Reading Curriculum Implementation
We value reading as a key life skill and as such it is a fundamental part of what we do. We are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers by having a holistic approach from when the children start their journey with us in Reception. All children at Phoenix are exposed to high-quality texts linked to the children’s topics across the curriculum and reading skills are taught explicitly in all year groups. As a school, reading is very high-profile. Through the teaching of phonics in the Early Years and Key Stage 1, our aim is for all children to enter Lower Key Stage 2 being fluent readers. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school.
Children in all year groups hone their comprehension skills through a Whole Class Guided Reading approach, with a different reading domain focus each week. We use different dog names and characters related to these domains for children from EYFS to become familiar with and identify types of questions and answers. These are visually seen around the classroom and it is clear what reading strand children are practicing to be a competent reader. Each session is structured to enable all children to access the text and is consistent across the school. Before the children are exposed to the high quality extract or text, tricky vocabulary or background knowledge will be shared and discussed to ensure all children have a secure base to approach the text from the first read- Vocab Victor dog . Pre-teaching and further vocabulary exposure occurs for children that need the additional support. The following session enables teachers to model reading the text to show fluency and intonation with children repeating the task with their partner, independently or echo reading (my turn, your turn) with the adult. These following sessions will have a clear dog skill focus and all questions and modeling of stem sentences will be honing on this strand. Upper KS2 begin to discuss and work on more than one domain in a week to progress their reading skills further. During these sessions children have oracy opportunities throughout as well as written comprehension answers, all of which are used as constant assessment tools for teachers.
In EYFS, we follow the structure of Read, Write Inc in our Guided Reading sessions, which is closely linked to our Phonics programme, reinforcing and embedding vocabulary learnt. Our reading sessions are well-structured and consistent with each session starting with position, perfect pointing and magnet eyes reminders, followed by adult led tasks supporting the blending of green familiar words- Fred our frog supports with these letter sounds- and my turn, your turn teaching and reading of red words (difficult to sound out) Children then work with their partner to take it in turns to be teacher, who points to the word while the reader decodes and blends, they swap roles after each page with the adult moving around supporting and assessing regularly. Children then use their perfect pointing to answer comprehension questions and practise their speed sounds from the decodable book.
Whilst reading fluency and comprehension are of the utmost importance to us, we also pride ourselves on giving our children opportunities to read for enjoyment in the school day outside of their structured reading lessons too. Our writing curriculum is based on the Power of Reading which has a book as the core for all teaching for that term, exposing children to other books and authors. Whether writing book recommendations for their peers, diving into the books in our incredible library, being read to by members of staff or curling up in our cosy book pods in class, you are sure to find reading for enjoyment happening in our school on a daily-basis should you pay us a visit.
We use the programme, Accelerated Reader to bridge the gap between comprehension skills and reading for enjoyment, with weekly celebrations on children’s word count achievements, targets set by assessments and long term word count goals. All of which are recognised and celebrated as a school, often with the prize of winning a book from our Rory the Reading Robot vending machine! During Year 1, children will be assessed for Accelerated Reader (AR) when their teacher knows they can access the first assessment (Star Reader Test) with all children on and accessing the programme by the start of Year 2. From the Star Reader tests, we can ascertain their reading age and generate a BL (Book Level) where children can select a book, within their Book Level, from our well stocked library. The school has different word count targets, with stickers awarded for these, with the ultimate goal of being a Millionaire or Multi-Millionaire Reader in KS2. Children are regularly recognised for fantastic reading attitudes from members of our school community and win a token to feed Rory to receive a new book to keep.
All children have access to two reading books from our library. KS1 and KS2 have the expectation of one of these to be an AR book and one can be a library book of their choice. In EYFS and Year 1, pupils are given a fully- decodable book which matches their phonics learning within the classroom and are changed three times a week. Children are listened to read at least three times a week in EYFS and Year 1 with an expectation that children are reading at home daily to further their learning.
Teachers use the Phoenix Phonics assessments, AR Star Reader assessments and 21 Steps Assessment grids to inform their judgements and ways to support children with their reading ability.
Reading Curriculum Impact
- Children will enjoy reading across a range of genres
- Children of all abilities will be able to succeed in all reading lessons
- Children will use a range of strategies for decoding words, not solely relying on phonics
- Children will share their achievements in reading using Accelerated Reader.
- Children will be ready to read in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education
- Parents and carers will have a good understanding of how they can support reading at home, and contribute regularly by listening to their child read.
- The will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of Children (e.g. disadvantaged vs non disadvantaged)