English – Reading and Phonics
We learn to read so that we can read to learn.
Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at Adlington Primary School as it is the skill that underpins everything that is taught and opens the door to learning across the curriculum.
We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. To ensure this, we aim to provide children with a literacy-rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities to help them grow and develop so they are well prepared for the next stage of their reading journey.
We recognise the pivotal role reading plays in achieving academic success and, through our reading curriculum, we teach pupils to read a wide range of genres with accuracy, fluency and understanding. It is our intention that every pupil reads with expression, clarity and confidence by the end of Year 6.
We aim for our pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, which in turn can be applied to their writing. Similarly, by understanding and recognising grammatical structures in their reading, pupils can feed this knowledge into their writing.
Ultimately, we want every child to have developed a deep love of reading. We want pupils to be reading for pleasure and information, doing so widely and often, so that by the time they leave us they are well prepared for their secondary education and beyond.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, we place heavy emphasis on the teaching on phonics as the basis for children’s early reading development. We are committed to teaching phonics in a robust and consistent way in order that children become readers as quickly as possible. We use the systematic, synthetic phonics programme, ‘Phonics Bug’, and the revise-teach-practise-apply-assess model. Discrete, daily lessons are taught to ensure children can recognise, read and write sounds accurately and confidently. Children are taught in whole class lessons. We carefully track and monitor pupil progress and extra intervention sessions are provided for children who need support to catch-up e.g. Fast Track Phonics. ‘Phonics Fun!’ is an after school club provided by teachers to give children the opportunity to use what they have learnt in a fun and stimulating way.
Guided reading sessions take place throughout school using the Pearson Bug Club reading scheme. This is progressive and children build their skills year on year.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, children read banded books that are aligned to their reading ability. During sessions, children take part in activities before, during and after reading to practise and develop both decoding and comprehension skills. They also provided with the opportunity to hone their skills by reading on a 1:1 basis in school.
At Key Stage 2, guided reading lessons are based around key texts and are characterised by a carousel of activities designed to develop children’s comprehension skills further. Over the course of a week, pupils clarify vocabulary, complete pre-reading, enter into small group discussions with their teacher, answer questions and complete follow up activities. The eight comprehension strategies taught include: clarifying, summarising, activating prior knowledge, visualising, connecting, predicting, questioning and evaluating.
Assessment is an ongoing element of the teaching and learning of reading and takes place constantly: through the verbal feedback children receive during lessons; the written feedback in workbooks following lessons and the questioning through group discussion. Bug Club assessments are a useful tool that teachers use to help them support children with their next steps in reading. The assessment of English also includes moderation of children’s reading which takes place within the school at staff meetings, but also as part of a local cluster of schools. All this is designed to ensure that class teachers have secure judgements of where their children are in relation to the statutory guidelines for Years 2 and 6.
To support our vulnerable readers, who despite varied efforts and approaches still do not make expected progress, we conduct more in depth additional assessments e.g. Dyslexia screening. Interventions or resources can then be put in place e.g. Project X, IDL , coloured overlays etc to support children’s needs.
Children take home independent reading books to enjoy and practise their skills. These are fully decodable when children are at the early stages of learning to read. Across school we also use Bug Club online so children can enjoy the ebooks at home and in class. Children are assigned a range of books tailored for their reading age and interests.
In addition to guided reading sessions, children regularly enjoy listening to class novels. These are books that form part of our Adlington Reading Spine- a collection of carefully selected high quality books to enthuse, enthral and engage our pupils.
Visits to the library are embedded as part of our reading curriculum and each class in school visits Adlington library at least once a year to listen to stories and choose books to borrow. In addition, classes have their own classroom libraries to choose and borrow books from. FBA club (Fabulous Book Awards) is an extra–curricular opportunity held every year for upper Key Stage 2 pupils to borrow, enjoy and evaluate fiction.
We see home-school links as a vital part of the reading process. We positively encourage parental involvement in the development of a child’s reading. We hold regular parental workshops to provide information on how we teach children to read and how to support them with home reading and with phonics.
Reading for pleasure is promoted through a number of reading opportunities throughout the course of the year. These include events such as Book Week and the celebration of World Book Day, Book Swaps, Secret Reader events and a Book Bench Project related to ‘What’s Your story, Chorley?’ Reading Ambassadors, chosen for their passion and love of books, help to lead events and share their joy of reading. We have special reading book bags that the children take home (including high quality texts, reflection diaries and hot chocolate) and also class reading scrapbooks containing their book reviews.
We monitor the reading and phonics curriculum and measure its effectiveness and impact in a variety of different ways. Judgements on the impact of the reading curriculum on pupils is based upon a triangulation of different monitoring and evaluation activities within school. Evidence includes listening to children read, workbook scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and quality of teaching and learning. Moderation of reading also happens in staff meetings and with a local cluster of schools.
We use both national and summative testing to assess pupils' outcomes for reading and phonics. EYFS profile data, Year 1 Phonics Screening Test and Statutory Assessment Tests for reading (SATs for Year 2 and Year 6 pupils) enables pupils' progress and attainment to be evaluated. We also use summative assessments across the remainder of school to ascertain achievement and attainment. We aim for the percentage of pupils working at age related expectations to be in line or better than national standards. Equally, we aim for the percentage of pupils working at greater depth will be in line or better than national standards.
We expect all children to be able to read sufficiently fluently and effortlessly, with understanding at an age appropriate interest level in readiness for secondary school.