Reading lies at the heart of the English curriculum at Holy Innocents’. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and we believe reading is key for academic success. At our school we place a high emphasis on literary skills so that children transition easily into their written work. Children are taught to read at every stage of their school life so that they experience a wide range of vocabulary and reading skills as they progress through each year group and, through this, we endeavour to create a love of reading within our school community.
A love of reading:
Reading scheme for KS1 Lower Key Stage 2
In Reception, children are introduced to the Oxford reading scheme books which are closely matched to their phonics abilities. Children are expected to progress through the reading scheme throughout KS1 and LKS2 and will achieve this by reading at home daily with parents, reading with adults at school and through tracking their reading books in their reading records. By the end of Year 4, we expect all children to have finished the reading scheme and to be ‘free-reading’. They will be encouraged and supported to choose texts that excite them as well as scaffold their writing and vocabulary development.
Guided reading/whole-class reading
In KS1 children will take part in small group carousel reading activities in which the teachers and teaching assistants lead discussions about texts and listen to each child read. These groups are designed enable children to develop confidence with decoding, comprehending and reading aloud. By Summer term in Year 2, teachers will introduce whole-class reading activities to prepare them for reading in KS2. These sessions will focus on particular reading skills, such as inference and prediction, and will enable children to develop a greater understanding of more difficult texts.
In KS2, children have three half hour whole-class reading sessions per week which are led by the teacher. During this, children are exposed to a variety of extracts from texts such as poems, classic books, song lyrics and non-fiction texts which will allow them to expand their reading abilities and understanding. Through a mixture of independent thinking, partnered talk, class discussion and independent work, children should secure a much deeper understanding of texts and why they are structured in particular ways. Children record their lessons in their whole-class reading exercise books so that teachers can continuously assess understanding.
Assessment and intervention
As children progress through school, their reading abilities are continuously tracked and recorded in their reading records as well as by teachers. The Oxford reading scheme is closely matched to reading ability and the colour bands alert teachers to the levels that children are currently decoding at. Children who are struggling with reading are supported through weekly reading interventions and daily 1:1 reading sessions with adults.
From Year 2, children will take the ‘Suffolk reading age’ tests twice a year which produces data about children’s reading levels. These are tracked as the children progress through school so that teachers are aware of progress.
By the time children leave Holy Innocents’, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum and communicate their research to a wider audience.