Intent, Implementation and Impact of our Reading Curriculum
Reading at Sampford Peverell is a skill that we value very highly. Research has shown the lifelong impact of this fundamental skill. To quote the Education Endowment Foundation:
- Children benefit from a balanced approach to literacy that includes a range of approaches. The emphasis of the different approaches will shift as children progress; effective diagnosis can help to identify priorities
- All pupils benefit from oral language interventions, and some studies show slightly larger effects for younger children and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds (up to six months' additional progress)
- Phonics approaches have been consistently found to be effective in supporting younger readers to master the basics of reading, with an average impact of an additional four months’ progress.
At our school, reading is a top priority and something that we have worked to create excitement, enthusiasm and skill around. 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. More importantly, we want our children to come away from their time in our school with a deep love and passion for reading, with memories of the opportunities they had to delve right into reading at Sampford Peverell. We intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation of the purpose and fun of reading, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and to develop their comprehension skills. We are committed to providing vocabulary rich reading material and a school where books are the springboard for all learning. Please take a look at our two year rolling programme below to explore our texts, genres and outcomes for English.
- Reading development begins across the Early Years Foundation Stage. Children in Nursery and Reception enjoy a book-rich environment, supported by puppets, role play areas and reading areas to ensure that they independently develop the skill of retelling, such as by looking at illustrations or reflecting on stories they heard with puppets. They are read to every day by their teacher, as many times as possible.
- The systematic reading skills needed are taught through synthetic phonics, which is taught using the Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics scheme. This is taught daily for all children in Reception, Year 1 and some requiring intervention in Year 2. Every RWI session begins with shared reading of green words (decodable) and red words (tricky words) before children work in pairs to read RWI texts that are finely tuned to their reading needs, supported by staff. This daily activity ends with comprehension questions and discussions about the text, from the earliest age.
- As they progress within RWI, children are assessed half-termly and moved into groupings that are tailored to their reading needs and the specific colour banding they are on. This ensures that children are being accurately challenged and exposed to increasingly difficult texts. This ability-group format involves cross year group learning and helps children of all ages develop reading to the very best of their ability.
- Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as needs are identified. With the regular RWI assessments, it is easy for staff to notice and address a learning need as soon as it arises. Teachers and assistants pick up these interventions in class and within the child’s learning across other subjects.
- After children have shown a deep confidence and ability to apply their synthetic phonics learning, they graduate to daily guided reading from Years 2-6. Guided reading is undertaken in a whole-class approach, where the teacher models reading aloud and children are encouraged to do the same. The genres can and should be widespread, with links to the current topic learning as much as possible. Vocabulary is a huge focus in these sessions, with children identifying and the teacher explaining new language. The key techniques of unpicking a text to enhance comprehension and understanding are modelled throughout guided reading sessions.
- Once children are confidently independently reading, they also move on to the Accelerated Reader (AR) programme. After taking an AR Star Test termly, the teacher provides opportunities for the child to read within their book level which accelerates their progress. The school ensures all texts are accurately matched to pupil ability, as all books within AR are graded to ensure progression and challenge for all children.
- All teachers and the English Subject Leader use the reports generated by the Star Reader and AR tests to identify and address the areas of need for individual or groups of children. Children in need of it are added to the Star Literacy programme offered by AR; this is used by teachers to determine the more subtle reading needs of the child and thus the intervention required.
- Using Babcock’s Texts that Teach, English units are planned around exciting stimulus texts which have been selected on the strength of their content and structure. Teachers use the reading immersion part of the Texts that Teach units to encourage children to story map, retell and act out books to enhance comprehension and understanding.
- EYFS (Reception and First Steps), KS1 (Year 1 & 2) and LKS2 (Years 3 & 4) classrooms are enhanced by having inviting reading corners/areas with a variety of books available at all times. UKS2 (Year 5 & 6) benefit from close access to and use of the school library, which is full of a range of AR books which have recently been refreshed and enhanced by the PTFA overseen by the English Subject Leader.
- The importance of reading is shared with families of the children at school throughout their time in school; a phonics/reading workshop is offered by the English Subject Leader at the beginning of the school year to up-skill parents and families are reminded of the school expectation that their child should be reading at home at least 5 times a week.
- Phonics/decodable reading books are tailored to the child’s needs in EYFS and KS1 and sent home weekly; staff check that children have read these weekly and allow children to select other enriching texts to take home from the class. All children, but especially Years 2-6, utilise the library on an at least weekly basis (some daily) and take home as many books as they need.
- Reading is celebrated through events such as author visits, character dress up days, cross year group reading and weekly celebrations of children’s achievements in their reading quizzes for AR. World Book Day is a good example of an event where Sampford Peverell makes a special effort to give children inspiration and encouragement to read.
The impact on readers at Sampford Peverell is that they actively seek out reading opportunities, knowing that they are secure in accessing challenging but high-quality texts with many chances for commendation. Families understand and support reading because the school models the importance of reading in the opportunities it offers, such as the investment in the AR system and high-quality outcomes of RWI. Assessments of the impact of reading are made by:
- Monitoring and checks from the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) on the teaching of reading, through lesson observations, environment scrutinities and pupil conferencing.
- Analysis of key results such as the Phonics Screening (Year 1) and KS1 and KS2 statutory end-of-year assessments. Gaps and issues requiring intervention are identified and worked on as a priority in the academic year.
- Summative assessment occurring termly in reading and is submitted to a pupil progress tracker to be reviewed and moderated by the SLT. A submission of reading attainment to Ventrus Academy Trust occurs twice a year, and the English Curriculum Leader attends moderation and professional development events within the Ventrus English Network so that best practise can be shared and support sought for identified issues.
- The Ofsted inspection from July 2019 states that ‘The teaching of reading is strong, especially in the Early Years and Key Stage 1. Leaders have invested heavily in ensuring that reading books and resources motivate pupils to read and inspire a love of reading. They use high-quality and more-demanding texts to teach reading. Teachers place a high priority on teaching reading skills and comprehension. This is leading to pupils’ improving rates of progress in all year groups.’.
- All this information is used to analyse the reading needs of the school to inform the School Improvement Plan and to identify training for staff.