Reading at Roche
How we prioritise reading...
It all starts with phonics!
At Roche we feel that reading is the cornerstone to progress in so many aspects of learning. We feel that children must learn to read in order for them to read to learn. The first step on this journey is the systematic learning of phonics. All children must crack the phonics code before they can develop fluency and automaticity as readers.
We teach phonics throughout EYFS, Key Stage 1 and this continues in Key Stage 2 for those requiring additional support to make progress. Our principle aim for phonics is to develop the skills to read fluently, as well as to build firm foundations of vocabulary.
We teach phonics through the Read, Write, Inc. Programme. Children are assessed every half term and grouped according to their progress. Those who are not making enough progress are immediately put on a catch-up programme to prevent them falling behind.
A summative assessment is made in Year 1 using the National Phonics Screening Test where children are tested on their phonics ability and their score compared to a National Average. Children who do not attain the expected score retake the assessment at a later date in Year 2.
Children’s reading books are exactly matched to their phonics ability and the content of the phonics lesson that they have each week. This enables children to practice the same sounds at home that they are learning in school. We hold 2 training sessions for Reception parents and carers on how phonics works to develop reading. We have a Parent’s phonics page on our website where they can access videos that compliment the learning that their children are doing in school.
The practice applied in phonics through the Read Write Inc. scheme is further developed in Key Stage 2 where we use the Read, Write, Inc. Spelling program.
A high proportion of staff are trained in the delivery of Read Write Inc. and school has a phonics leader who coaches and quality assures provision. School uses development days with representatives from the Kernow English Hub to further advance and maximise the impact of phonics teaching at every level.
How we promote a love of reading!
Engagement and enjoyment
In Reception class, we value the ‘five-a-day’ approach, which sees the children engaging in five texts, including stories, poems, information texts and nursery rhymes each day. This immerses the children in a wide range of vocabulary and allows their comprehension skills to be developed. It is a great precursor to the 'Shared Reading' initiative. The 'five-a-day' sparks and develops children’s levels of concentration and attainment in reading and writing, as well as their enjoyment and, ultimately, their love of reading!
In response to our evaluation of reading, school developed it’s ‘Shared Reading’ initiative that sees each class reading three times a week as a group using whole class sets of texts so that every child has a book in their hands enabling the class to read, discuss and enjoy the story or information together, and in particular develop vocabulary. This initiative begins in the Summer Term of Reception class which enables a great transition to Year 1. It then carries on throughout the school. Each text is carefully chosen and has a meaningful rationale. Texts are chosen to be engaging and enjoyable and ensure that children experience a high quality reading experience. The ‘Shared Reading’ session is also used for teaching reading. We use a set of generic question categories known as VIPERS to structure the learning and practise of comprehension, inference and retrieval skills and encourage a focus on vocabulary discussion and application. Teachers have developed the questions used for each shared reading text in their class. Our frequent written comprehensions give teachers information on what skills the class have and need in terms of comprehension meaning that they can tailor the VIPERS questions to these domains giving the class opportunities to practise and apply the appropriate knowledge and skills, and ultimately progress.
We make the most of opportunities to read in subject areas such as History. This can also be a particularly useful context for reading and sharing non-fiction texts.
Time to read
Whilst we encourage parents to read with their children throughout their time at school, we also commit time in school to read. Firstly, we dedicate time to individual independent reading to promote fluency and engagement, utilising the Accelerated Reader scheme with all children as soon as they complete Read Write Inc. phonics. Accelerated Reader offers a competitive element to reading, which encourages children to read as much as possible but also as deeply as possible. The Accelerated Reader system enables children to regulate their own progress and push themselves to read and achieve more. It promotes reading for meaning and develops comprehension skills alongside enjoyment and greater engagement in what they are reading. It also gives us clear information to share with parents about their child’s progress.
How we make sure that children make progress in reading
Read Write Inc. is our systematic approach and it starts with sets of sounds then moves on to Ditty books. Children then progress through groups with associated sounds and accurately matched reading books and writing activities. Children start this straight away in Reception Class. All children who have Read Write Inc. receive an hour a day Phonics lesson.
Phonics lessons follow the same sequence of teach, practise, revise, review and apply each time. Planning includes assessment of the graphemes taught. Phonics progress is assessed every half term to inform progression through the groups and to identify gaps in learning that may need to be met through intervention or additional teaching. School’s phonics lead coordinates and quality assures assessment of phonics.
The quality and consistency of phonics delivery is monitored by school’s phonics leader every two weeks via a learning walk that includes coaching and feedback. Regular staff meetings are held for all staff who deliver phonics to share good practice, new initiatives and coaching points.
In 'Shared Reading' the VIPERS approach to teaching reading is applied from Year 1 to Year 6. The consistent focus on 6 areas of learning in reading leads to consistency. Regular assessment through comprehension indicates strengths and areas for development within these 6 areas and informs teachers' planning.
Teachers will use videos of texts being read and audio books as well as reading themselves. They will choose the most engaging medium for delivery and ensure variety. Teachers may choose to revisit texts that have been read before in order for children to understand how perspective on the same story evolves. This aspect of the reading curriculum is focused on children’s enjoyment and engagement with reading and the development of their appreciation of the diversity of the world of stories and poetry.
There are a number of reasons and factors that result in children needing to catch up with their peers in areas of learning. School employs a range of strategies to assist children in catching up and making expected or better progress.
Support is firmly based upon assessment of need so is derived from the outcome of teacher assessments and tests. School endeavours to make these assessments as diagnostic as possible in order to target the exact areas of learning to enable a child to catch up.
Children start phonics in the first full week that they join our Reception class! They all start at the same level and are then differentiated in to levelled groups as they progress. Individual assessment indicates the sounds they know and the sounds that they are struggling to learn. From this, the teacher can plan for small groups or individuals to have extra lessons in phonics or interventions to fill the gaps. Re-assessment at each half termly interval means that all children who are doing phonics are closely monitored and can move up and down the grouping system to match their rates of progress and learning. Occasionally, a child will struggle over a period of time and require a greater frequency of intervention than their peers to make progress. Where required, the intervention may continue throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1. These children typically may not pass the Year 1 phonics assessment but pass the retake assessment at the end of Year 2. They needed an extra year.
For a small number of children, intervention to make progress in learning to read, may carry on in to Key Stage 2. Until children can decode to read effectively, they will always struggle to make academic progress so support is maintained. In some instances, they may have mastered decoding but still require support and additional practice to gain fluency and speed in reading. School continues to use Read Write Inc. to structure support as a familiar system but will also use intervention strategies such as Precision Teaching.
How we train staff as reading experts
All teaching and support staff in EYFS and Key Stage 1 are trained to deliver Read Write Inc. In addition to this, a number of staff in Key Stage 2 are also trained as they deliver the program as an intervention. School uses face to face and online training resources to deliver intervention. School invests in development days where the Read Write Inc. team from the Cornwall English Hub visit school to quality assure provision, coach staff and assist with planning and development. School has its own phonics leader who coaches and quality assures provision in all areas of phonics.
School developed its 'Shared Reading' approach based on research and pilot schemes run in-house. 'Shared Reading' is quality assured by our English leader and teachers watch each other delivering 'Shared Reading' in order to share good practice. A number of HLTAs are also able to deliver 'Shared Reading' sessions. Teachers have been trained to use assessment information from comprehension activities to identify the content domain that children are struggling with and adapt their future plans for the teaching of reading to address the domain content.
Reading to Enhance the Broader Curriculum
We make the most of opportunities to read in subject areas such as History. This can be a particularly useful context for reading and sharing non-fiction texts.
Click on the individual year group curriculum plans on the main curriculum page to see the key texts that are used across each year group.
Reading for Pleasure
Alongside the reading systems in school that match texts to ability levels, children are able to access a range of fiction and non-fiction texts that they can read at home or with a parent or carer. We want children to choose books based on interest. We want children to engage with books for pleasure. We know that children will be exposed to new vocabulary and different genres by selecting their own books.
In addition to all other forms of reading, teachers read to their class every day. The stories and poems selected for this activity are chosen under a number of criteria that;
- Compliment another area of study such as History or Science
- Expose children to the work of new authors
- Introduce ‘classics’ of children’s literature
- Capitalise on local, national or international events
- Reflect the protective characteristics that may be the focus of PSHE or RSHE learning that term or that reflect the focus on Wellbeing.
- Prepare children for an event such as a theatre visit
- Introduce brand new literature, prize winning texts or the best reviewed children’s books of the moment
- Introduce or exemplify new vocabulary and structure
- Draw on the suggestions of children or parents