At St Paul’s out intent is that pupils will be fluent, confident, independent readers, supported to read aloud with confidence and expression. We will encourage the children to develop a habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. We will encourage children to be enthusiastic readers, who reflect on what they are reading and develop a love of reading. Our aim is to encourage children to read for pleasure at all levels.
At St Paul’s our intent is to offer a variety of reading opportunities and texts with the aim of promoting an understanding for the value of quality texts amongst the children. As a school we intend to take into account cultural background, gender and any special needs, both in our teaching attitudes and in the published materials we use with our pupils. We will ensure the children are exposed to a wide and varied vocabulary bank, which is built up on throughout their time at St Paul’s Primary.
At St Paul’s reading is at the heart of English lessons and is given high priority throughout the curriculum. Staff make the most of every opportunity available to develop reading skills.
Short, Medium and Long Term planning is based on the objectives outlined in the National Curriculum and further broken down by the Essentials Curriculum. English is taught in Milestones, as outlined in the Essentials Curriculum. All objectives taught are taken from the Essentials Curriculum and are evident in weekly short term planning. Each Milestone ensures that children are taught a series of objectives over a 2 year period, providing the opportunity for children to have a deep understanding of the objectives taught. The approach to reading in class is inspired by the principles of Literature Works.
Children are given access to a wide range of reading material to ignite their interest in reading starting in the Early Years Foundation Stage with daily story times. The focus of story times being to develop listening and communication skills, bring experiences alive, widen vocabulary, make important links between the spoken and written word and, most importantly, to create a sense of wonder. EYFS children have a daily 20 minute Communication and Language / Literacy session. These sessions are planned by teachers and delivered to all children.
In KS1 classes, there is a weekly reading lesson. This lesson focuses on either the class book or class novel. These sessions provide opportunities for children to read short sections aloud, to focus on decoding skills and develop comprehension skills.
In KS2 all classes plan for a 1 hour reading session every Monday. During this lesson children read their class novel. Lessons are a mixture of children reading and the teacher modelling reading.
Staff are given the opportunity to attend courses provided by Literature Works to deepen and support their subject knowledge and development. CPD is provided at staff meetings by both the English Lead and the Phonics Lead, when appropriate, to ensure staff are up to date with subject knowledge and to share good practice.
The English lead attends termly meetings with Head teachers and other English leads taking part in Literature Works. As well as termly meeting with English leads in the WEST Trust.
Daily Phonics sessions are taught to EYFS and KS1 using the systematic synthetic Phonics Programme, Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) until pupils have successfully passed the Phonic Screening Check.
ELS is based on simplicity and consistency. Throughout ELS, the same teaching sequence – show, copy, repeat – is used until each child can independently recognise the letters and sounds. The teaching sequence is the same in all stages of the lesson, from whole-class teaching to one-to-one intervention. Children are given the opportunity to hear and say each sound, first in isolation, and then within words and sentences. When introducing a new grapheme–phoneme correspondence (GPC), a mnemonic or rhyme is used with an accompanying picture to ensure that children understand. Children hear this sound in the context of a word, and a picture and / or definition will be given to support their understanding. Practice and repetition are key. Every phonics lesson is structured as follows: Review Teach Practise Apply Review. As the ELS programme is designed on the principle that children should ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’, interventions are delivered within the lesson by the teacher, and any child who struggles with the new knowledge will be immediately targeted with appropriate support.
Giving children the opportunity to discuss books with peers and adults in school is a fundamental part of our approach to reading. We value good quality discussions around a text. We also appreciate the need for skills to be taught in small groups. All children, from Reception to year 6, are part of a guided reading group. They will read in groups no larger than six pupils at least once a week for 20 minutes. KS1 and 2 children read with their teacher every week in either a Guided Group, or individually. The class teacher shall be responsible for selecting an appropriate text from the Connectors series. All pupils are encouraged to be part of a guided reading group operating at a level appropriate for them. Occasionally, some pupils may continue to require individual reading sessions as an alternative.
A wide selection of texts from the Oxford University Press are used to promote reading at home. Books are matched to the level appropriate for a child to read. It is expected that a pupil will be able to read independently 95% of their reading book. Reading books in EYFS and KS1 are matched to the specific phonic needs of the pupils. Decodable books are used during phonics sessions to support sounds being taught and sent home to promote the importance of reading at home. For pupils who do not access Phase 2 phonics, texts which use repeated text and picture clues are sent home along with Phase 2 materials to support learning at home. Books are sent home once a week. Pupils in KS1 will take home 2 books per week. Children are encouraged to read the book 4 times during the week to build confidence and fluency. The other book will be a sharing book for an adult to read to the child, to encourage a love of reading and enjoyment of books. KS2 Pupils will take at least one book home per week. Pupils are allowed to select their own book from the level they are reading to promote reading for pleasure.
Reading for Pleasure
Pupils in EYFS have access to the Home Loan Library, which is available at the end of school each day. They shall also have access to continuous provision, which is rich in text, and at the level children can read independently.
All classes in KS1 have daily reading sessions timetabled during which the pupils will read purely for pleasure. All classes in KS1 shall have a daily story time in which an adult reads to the children, or a child reads to the class. KS1 pupils shall also have opportunities to take books from the Home Loan box at least once a week.
All KS2 pupils are given 25 minutes each day outside of an English lesson to read for pleasure. The pupils shall read a book of their choice. However, teachers shall be responsible to ensure the pupils in their class can read the books they choose. Once a pupil meets the level of Free Reader, he or she is expected to pick reading books from the class selection, the school library or (for year 6 children) the 100 books challenge.
Pupils are given the opportunity to take part in the following at some point in their reading journey:
• reading with other children – each class shall have a reading buddy class
• Visits from authors
• Visits to libraries or from librarians
• Book Fairs
• World Book Day activities
• Writing to authors / illustrators
• Year 6 take part in the Children’s Book Show every year, which includes a workshop at school from an author, poet or illustrator and a trip to the theatre.
• Activities, resources or virtual experiences with The Book Trust
It is vital that all pupils become part of our reading community as quickly as possible. The EAL teacher meets with all pupils new to the school during their first weeks in school to gather information about the child’s previous school history and assess the needs of the pupil. The EAL Teacher will place the pupil on an appropriate Oxford Reading Tree level. Pupils new to the country or new to English shall be encouraged to remain in reading lessons with their peers as this is a valuable way to expose a child to new vocabulary.
Parents are invited to attend workshops during the school year. At the workshops parents are shown how to read with their child(ren) and given suggested questions and topics for discussion. At the start of each academic year parents / carers are given written information explaining how they can support their child(ren) at home.
All assessment criteria has been developed in line with the National Curriculum requirements, and the Essentials Curriculum which enables us to assess children as they move through each stage of their reading journey.
Short Term assessments
These are part of every lesson (AFL). Teachers assess children on a daily basis through questioning and evaluating. Children will be assessed in every guided reading session against the objectives set for the session and assessments are recorded on the guided reading monitoring sheets. In all cases, pupils who are not making expected progress are monitored and support from the teacher is provided.
Medium Term assessments
Assessments are carried out half-termly in order to track and monitor children’s progress. Children read with their class teacher to establish their reading level and this is recorded. The English Leader monitors the reading levels each term. If a child continues to fall below expected levels a discussion will take place between the class teacher, the English Leader and SENDCO (if necessary) and suitable interventions such as 1:1 reading support or Lexia are planned. Reading assessments are carried out each term are combined with ongoing assessments made by the class teacher to develop a whole picture of the child. Assessments are discussed at pupil progress meetings twice a year.
All parents receive an annual written report including a summary of their child’s progress in English over the year. In year 2 and year 6 this will include the results of the SATs tests which are undertaken during May. Parents are also be informed of ongoing progress at parents’ evenings.
It is our intention that every child in our school will develop a love for reading and writing that will last a lifetime. During their time with us, we are confident that our pupils will be given the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to help them as they continue on to high school. 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 promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors.