aimed at KS2 (linked to our comprehension focus) are looking for: the greater complexity in character (and inferences drawn from them); sophisticated word level; author's choice in literacy language; recognition of layers of meaning to build humour or tension and to engage children in the author's writing purpose.
Children are expected to have their own reading book in school every day and read at home a minimum of three times per week. We understand that as children grow older they begin to read to themselves, however our expectation is that on at least three occasions a week they make an entry in their Reading Record and have discussed the book with an adult, who then signs the diary. We monitor this in class weekly and encourage the dialogue between parent/carer and child.
For children who are working considerably below their year group's expected level, we hear children read regularly (as time and support allows) to support their reading development.
Our school mission statement of ‘love to learn, learn to love’ underpins all that we do at Farnsfield St Michael’s; reading is no exception. We want the children to love reading – for information and for pleasure. We want the children to be excited by books and take interest in them. Through their reading, we want to see adventurous vocabulary being chosen in their writing (used within the correct context), linking to the quality texts which they have been guided to or read within their learning.
We ensure reading is progressive and planned to meet the needs of all children. To ensure consistency across the Key Stages, we follow our school’s monitoring cycle. This includes: learning walks, pupil conversations, staff surveys, book monitoring and data analysis (this is discussed within our Pupil Conversations with the Senior Leadership Team). These combined inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives.
Assessments are carried out regularly - summative assessments are completed once per term; formative assessment happens daily during both teaching and marking. We complete these assessments to ensure children are accessing books/texts of the right level of comprehension and are being challenged in their reading. At the same time, we provide books to ensure that children read for pleasure and learn to love reading.
In line with national testing, EYFS are assessed against the Early Learning Goals, Year 1 undertake the Phonics Screening and Year 2 and Year 6 take the end of key stage assessments (SATs).
We hope that as children move on from their primary education with us, their passion for reading and love for quality texts travels with them and continues to grow and develop as they do.
'love to learn to read; learn to love reading'