At St Nicholas CE Primary Academy, reading is a top priority and is a key driver for our curriculum. It is our intention to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
We therefore intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction
- develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live;
- establish an appreciation and love of reading;
- gain knowledge across the curriculum, and
- to develop their comprehension skills.
We are committed to providing vocabulary rich reading material across the curriculum.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Starting in January we will be using a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc’ produced by Ruth Miskin.
All children in EYFS, KS1 and, where necessary, children in KS2, have daily phonics sessions in small ability groups where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current 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. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified.
We recognise that systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader, namely comprehension.
When children have completed the Read, Write, Inc phonics programme, reading is developed during our daily, whole class reading sessions, using high quality texts and focused ‘skill’ teaching. Strong links are made between reading and writing. Children read and enjoy high quality fiction and non-fiction texts, which (where possible) are linked to their topics across the curriculum.
In whole class reading sessions, children develop their key reading skills of decoding, Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising (VIPERS). Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills. We recognise the importance of developing a rich and extensive bank of vocabulary; therefore, we discreetly teach vocabulary directly linked to the text during every phonics and whole class reading session. This is reinforced daily during sessions, ensuring new vocabulary is embedded.
All classes have the opportunity to enjoy a daily ‘class reader’, for pleasure, to excite and engage the children, and to expose them to new and varied vocabulary. All books shared with children are age-appropriate and matched to the age-related level of the class. The ‘Reading Spine’ from which texts are selected is fully inclusive of BAME authors as well as characters, settings and plots which cover various aspects of diversity.
Reading at home is encouraged and promoted through class incentives and parental engagement sessions. Children working on the Read Write Inc. programme will take home a ‘book-bag-book’ matched directly to their current phonics level; they are also encouraged to choose an additional book to share with their family at home from our library.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. By the end of Key Stage 2 ready for transition into secondary school, it is out intention that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. 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.