At Abbotswood, our aim is to equip all children with the necessary skills needed to become fluent and confident readers. We understand the fundamental importance that reading has on a child’s ability to access the wider curriculum, make progress and ultimately succeed in life. It is also our mission and responsibility to open children’s minds to the magic and joy of reading, by introducing them to a wide range of carefully chosen literature. We believe that all staff, in partnership with parents, have a vital role to play in contributing to the teaching of reading, providing the best possible foundations to build upon.
We use a synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc. in Reception and KS1 to teach the alphabetic code. The children take part in daily phonics lessons where they learn the 44+ sounds (phonemes) and alternatives in a progressive order. When children are ready, they take home a fully decodable 'Book Bag Book' (new for 2021) which carefully matches their phonic knowledge. We also continue to use Read Write Inc. in lower KS2 for any children who still need further support with their reading. For more information, please refer to the ‘Phonics’ page.
From Y1 onwards, pupils are explicitly taught a wide range of skills through a mixture of whole-class reading and guided groups.
During whole class reading, all pupils are exposed to a range of high quality challenging texts, extracts or chapters that are read aloud together. Within lessons, pupils benefit from the teacher’s expert modelling, inner thoughts (Think-Alouds), questioning and feedback. We follow a clear sequence where learning intentions are linked to Rob Smith's Reading VIPERS, covering the six key reading domains. These are on display in every classroom and referred to within lessons.
Guided 'Book Talk' groups give all children the opportunity to read at their level within the room at the same time. The adult/s rotate between groups ensuring all children are ‘heard read’, either every week in KS1 or once a fortnight in KS2. Each session focuses on word reading and understanding linked to a banded text.
Developing children’s speaking and listening skills is central to ALL of our reading lessons. Children often work with a reading partner or small group, using a given sentence stem and carefully selected vocabulary as a scaffold for developing a ‘Book Talk’ response. We also train children on how to be a good listener, hold a conversation and respond appropriately.
Here is our weekly sequence:
KS1 to Y3 Weekly Sequence
Pre-teaching of vocabulary from the text
Book cover introduction (to tempt and excite)
Children make predictions
Teacher reads the text aloud, models their thinking and pauses to make predictions along the way
Children use their sequencing skills to recall main plot points
Children read an extract and use ‘Book Talk’ (oral comprehension) to answer questions linked to VIPERS
Children respond to written questions and are trained on ‘how’ to answer these
OR guided Book Talk groups
Guided Book Talk groups
KS2 Weekly Sequence
Pre-teaching of vocabulary
Children are introduced to the extract
Summarise plot/character development etc.
Answer a range of Retrieval type questions
Answer a focused VIPERS question both orally, then written
Children answer SATs style VIPERS
OR follow up activity
Guided Book Talk groups
READING AT HOME
Whilst children are progressing through the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, they take home books which contain the sounds and red words that they know. After completing the ‘Book Bag Books’ scheme, children move onto a wider range of higher band books (Stage 8+) from Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. Once children have developed sufficient fluency and stamina at these stages, they progress onto being a ‘Free Reader’ where age banded books are chosen from the library.
To encourage reading at home we use a ‘Reading Karate’ reward system which starts in Reception and finishes when they leave Year 6. Please see the following attachment (Reading Karate Info) to see how this works.
READING FOR PLEASURE
ALL classes have a dedicated storytime at the end of EVERY DAY (a non-negotiable timetabled slot) where staff read aloud uninterrupted. Children in Reception and Year 1 also have a dedicated poem, rhyme and song time at least once a week.
Teachers are encouraged to keep up to date with new book releases e.g. through platforms such as Edu Twitter etc, to enable them to become experts in children’s literature, knowing and being familiar with a range of texts; making ‘story time’ an experience that fosters excitement about books with children.
Each classroom has a class library where a small selection of carefully chosen books are available for the children to browse and choose from. These books are refreshed regularly and include a mix of genres that are relevant to the children's interests and backgrounds.
Children are also encouraged to borrow a book from the school library during their weekly slot to take home and read for enjoyment.
Each year we celebrate World Book Day and run events such as story night to promote and celebrate the love of books!
We also try to make links with authors to help us to promote the LOVE of reading.
We assess reading using the school's 'Age Related Expectations' (Reading AREs) 5 times a year. From this, we can see any gaps in learning and prioritise support for the following term. To help inform judgements, children also sit reading tests at the end of each term.
During term 6, children in Y2 are also assessed against the Reading TAF Framework and Year 6 sit the statutory reading SATs paper.
In YR and Y1, phonics is assessed on a termly basis using an assessment from the Read Write Inc. programme. Children in Year 1 also sit the statutory Phonics Screening Check during the summer term which is retaken in Y2 by those who did not meet the expected standard.
Children in YR are assessed against the ELGs for ‘Comprehension’ and ‘Word reading’ on the EYFS Profile.
Children identified as needing extra support with word reading (decoding) undertake extra Reading Practice and/or additional support with phonics as early as possible. Each class teacher has a priority reader list (lowest 20%) and the aim is for these children to be heard read EVERYDAY.
We also run a number of small group interventions for those struggling with comprehension.
Here at Abbotswood, we are very lucky to have a small, but AMAZING reading army who come in on a weekly basis to hear 1:1 readers. Mr Allen is just one of these key people who is 72(!) and has been giving up his time over the last six years to support with reading in Key Stage 1. We are always looking for new recruits so please do contact the Reading Lead if you have any spare time you can offer.
Volunteers understand the importance of reading and willingly give up their time to undertake appropriate training with the reading lead before taking on the role.
If you have any further questions, please speak to the Reading Leader - Mrs Winstone
NEW FOR 2021 - COMING SOON POETRY SPINE