The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you'll go. – Dr Seuss
Reading leader: Mrs Clare Hebbs
At Orston , we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We want to instil a love of books, stories and reading in all our children. Our fundamental goal is to encourage reading for enjoyment. We want every child to experience and value the rich and entertaining world that can unfold and immerse them through the pages of a book. Pupils in Key Stage 2 will be ready to read in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children and therefore we encourage a good home-school partnership.
We believe reading is key for academic success and so to ensure we have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading, we implement the following:
- Children take part in daily reading, where children are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these.
- We are very lucky to have a wide range of reading books in our school. All children from Nursery to Year 6 choose a reading book to take home and this reading book is changed weekly or when appropriate for longer reads. Books are always linked directly to the letters and sounds that children learning in their phonics.
- Each classroom has a selection of books in their classroom which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
- Children are read to several times a week by their class teacher. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.
- Each classroom has a reading area. This is a comfortable place for children to read throughout the day.
- Children have the opportunity to take part in ‘Reading Buddies’, in which children mix with other children from different year groups and share a book together.
- Children who are not yet ‘free readers’, will work through our school reading scheme – these are levelled books which match the children’s current reading age. We expect family at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.
At Orston, we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Jolly Phonics’ based on Letters and Sounds and is a method of learning letter sounds and blending them together to read and write words. As part of this, in Key Stage 1 children have daily phonics sessions in small groups where they participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to their developing needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge.
By the time children leave Orston 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.
We follow the National Curriculum for Reading and also follow the early learning goals for reading for children in EYFS. Teachers assess children regularly against the Reading Key Performance Indicators (in Years 1-6) and against the Reading Early Learning Goal (in EYFS). These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify any gaps in learning. Teachers in EYFS & KS1 also complete phonics assessments and plot children onto a tracking grid, which ensures children are grouped appropriately in phonics. Quality texts are at the heart of teaching and learning English. Children have daily reading opportunities in Drop Everything and Read Sessions (DEAR).
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1. Parents and carers will support reading at home and contribute regularly in pupils' reading diaries. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.