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Here at Great Witley Primary School our aim is for our pupils to become confident and fluent readers. We ensure that every pupil is taught the necessary skills needed to access a range of texts, which in turn ensures they develop enhanced levels of comprehension, grammar, and writing, consequently enabling them to have the skills and ambition to apply new skills in different contexts, to access all curriculum areas, and build a lifelong passion for reading and learning.
We strive to develop a love of reading through adults reading aloud to pupils across the school community; adults read with enthusiasm and passion and enjoy sharing stories. We celebrate reading within the school environment through reading events, displays and libraries. Younger pupils are encouraged to regularly read books, which are well matched to the sounds they are learning, as well as choosing books to share and enjoy at home. Ensuring books are well matched to their phonological development, ensures pupils feel successful as readers and begin to develop an enjoyment of reading. Pupils can recommend books to their peers and have a thirst for reading a wide range of high-quality texts across different genres. They participate in discussions about books, have the opportunity to participate in reading events and have an established love of reading for life and a passion for lifelong learning.
Reading is taught not only in specific reading lessons but across the wider curriculum too. It helps play a key role in ‘knowing more, remembering more and connecting learning.’
As soon as pupils start school, they are taught to decode using Twinkl Phonics, a systematic synthetic phonics program that ensures a progression of word reading systematically. This is taught from Reception through to Key Stage 1. Phonics lessons are timetabled daily and last between 20 – 25 minutes. All children are exposed to the phonics lesson taking place. Children who need to close the gap receive targeted interventions. In Reception and KS1 teachers plan and teach phonics using review, teach, practise and apply model.
While decoding and fluency are emphasised in the early teaching of reading, immersive whole-class reading sessions later take precedent. Using quality texts, we aim to provide ambitious models to support reading development and connect learning across the curriculum. Children are exposed to, and actively engage with, high quality language in varying forms in meaningful, deliberate, and engaging ways. Pupils are taught to understand how an author has used Vocabulary for effect, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise using the acronym VIPERS. This is used to support their understanding of how these skills make them more competent readers.
From year 2 to Year 6 reading is taught through whole class guided reading sessions. In KS1 various strategies are used including whole class reading, individual reading and small groups in response to the needs of the pupils.
In KS2 children participate in whole class reading with lessons focusing on fluency and comprehension. All lessons from Y2 – 6 lessons are based on fluency and the mechanics of reading: accuracy, automaticity and prosody. Strategies used are teacher as model, echo reading and choral reading.
To foster reading for pleasure each class has a daily reading session with the class teacher – books are selected in response to recommended reads. Alongside this every class has the opportunity to regularly choose a book from our class library. They are encouraged to borrow books to enjoy and read for pleasure at home. To maintain a passion for reading across the school, we engage in many events such as World Book Day, National Storytelling Week and National Poetry Day. We also invite book fairs into school. Our weekly ‘Book club’ sessions across school, provides an opportunity for children to share favourite books and explore recommended books for class reading and at home.
Regular professional development plays a key role in ensuring adults know how best to support reading across the school. Pupils understand that they use strategies taught in phonics to decode new words, but also understand that automatic recognition or reading on sight is their aim.
We acknowledge that some pupils will need additional reading support, these are identified through regular formative and summative assessment. The lowest 20% in each year group are heard regularly by an adult.