Children learn the English alphabetic code: using Read Write Inc. scheme of planning, they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds/phonemes and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. They experience success from the very beginning using lively phonic books which are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases. Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice by their ‘Reading Teacher’. Pupils are given a ‘weekend’ reading book that matches the progress and ability of each child. The chosen texts links with the sessions conducted during the week at school.
Once a child has mastered their phonetic awareness and fluency, they then begin their journey of developing their level of vocabulary and comprehension by drawing upon their own experiences and talking about the stories they read. Teachers are provided with age-appropriate texts that are manageable within Guided Reading lesson. These texts offer opportunities for pupils to build their understanding of ambitious and topical language as well as increasing their levels of fluency. Structured resources are utilized for each year group to promote question types that revolve around the core skills of comprehension. Furthermore, to establish a confident individual who possesses suitable communication skills, DERIC (Deduction, Explanation, Retrieval, Inference and Construction) starters are incorporated at the start of Guided Reading lessons in order to engage and advance the awareness of the child’s reading skills; these also coincide with the expectations for each year group. Guided class texts can be chosen (where possible) to match each year group’s chosen topic to apply and transfer learning across subjects.
To address any gaps in learning, pupils are assessed regularly and are supported using PiXL Reading Therapies. These therapies focus on specific skills that are based on the individual’s needs. Teachers promote reading in class where possible and also listen to members read regularly to promote a ‘love of reading’ using a banded designated book. Pupils read a ‘banded reading book’ in KS2 (which is sequentially levelled and monitored by staff); it is expected that they read these banded books outside of school to parents or carers too. To reward eager readers, a reading raffle system is used in class to encourage pupils to read as much as possible - a prize is then presented to the random winner.
Finally, an engaging ‘class reader’ will be read to generate discussion, sustain engagement and allow staff to consolidate skills in order to translate them into their own practice. Class readers should explore the boundaries of our pupils’ understanding of social, moral, spiritual and cultural and integrate our core British values.