At Nanpean School, we understand that reading is a lifelong skill and is therefore given the highest priority. We aim for our pupils to learn to read quickly and effectively so that they can access learning in all areas of the curriculum. Learning to read is the foundation for all educational and future success. Teachers support reading in all subjects to support pupils’ acquisition of knowledge. Pupils are taught to read fluently and encouraged to read for pleasure through accessing high-quality literature in our newly-designed library. As a school, we have ambitious expectations for reading at home through our Reading Challenge.
We are determined to support every child to learn to read at Nanpean School and therefore aim to support our pupils to:
- Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
- Read accurately and fluently
- Understand the meaning of what they read and what is read to them.
- Give our children the reading skills they need to access all areas of the curriculum.
- Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.
In the Foundation Stage children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Language and literacy development are incorporated in all areas of learning. Opportunities are provided for children to communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings. Purposeful role-play is used to develop language and imagination. Children are given opportunities to share and enjoy a wide range of rhymes, songs, poetry and books. An environment is provided which reflects the importance of language through signs, notices and books. English is taught both as a discrete subject and within the whole Early Years Curriculum to give children opportunities to use their English skills in real life situations. In addition to the English teaching, there are also daily systematic synthetic phonics sessions using Read, Write Inc.
The teaching of reading at Nanpean School develops pupils’ competence in both key areas (word reading and comprehension) and different teaching approaches are used for each.
Phonics (Read, Write, Inc)
Phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading when children start school. Pupils begin learning letter sounds on entry to Reception. Our reading curriculum ensures a consistent teaching approach using the Read, Write, Inc scheme. Following this scheme, pupils are immersed in a directed teaching approach which embeds systematic phonics skills as the core skills for reading. Read Write Inc (RWI) is, at EYFS and KS1, is taught daily for 30 minutes. Phonics is taught following the RWI progression of sounds to ensure a systematic approach. Phonics lessons follow the same sequence of teach, practise, revise, review and apply. Phonics is assessed half termly to identify gaps in learning to inform future planning and intervention.
Skilled word reading includes both the speedy decoding of unfamiliar printed words and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. The teaching of phonics enables our pupils to read with increased speed and fluency and to have the skills needed to access the wider curriculum. All pupils have opportunities to develop their reading skills daily and are take home two reading books that match and support their phonics development and ability.
As a school, we understand that good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge and knowledge of the world. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. At Nanpean School we use VIPERS to teach reading skills daily for 30 minutes. (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence/Summarise). These comprehension skills are developed through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.
In Reception and KS1, guided reading forms part of the Read, Write, Inc. session which happens 5x a week for 30 minutes. However, Year 1 and 2 have a weekly session to begin to explicitly teach VIPERS skills using their class text.
Progress and attainment of all [pupils is closely monitored and provision is put in place where needed. In KS1, fast-track tutoring is used with pupils who are not making the expected progress of the Read, Write, Inc. programme. In KS2, fast-track tutoring and Fresh Start is used with pupils who are not fluent enough in reading to fully access the curriculum.
Throughout the school, our English lessons are taught through the key books which has transformed the way teachers teach and the way children feel about reading and writing. Children engage with high quality picture books, novels, poetry and non-fiction.
Our pupils are exposed to and encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of the local area and community as well as world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
Reading at home
Children take home a book daily, which they are encouraged to share with their parent/carers. This begins in Foundation Stage and continues through KS1 and KS2. The class teacher monitors this through the school’s reading records. To encourage shared reading to take place at home, we have introduced the Reading Challenge.
The challenge is about practicing reading at home and earning points. Pupils will earn points for engaging in reading activities at home. Only 1 point will be counted for each day (maximum of 7 points a week). As a school, we view all reading activities as important. Therefore, pupils can earn reading points through any of the following reading activities:
ü Reading something electronically e.g. Kindle, computer game etc.
ü Reading a non-fiction text e.g. recipe, instructions etc.
ü Reading a comic or magazine
ü Reading a school reading or library book
We expect all children to engage in a reading activity at least 5 times a week. They will get certificates and prizes for the following points:
70 points: Certificate
140 points: Bookmark and certificate
210 points: Certificate, choice of book from the school prize box and an invitation to the whole-school reward event.
280 points: Certificate, invitation to the whole-school reward event and a book voucher.
Parents and children need to record their reading at home in their reading record. Children have their reading records checked in school on a Monday. If a reading record is not frequently signed, in the first instance the class teacher speaks directly to the parent or carer. In addition, termly letters are sent home to families who are not engaging enough with reading activities at home. These letters outline the importance of regular reading practice at home. Following this, if reading engagement does not improvement, the English Lead or Headteacher will make contact with the family.
Accelerated Reader gives teachers the information they need to monitor students’ reading practice and make informed decisions to guide their future learning. Children in year 2 (who have completed the Read, Write, Inc. programme) upwards take a STAR Reading test every half-term. This assessment gives each child a reading age, scaled score and a ZPD level. Pupils develop reading skills most effectively when they read appropriately challenging books – difficult enough to keep them engaged but not so difficult that they become frustrated. This is their ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (ZPD). As pupils are retested every half-term, their ZPD ranges increase and broaden so they continue to read suitably challenging literature.
Students choose a home reading book from their ZPD level. Once they have read it, they take an online quiz and receive immediate feedback. Teachers can also generate reports from these quizzes to see how much a child has been reading, at what level of complexity, and how well they have understood what they have read. Parents have access to Home Connect which allows them to log on to see what their child has been reading and how well they have done in their reading quizzes.
Promoting reading for pleasure and across the curriculum
Many other opportunities are provided for pupils to practise and extend reading in other subjects. All teachers are responsible for providing a stimulating reading environment, promoting book ownership and recommending books to pupils. Classroom and book corners are language rich and special displays promote authors and books. Each classroom has a selection of books which are directly linked to the class learning. This offers opportunities for pupils to apply their reading skills across the curriculum. All children visit the school library weekly and freely choose a book to take home that interests them. Adults act as role-models to pupils and they are read to each day by their class teacher.
Through our approach to reading our children are able to:
- Read a wide range of texts
- Understand and enjoy a wide range of genres
- Decode words fluently
- Possess a broad and deep vocabulary knowledge
- Read fluently, accurately and with appropriate expression
- Develop reading stamina
- Ask appropriate questions
- Read for pleasure