At Danesfield School we believe that reading is an essential life skill and that reading lies at the heart of our curriculum.
We aim to…
- Foster a love of reading by listening to and interacting with a variety of literature, non-fiction and poetry.
- Provide children with necessary life-long skills to ensure they can read confidently and with a secure understanding.
- Provide plenty of opportunities to read for pleasure.
- Ensure reading is a transferable skill that children are reading across the wider curriculum.
- Develop a consistent approach to reading teaching in order to close any gaps and to target the highest number of children attaining the expected standard or higher.
How we achieve our aims:
In EYFS and KS1, we use a systematic synthetic phonics programme called Phonics Shed, which is supported by a comprehensive scheme of reading books that are matched carefully to the sounds that they are learning in class. All children have daily phonics sessions, where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current needs.
In EYFS and KS1, all children read aloud daily during phonics or guided/individual reading and throughout other subjects. In addition, the lowest 20% read more often with a teacher or TA. Where phonics is a primary focus in EYFS and Year 1, from Year 2 onwards the focus is primarily on comprehension, as the expectation is that children will read with an appropriate level of fluency by the end of Year 2. Children in KS2 read daily during whole class reading and opportunities are made to read in other subjects too. Those who are less fluent are heard read daily, and the reading speed and fluency of all children across the key stage is checked each term.
Teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are challenged, and they identify those who may need additional support. Children requiring phonics intervention are carefully planned for by assessing their individual gaps and using Phonics Shed intervention planning to support.
We recognise the importance of reading at home to practise and embed reading skills. In EYFS and KS1, banded titles are closely matched to children’s phonic abilities and are used for home reading to ensure children experience a wide breadth of reading genres. In KS2, children progress through books banded by age-appropriateness and text difficulty from Badger Learning. In Upper KS2, children may choose to read their own reading books, which are monitored by their teachers to ensure texts are appropriate for their reading ability.
Home reading is carefully tracked through use of our Reading Records. All records are checked weekly and, in KS1, used to determine when best for children to move onto the next banded reading level. In KS2, children or parents record their reads and teachers monitor frequency and book choices. The children also have the opportunity to complete a ‘reading activity’ based on the book that they are reading to earn house points.
Guided reading in Year 2 and whole class reading in KS2 are structured to allow children to develop as competent readers who can discuss and record their level of understanding of texts read. From Year 2 onwards, reading lessons are primarily centred around content domains specified in the National Curriculum: vocabulary, inference, prediction, explaining, retrieval, sequencing for KS1 and summarising for KS2.
Across the school, children are offered high-quality books that reflect the diversity of our modern world. Classroom book corners include books with cross-curricular links to history, science and geography topics, as well as diverse and inclusive books that feature characters that are traditionally under-represented in children’s literature e.g. BAME characters, characters with physical disabilities, neurodiversity, different types of families and medical conditions. Classroom book corners include interactive displays like a reading ‘question of the week’ and what book that class are currently reading on their classroom door. Book shelves are accessible and child-friendly with different sections for each genre or author. Teachers read to children in all classes, and story time is an important part of the day.
Teachers provide opportunities to read in different subject areas, either to further their understanding of topics, or to develop their emotional literacy (e.g. in PSHE).
Authors are invited into school to share their passions for reading and writing. World Book Day is celebrated as a part of a Book Week, with visits from the Book Fair and a range of reading-related activities in classes, incorporating lots of cross-curricular learning.