We all know just how important reading is. We all also know that striking the balance between teaching the skills and mechanics of reading and inspiring a genuine love of reading is tricky. We’re making changes to develop both sides of this challenge.
Our work is underpinned by two key pieces of research: The Rose Report and the Scarborough Model of Reading. These set out our dual focus of developing both word recognition and language comprehension simultaneously and with all of their encompassing parts. Our work is furthered by our own data (both statutory and in-school) and the pedagogical beliefs of our staff. This dual approach is outlined and mapped through our Reading Routeway. This information has been shared with Governors and with parents during our November Parents Workshop.
We have recently introduced ‘StoryTime Phonics’ as our Phonics system. As a school, we have performed well in statutory tests for a sustained period of time but have found a difficulty in transitioning into a greater focus on language comprehension. StoryTime Phonics using books by celebrated authors as a gateway to introducing each phoneme. This has been introduced to Year 1 in the first instance with a clear strategic plan for wider application as the system of choice. Any child who does not pass the phonics test in Year 1 will continue to receive daily phonics lessons in Year 2. If a child does not pass the phonics test in Year 2 then additional intervention will be implemented to ensure that any barriers are overcome as quickly as possible.
We have an increased focus on Writing and Reading linking together (See Writing page). As such, the Wider Curriculum Team for Romero has mapped out combinations of core texts, visual literacy elements and picture books linked to each Theme. This has been supported by additional working on the ‘Reading through to Writing journey’. This will ensure a variety of coverage, engagement and that sufficient time is given.
The exposure children have to a range of authors and a range of texts through both English, Theme and Reading has been mapped out to ensure progression and exposure that will engage and motivate as many children as possible.
It is expected that KS1 will have at least 4 Reading sessions each week and that KS2 will have at least 3. These are to be delivered in set slots in the timetable. It is understood that when trips or special events are happening these may need to move. For Ker Stage 1 these will be separate to your phonics lessons. Where children have additional reading needs, interventions will work in addition to these lessons.
In-Depth Analysis (Reading Vipers)
VIPERS is an acronym: Vocabulary, Infer, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise/Sequence. For our extended reading lessons (and everywhere possible), questions are aligned to this acronym and question stems are support teachers in ensuring focused provision. Part of our rationale for moving to an hour-long lesson in Key Stage 2 is to give sufficient time for children to really explore a text in detail and to enjoy wider discussions around the text.
Last year we are introducing a system called ‘Reading Explorers’. Reading Explorers provides age-appropriate texts (with additional BAR and EAR extracts) and focuses on breaking skills down into three main categories: Literal, Deductive and Inference. We are not following the scheme directly and therefore texts are chosen to mix between the categories and this is used to supplement the VIPERS work.
By centralizing a text as the focus of our English work, children are captured and inspired to be active in Reading. Taking time to build stories and share ideas really do make a difference. In addition to this, separate class readers are used to introducing new authors or genres to classes
Home reading also presents the challenge of reading development and reading for enjoyment. Our reading band system is set up to ensure that children are directed to appropriate books for their reading skill. Where a child is not currently on one of these bands they will be receiving additional reading intervention to try and close the gap.
Alongside this, we aim to empower our children with room to make their own choices about the books they read. This can involve re-reading their favourite books (something we sometimes do as adults). Children may want to read things that are not in their books bands – such as more challenging reads, comics or newspapers- this is encouraged and will help promote the love of reading we are after.