Reading is a skill essential for life and at Rokeby Park we want our children to leave school with a love of reading. Reading is a habit and that habit needs to be grounded in what we do at school. Through reading, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Here at Rokeby Park, reading is at the core of our curriculum so that children are consistently exposed to a variety of high quality texts and vocabulary in an effort to rapidly bridge the word gap in disadvantaged children. Children need to see adults loving books, so school staff are encouraged to share their love of reading with the children. As much as possible, reading is linked to the termly class theme and therefore the wider curriculum, through a ‘text-based’ approach. Key curriculum drivers inform our reading curriculum at Rokeby Park. These golden threads can be identified throughout our reading provision. This ensures that our curriculum remains ambitious and directly responds to the needs of our school community.
By the end of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), pupils will:
Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs. Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending, and read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words. Pupils will demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary. Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories, and use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.
By the end of Key Stage 1, pupils will:
Be able to read books written at an age-appropriate interest level. They will be able to read them accurately and at a speed that is sufficient for them to focus on understanding what they read rather than on decoding individual words. They will be able to decode most new words outside their spoken vocabulary, making a good approximation to the word’s pronunciation. Pupils will continue to use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary and develop pleasure in reading and motivation to read. Pupils will understand both the books that they can already read accurately and fluently, and those that they listen to. They will be able to participate in discussions about books, poems and other works, taking turns and listening to what others say.
By the end of Key Stage 2, pupils will:
Be able to read fluently and effortlessly, so they are able to manage the general demands of the curriculum in Year 7, across all subjects and not just in English; however, there may still be a need for pupils to learn subject-specific vocabulary. Pupils will understand nuances in vocabulary choice and age-appropriate, academic vocabulary. Pupils will maintain positive attitudes to reading, reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. Pupils will have a good understanding of what they read and discuss and evaluate how authors use language, including figurative language, considering the impact on the reader, and comparing characters, settings, themes and other aspects of what they read.
Work is planned with reference to the National Curriculum, Constellation Trust progressive knowledge/skills document and the Read Write Inc. (RWI) Synthetic Phonics Programme. The focus is on developing a range of progressive skills in word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading). In EYFS, our Phonics programme (Read Write Inc.) begins in our Nursery where adults and children share a wide variety of books, allowing children time to explore and use new vocabulary and widen their understanding of story book language. Children are then introduced to the pictures that accompany each sound in the set one sounds. In the third term the children begin to learn letter sound correspondences. Concept vocabulary is specifically taught in a practical and effective way to ensure all children in nursery become secure with this fundamental vocabulary and can use it independently.
In reception, our phonics teaching is part of a broad and rich curriculum that engages children in a range of activities and experiences to develop their speaking and listening skills and phonological awareness. It is systematic and follows the carefully sequenced programme, reinforcing and building on previous learning to secure children’s progress. Story time, poetry/singing time takes place daily in all classes to model reading skills and strategies and develop children’s vocabulary. The features of different text types are introduced in these sessions, whilst the use of big books and interactive whiteboards leads to purposeful class discussions about the text being taught. We create a language-rich environment, where adults talk with children throughout the day, engaging them in high-quality dialogue as well as direct teaching, to support children to articulate what they know and understand, and develop their knowledge across all areas of learning, using the vocabulary they need to support learning.
Throughout KS1, the focus is on continuing the development of phonics skills through the phonics programme, along with fostering a love of reading. Children in Year 1 take part in daily phonics lessons to continue to help improve word reading skills and strategies to engage with texts. Phonics books are closely matched to children’s increasing knowledge of phonics and repeated readings of the texts support their increasingly fluent decoding. As the children become ready, the focus shifts to children applying their reading skills, using these for comprehension purposes and developing higher order skills of comprehension. Pupils also have extensive experience of listening to, sharing and discussing a wide range of high-quality books with the teacher, other adults and each other to encourage a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary at the same time as they are reading independently.
Throughout KS2, guided reading is delivered through the use of progressive whole class texts. During whole class guided reading, all children read the same text which has been carefully selected, with an appropriate level of challenge. The reading books often link to topic themes, further enhancing knowledge and skills. Children are exposed to a wide range of texts, genres and media throughout the year and complete purposeful speaking and listening activities which support the development of language. Guided oral instruction and echo reading take place within some guided reading lessons, with teachers modelling fluent reading using prosody and then children reading the same text with appropriate feedback. The teaching of specific comprehension strategies are modelled by the teacher before being practised by the children. Teachers also model the use of inference skills by ‘thinking aloud’.
Across the school we use 8 symbols to represent the main strands within reading comprehension as a way of exploring the different content domains found in the National Curriculum. This allows children to break down questions into key skills and understand how they are required to approach a text. 3 key questions are used regularly to identify children’s understanding and interpretation of texts as well as a way of assessing that key knowledge has been remembered
The reading curriculum is ambitious for all children especially disadvantaged children and children with SEND. We aim to ensure that all of our pupils read easily, fluently and with good understanding, regardless of their needs or disability. Children who are at risk of falling behind the RWI programme’s pace and expectations are identified early and additional 1:1 tuition is put in place in EYFS and KS1. When word reading skills are below expectations in KS2, children receive additional phonics intervention (RWI Fresh Start) so that they catch up rapidly with their peers in terms of their decoding and reading fluency. We tailor the curriculum to meet pupils’ individual needs and remove barriers to learning through carefully planned, bespoke provision.
Assessment forms an integral part of the teaching and learning of reading. Formative assessments inform teaching, planning and interventions on a daily and weekly basis. All pupils who are completing the phonics programme are assessed at least every 6-8 weeks, or more frequently for those making speedier progress, using the phonic programme’s assessment materials. Children are assessed against key performance indicators in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Summative assessments are carried out in line with the Constellation Trust. Class teachers and phase leaders ensure that any children who are not making expected progress receive extra support in their reading. Fast Track Tutoring and intervention groups are tailored to meet the need of a specific pupil or small group of pupils. Pupils will make good or better progress from their own personal starting points. All pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong understanding of the written word, as the word gap for disadvantaged pupils is reduced. They will also be confident in the reading skills they have acquired. Most importantly, they will develop a love of reading and be well equipped for the rest of their education.