Our intent is to instil a love of reading in all pupils. Through the use of quality core texts, we provide opportunities for pupils to explore their imagination, improve fluency and expression, enrich vocabulary, broaden knowledge and develop deeper understanding.
Our English curriculum centres around the use of high-quality and age-appropriate core texts. Each core text has been carefully selected to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills. In the National Curriculum, reading consists of two dimensions - word reading and comprehension. As the pupils move through the school, they are taught a whole range of reading skills, which include the following:
- decoding and blending (EYFS + KS1)
- recognition of ‘tricky’ words on sight (EYFS + KS1)
- retrieval of information from a text
- participating in discussions about books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, building on their own and others’ ideas and challenging views
- interpretation of information and drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
- predicting what might happen next
- commenting on the writer’s use of language, structure and presentation
- performing a text
- identifying the writer’s purpose and viewpoint
- summarising a text or part of text
- distinguishing between statements of fact and opinion
- identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning
- identifying and discussing themes and conventions in and across a wide range of writing
- making comparisons within and across books
- Children take part in daily whole class guided reading lessons (approximately 30-40 minutes long), where pupils are exposed to sections of the core texts.
- During the session, pupils have opportunities to read aloud or in silence, in pairs, or listen to an adult read. (Sometimes there is a mixture of reading)
- Discussions take place on the text, with the focus on the reading objectives from the National Curriculum.
- A range of questions are asked which are appropriate to the abilities of the pupils, yet encourage deeper understanding.
- Follow-up activities are given for pupils to demonstrate their understanding of the text. These could include comprehension questions, vocabulary work, or a short writing activity.
- Pre-reading of the core text with an adult is often provided for lower ability children; guided group work is also carried out from time to time (and on a more frequent basis in Key Stage 1) so that the children are immersed in texts appropriate for their reading ability.
- In EYFS and Year 1, pupils participate in small group guided reading sessions with a range of texts appropriate for their reading level. Follow-up activities are also included.
Other reading opportunities
- A wide selection of texts that are structured in different ways, including fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books are continually woven in alongside fiction texts to help provide background information for the children on the fiction text they are reading.
- A wide range of reading books are available in the school. All children from Nursery to Year 6 choose a reading book to take home and this reading book is changed weekly. We expect family at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.
- Every classroom contains a selection of books which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the pupils to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
- The classroom reading area is filled with books suitable for their reading age. This is a comfortable place for children to read throughout the day.
- Pupils have the opportunity to take part in ‘Reading Buddies’, in which they mix with other pupils from different year groups and share a book together.
- Pupils who struggle with reading or are reluctant readers will receive 1:1 reading opportunities or additional reading support. They will often be given a range of books with high interest yet match their current reading age.
Reading for Pleasure
- Pupils have opportunities to read for pleasure within the school day. They all have a book that they choose to read independently.
- Pupils are read to each day by their class teacher. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child to further promote a love of reading.
- Every classroom has a special book box which contain texts that have been carefully chosen by the class teacher. Pupils are encouraged to select books from this box.
- Pupils have access to a school library with a vast range of books.
- The school has strong links to the local library (Wembley Library) and pupils are often taken to participate in workshops. They are also encouraged to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge.
- Throughout the school year, the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, Shakespeare Week, Book Fairs and reading events such as ‘Pancake Breakfast’ and ‘Stop, Drop, and Read’ to further enrich the English curriculum and to share the importance of reading with our parents, carers, and wider community.
- Children take books home to read either independently or with a family member.
As a consequence of our core text approach to the teaching of English, we believe that the children have developed an enjoyment of the subject and have accumulated vital skills that will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey. The English Curriculum has ensured that our children make exceptional progress from low starting points, and that the attainment outcomes for the majority of pupils are at least in line or exceed age-related expectations.
We measure the impact of the English curriculum in a variety of ways:
- Formative assessment through marking and feedback, pupil observations, key questioning, class discussions
- Pupil attainment and progress data
- End of Key Stage outcomes (EYFS, Phonics, KS1 and KS2)
- Learning walks and observations
- Book looks and moderation of work
- Pupil conferencing and questionnaires
- Children presenting work in class and for a wider audience
Impact in Reading
- Children make good and, in some cases, accelerated progress in reading through whole class guided reading.
- Whole class guided reading ensure that all children are exposed to high level questioning and responses from the best readers in the class.
- Whole class guided reading ensures that all children in the class are exposed to challenging vocabulary, and pre-teaching enables children to understand words without affecting fluency.
- Children really enjoy reading the core texts. They often role play characters from the text in the playground and enjoy sharing the same story as a class. They are fully emerged in the world of the story.
- Older children enjoy discussing the text that they read the year before with children currently reading the story, which creates a strong sense of shared stories across the school.
- Last academic year 83% of KS1 children achieved expected standard and 33% achieved greater depth in reading.
- Last academic year 86% of KS2 children achieved expected standard and 29% achieved greater depth in KS2
- Children feel supported by 1-1 reading sessions with a range of adults throughout the school such as senior leaders, chair of governors and teaching assistants
- Parents provide comments and feedback in home reading journals, which help teachers to provide appropriate home reading books.
- Children have many opportunities to read for pleasure. They discuss books that they have enjoyed and recommend them to their friends. They enjoy opportunities to read independently, and develop their reading stamina.