At Brookvale Primary School, we recognise that being able to read is the single biggest indicator of success in later life, (OECD, 2021) and, as such, have planned our curriculum where Reading is at the core of everything we do. Our aim is that every pupil will learn to read fluently and confidently, regardless of their background, needs or abilities, by the age of 7. Our reading curriculum enables children to become proficient, fluent readers who develop an enjoyment and appreciation of books, giving them the confidence and skills to succeed and thrive in life.
Alongside the teaching of phonics, children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 also have 30 minute, adult led daily reading practice session. Children are given daily opportunities to apply the phonics they have learned to read fully decodable Rocket Phonics books. Children practise reading in books matched to their secure phonic knowledge when reading words. These sessions focus on three clear skills: fluency, prosody (reading with meaning, stress and intonation) and comprehension (understanding the text). This tailored approach to reading across EYFS and KS1 aims to develop age appropriate fluency and understanding and close attainment gaps.
To support the development of early reading in school and at home, children are given access to decodable Rocket Phonics reading books, which complement and are fully aligned to the phonics programme. These are used as soon as all the letter-sounds in a particular colour band have been taught.
Shared and Whole Class Reading
For children who have successfully mastered all elements of the Rising Stars phonics programme, we teach whole-class and small group shared reading lessons. Within these lessons, children continue to explore and discuss a wide range of purposeful fiction and non-fiction texts that have been carefully selected to enhance the curriculum. Teachers initially model reading aloud to the class, modelling fluency, and prosody followed by children reading aloud. Each text is explored in depth to develop fluency, to unpick vocabulary and to develop a greater understanding of the content.
Often, technology enhances the teaching and learning within shared reading, allowing children to have accessibility to the same texts, scaffolding learning when required. These lessons teach the following reading domains:
In KS1, children (in addition to phonics) will be taught the following skills:
- Draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts
- Identify and explain key aspects of texts, such as characters, events, titles and information
- Be able to sequence events in texts
- Make inferences from the text (look for clues from which we can make an informed assumption)
- Predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far.
Reading in Key Stage 2
At Brookvale Primary School, we want to develop our children’s passion for reading by exposing them to a broad diet of literature across all curriculum areas. Quality literature is implicitly interwoven into our curriculum. Key texts expose our children to various genres and famous authors and enhance the variety of exciting topics that we teach. We have carefully curated texts children access by using the Brookvale 4Cs (Classics, Curriculum, Culture, Choice). These are closely matched to the Lexile measures assigned to each year group and are ambitious both in their scope and vocabulary. Building children’s vocabulary is a core principle of our whole school curriculum.
We also understand that reading is a key life-skill need to overcome disadvantage and we strive to embed a culture of reading into the core of what we do. Teachers expertly use key texts and supplementary curriculum-based texts to deliver whole class, daily reading lessons, focusing on the development of: fluency, comprehension domains, language and the ‘inner-thought’ process of reading.
To develop fluency and comprehension further, children in Year 5 access Reading Plus intervention sessions at least 3 times per week. This bespoke programme aims to develop age-appropriate fluency and understanding as children progress through school and close attainment gaps.
In KS2, children will be taught the following skills:
- Retrieve and record information
- Explain the meaning of words in context
- Identify and explain how meaning is enhanced through words and phrases
- Make inferences from the text, and justify these with evidence
- Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph
- Predict what might happen from what has happened, or what is implied
- Explain how information is related and contributes to meaning
- Make comparisons within and across texts.
Teachers and leaders closely monitor and track the progress children are making in reading in a number of ways:
- Progressive ‘Learning Journeys’ outline reading skills children should acquire at each phase of their education and teachers use these statements as part of their ongoing assessment.
- Rising Star baselines and screening tools are used throughout Key Stage 1 to assess and monitor the progress of each child.
- Standardised NFER Reading Tests are used termly in Years 1 to 6 to support teacher assessment.
If a child is not making the expected progress in reading, they will initially be screened through our phonics assessment to ensure there are no phonetical gaps in their learning. Following this, they will be moved onto a fluency or comprehension reading intervention. Interventions are swift, robust and meaningful, with progress being tracked and evaluated closely.
Developing Life-Long Readers
We believe reading opens up a new world for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places, meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures. Weekly visits to our school library allow children to access high-quality literature, non-fiction texts and poetry, instilling a passion for reading and supports their studies.
Furthermore, our whole-school reading scheme, Rising Stars, gives children access to an online library of over 1000 high-quality, progressive and culturally diverse texts, aligned to the Lexile measure for each individual child. These texts enable, which are set by teacher and accessible at home, allow children to consolidate their reading, as assessed against year group end points.