Seven Aspects of Reading
How do we prioritise reading?
- In Goonhavern Primary School, we understand the strong correlation between children's reading abilities from a young age and their future life chances. We therefore prioritise reading in our curriculum.
- Each year, we run parent workshops (more recently via Zoom) to share the importance of reading with parents/carers and to share advice and tips so that, from the beginning of the Reception Year, we are all working together to support children to become fluent readers.
- Teachers prioritise reading in their timetables and significant time is dedicated each day to teaching reading skills. In Early Years and Key Stage 1, children read every day during Read Write Inc lessons. In Key Stage 2, the school's highly-successful approach to whole-class reading ensures that all children develop the comprehension skills they need to access the wider curriculum and beyond. Our end of Key Stage 2 results show that this approach is successful for all children, including disadvantaged children who perform exceptionally well.
- Governors prioritise reading by funding high-quality reading books, rigorous staff training and computer-based packages that promote reading for pleasure.
- In the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 academic years, the school has employed an additional full-time teacher to teach reading to pupils in Year R, 1, 2 and 3 who were negatively impacted by school closures.
How do we promote a love of reading?
- All staff are expert readers, modelling reading skills, discussing texts and sharing their own love of reading.
- Teachers read class stories each day to children promoting a love and enjoyment of stories, immersing children in the world of imagination.
- Initiatives such as 'Guest Reader of the Week' in Reception Class and our 'Reading Cafe' in Year 2 create an enjoyment and love of stories from a young age.
- Our learning opportunities incorporate a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, to expose pupils to different texts they may enjoy.
- Whole-class reading sessions teach comprehension skills so that children can access a wider range of texts and gain further enjoyment from books by benefiting from a more in-depth understanding.
- Thorough the use of Accelerated Reader (AR), teachers encourage children to regularly read at home. Teachers use AR to identify reluctant readers and help them to foster a love of reading by recommending quality-texts and engaging them in conversation about books.
- Pupils have access to 'class libraries' which are regularly updated with new and exciting books and are encouraged to regularly change their books.
- We encourage pupils in each class to share their love of reading, for example, by inviting them to recommend great reads to their peers; attend book swaps and engage in conversations about the books they love.
- Each year, we hold a book fair to engage families in reading and provide exciting new books at a low cost.
- Representatives from the school council, gather the views of pupils of different age and then carefully select the books for the library based on this information.
How do we make sure pupils make progress?
- Phonics is taught everyday following the RWI progression of sounds to ensure a systematic approach. Phonics lessons follow the same sequence of teach, practise, revise, review and apply. Planning includes assessment for the graphemes taught. Phonics is assessed half-termly to identify gaps in learning and to inform future planning and intervention.
- Pupils in Key Stage 2 who are not yet fluently reading, benefit from 1:1 or small group interventions following the RWI programme. This ensures they are reading books matched to their phonic ability.
- Children in Year 3 - Year 6 complete the NFER termly assessments to support teachers to ensure all pupils are progressing in reading. Where teachers have concerns about pupil progress, they provide additional support though interventions.
- Pupils in Key Stage 2 benefit form highly-successful whole-class reading lessons that support comprehension development.
How do we match the pupils' reading books to their phonic ability?
- Every six weeks, children who are using the Read Write Inc. scheme celebrate the improvements they've made by completing a reading assessment with the headteacher. The reading assessment shows the sounds each child has learnt; which words children recognise by sight and which words children can blend together using their phonic knowledge. As children progress through the Read Write Inc scheme, we also begin to assess how many words each child can read per minute.
- Reading teachers use this information to select books (for school and for home) that are very closely matched to children's phonics ability.
- Once children become 'free readers' they use Accelerated Reader to guide their book choices. Children complete a Star Reader Test at the beginning of each term. This will generate a numeric score which supports children and teachers to choose colour-coded books that match each child's reading level.
- Once children finish reading a book, they complete a simple online quiz to ensure they have understood the book. Children and teachers are then able to track their reading and see the number of books they have read in a given time period.
How do we teach phonics from the start?
Phonics is taught through Read Write Inc. and this begins in the first two weeks of school.
By the end of the first term at school children have learnt to recognise the Set 1 Speed Sounds (below) and are blending these sounds together to independently read words, such as fun, pin and ship.
First, pupils will learn to read:
- Set 1 Speed Sounds: these are sounds written with one letter: m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x and sounds written with two letters digraphs: sh th ch qu ng nk ck
How do we support pupils to catch up?
- Our aim is for every child to meet their individual potential and, for some, they may need a little extra help to get there.
- In all year groups, we provide targetted support to the lowest 20% of readers so that all children develop into confident and fluent readers. In almost all cases, the class teacher teaches reading to the lowest 20% of children to ensure they make rapid progress.
- In addition, reading tutors (typically teaching assistants and intervention teachers) provide targetted 1:1 and small group support to enable children to catch up with their peers.
- This approach has been hugely successful - with some children making 12 months progress in a 3-month period.
How do we train staff to be reading experts?
- In the 2020/2021 academic year, we dedicated two INSET days to training all teachers and teaching assistants to become reading experts.
- In addition to this, we also hold 'development days' to work alongside teachers and teaching assistants, providing coaching and support for all reading teachers.
- Furthermore, In November 2021, we introduced an additional weekly, 20-minute staff meeting to focus on each aspect of RWI. This has helped to build consistently and to drive quality-first teaching. The school's reading leaders also provide regular coaching and support to reading teachers.