Reading at Greasbrough

Greasbrough Primary School Reading Strategy

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.

George R.R Martin

The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Dr Seuss

RATIONALE (Why teach reading?)

Through the teaching of reading we are aiming to instil a love of reading through the development of fluency and understanding of vocabulary. We believe that by developing this love of reading we are equipping our children with the skills necessary to function as citizens in society as well as broadening their horizons and adding to their cultural capital.  Tolerance, respect and empathy are skills we wish to teach our children through exposure to characters and stories.  We hope to raise aspirations of all our learners to allow them to experience success in life.  We believe that we can give children experiences through texts which they may never have the opportunity to experience.

Early Phonics – Letters and Sounds

F1- Children begin phase 1 when they start in Foundation.  Autumn/Spring – Phase 1, introducing graphemes (Phase 2) Summer term

F2 – In Autumn 1 of Foundation 2 children are taught Phase 2; in Autumn 2 phase 3 is taught. During the Spring term Phase 2 and 3 are consolidated and in the Summer term phase 4 is taught. 

Y1 started on phase 3 Autumn term this year for the first 4 weeks to consolidate learning missed from lockdown. Post Co-Vid children in Y1 to consolidate phase 3/4 in Autumn 1 then start Phase 5.

Y2 – Children not passing phonics screen to access phase 5 as a phonics intervention.  Rest of class to start Phase 6.  Dependent on class and security of phonics checks – suggested way forward – 3 days phase 5 revision, 2 days phase 6.  The NC Appendices 1 and 2 are also used to support the teaching of phase 6.

KS2 – Children in KS2 who haven’t passed the phonics screen to receive daily phonics intervention – 4 part lesson.  Children at the end of Y3 who haven’t passed the phonics check may move on to alternative interventions such as Rainbow Reading to best meet their needs as we acknowledge that for a minority of children phonics may not be the best method for teaching children to read.

Letters and Sounds is used to plan daily lessons.  Phonics Play is used to support planning and resourcing for phonics.  Every lesson must follow the 4 part lesson (Revisit, Teach, Practice, Apply), including interventions.  Additional short revisit sessions may be planned for target children.  Baskets of phonics resources for each phase are available to support independent learning in continuous provision or on table top displays.  New Letters and Sounds videos are an excellent resource material for home learning.  Phoneme fingers, robot arms and sound buttons are used consistently to support children’s phonics learning.  There should always be a phonics interactive activity/table top display in FS and KS1.  Phoneme mats etc should be readily available on display (FS) or in Learning Journeys (KS1) and in any children accessing intervention in KS2.

Parents Phonics Meetings held at the beginning of each year in F1, F2 and Y1.  Children’s phonics phase they are secure at, is shared with parents each year in their Record of Achievement. (End of year report)

Assessment in phonics – Phonics assessment booklets started in F1 and are  passed through school with a child.  These are updated weekly by a member of staff.  Phonics screens are used as an assessment tool from Y1 every half term.  These are tracked and interventions planned from them.

Guided Reading

From Spring term in F1 children look at a Phase 1 book with an adult on a weekly basis.  This is to teach skills such as holding a book correctly, turning the pages and retelling a story.  By Summer term some children may access a Phase 2 book with an adult which they should be able to read.

In Foundation Stage 2 children are listened to read individually once a week in Autumn and Spring term.  By Summer term children are allocated a guided reading group and listened to on a weekly basis.  Some children may still be accessing individual reading to support their needs.

All year groups from Y1 to Y6 carry out a daily guided reading session from 9am to 9.30am.  From Spring term 1 Y6 carry out whole class reading comprehension of SATs materials. Class teacher reads with a group per day so all children are listened to throughout the week. 

Other activities throughout the week include: Immersive Reading Task (this is often led by a teaching assistant and works to develop comprehension and understanding of the text), Cracking Comprehension (this is mainly carried out as a whole class to allow adults to model effective pupil response to questions), Follow up task (this is a written response in the child’s Guided Reading journal in response to the text read with class teacher).

The final task differs in KS1 and KS2 with children in KS1 accessing Active Learn which supports children’s independent reading and comprehension skills.  In KS2 children complete a pre-read task which feeds into the teacher read, this allows for things such as unfamiliar vocabulary to be identified before the teacher read.

Rainbow Reading is also a strategy used to support children in developing their fluency and comprehension skills.  This can be used in place of Guided Reading tasks or as an intervention.

Reading Champions

All year groups from F1 to Y6 have children targeted for intervention to work with a reading champion throughout the week. These children have been chosen for many reasons (gaps in learning, less support at home with reading, children who need to develop a love of reading). Children are identified on a tracker, where they are benchmarked each half term to track progress. Children are listened to a minimum 2 days per week with their reading champion where they will talk about a love of reading together and enjoy reading together. Reading champions can be adults working in school or volunteers who read with children.  At the end of the year all children to write a thank you letter/card to their reading champion

The Hilary Ford Award is carried out through school to support develop children’s love of reading.  Each year a Year 6 child is chosen to recognise the most improved reader throughout their time at school. Their name is displayed in school and they receive a certificate and a replica trophy to take home.  On a termly basis a child is chosen from each class who has made the most progress in reading.  They receive a trophy, certificate and pin badge.  Children then write a letter to Hilary explaining how they feel about their achievement and the progress they have made. A file of all the letters is kept in school and displayed.   There is a display in school to display the annual trophy and the book of letters to Hilary so that the award is high profile across the school. The board also displays pictures/comments/evaluations from the termly class winners.

Reading Challenge/Reading for Pleasure

The aim of the Reading Challenge is to develop reading for pleasure.  

In Foundation Stage children take home a story sack (book and props) every week.  The aim is that children spend time sharing these with their family and twice per half term the parent records their child retelling the story.  For children who complete all the tasks (4 per term) they will receive the bronze, silver and gold badges in line with the rest of school.

All year groups from Y1 to Y6 have a set of reading challenge texts. The children choose a text to take home and enjoy reading. Once read, the child completes a task on their reading challenge sheet and is able to then choose another text to go home. An adult in school then signs off the text on their reading challenge mat (Kept in their learning journey).  Children are rewarded with bronze, silver and gold reading challenge badges in celebration assembly.  All classes have a well developed area to promote reading challenge texts to encourage children to access these texts.

From 2.50pm every day class teachers will read the class text/another high quality story for 15/20 minutes before the end of the school day.  In Key Stage 2 children may be chosen to read the end of day story.  Stories are also shared during assemblies at the end of the day.

Home/School Reading

In Foundation children are sent home initially with phase 1/ lilac phonics books containing no words to help them understand the structure of a book and to develop their ability to talk about and tell stories. Once the children are able to aurally blend simple words and can recognise some graphemes they take home a phase 2 reading book that is closely matched to their phonic knowledge. Children progress through the phonics phases at their own level and books are taken home daily.  Therefore, children in Foundation Stage will take home a phonics matched reading book and a story sack on a daily basis.

All children in KS1 take home a phonetically matched text each week. This is changed once a week. This is as well as their reading challenge book.

In KS2 children take home their reading challenge book on a daily basis.  Children also have a weekly, timetabled library slot where they can choose a library book to take home.

There is an expectation that children are listened to read a minimum of 5 times a week.  Any child who reads 5 or more times a week is put into a weekly draw to win a book of their choice.  

Book bags and books should be brought into school daily and checked by an adult.  This is tracked and followed up for non-engagement with a phone call home. .

Interventions – SEND/Bottom 20%

SEND children and the bottom 20% of readers are identified on a teacher’s planning to allow for targeted support within all lessons.

In Early Years children are identified to receive early intervention from a Reading Champion to engage them in accessing texts. Children at this stage receive more regular 1:1 reading alongside  regular 1:1/small group phonics sessions.  

In Foundation and Key Stage 1 target children are sat near the class teacher during the whole class phonics session.  This allows for short bespoke interventions which take place as part of AfL within a lesson.  Y3 children who did not pass phonics screen receive an intervention and are tested on the phonics screen each half term. This is carefully tracked to allow children to narrow the gap with their peers.

Reading interventions such as Rainbow Reading take place with target children identified through class provision maps.  These identified children receive targeted support from teaching assistants twice weekly to improve their reading fluency and comprehension skills.  Children are assessed at the beginning of the intervention and regularly tracked to identify progress.

Challenge of GDS Readers

To support the development of Greater Depth readers children have access to a wider range of reading texts within the school library, further developing their love of reading.  Immersive reading areas in classrooms help develop children’s understanding of a text allowing them to discuss this in detail, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the text.  The School Library Service provides high quality texts and lead sessions and book clubs with children to challenge thinking around texts.  Reading shelters on KS1 and KS2 yards promote a love of reading and allow children extra opportunities to read for pleasure.  

Fluency Videos & Peer Critique

Children in Foundation Stage are recorded reading and they enjoy watching themselves back and having discussions with adults about their reading.  These are then used by adults to monitor progress of children.

From Y1 children are recorded reading half termly and reflect on this to identify their own strengths and areas for development.  This is completed the last week of each half term in Guided Reading sessions and followed up with peer critique.  Children work collaboratively in pairs to watch each other reading and identify warm and cold feedback.  This is evidenced in children’s Guided Reading journals and returned to half termly.  The main purpose of this is to allow children to observe best practice and set themselves targets for improvement.  

Engaging families in Reading

Throughout the year we hold a number of events involving parents and carers to support their involvement in their child’s reading.  Each year children are provided with a home school reading record which contains example questions and statements to support children’s reading at home.  There is an expectation that children bring this to school daily to be checked by adults in school and children are rewarded for their efforts.  Parents are invited to Guided Reading sessions to observe teachers delivering this to support their skills in reading with their children at home.

Other events such as Reading Breakfasts, Bedtime Reading evenings, Family Learning sessions focussing on reading (such as making story sacks) regularly take place to allow parents to work alongside their child and develop a love of reading.  All these events are highly successful and well attended.

School Library

Junior Librarians are in place across school who take pride in their role.  They have responsibility for keeping reading areas tidy and welcoming as well as supporting teachers in collating texts to support whole class topics.  Reading displays are planned and designed by Junior Librarians and they often run reading competitions to engage children in reading.  

All KS2 classes have an allocated weekly 1 hour session in the school library where children are encouraged to take home books to read and share with their adults.  This appeals particularly to disengaged readers due to access to newspapers, annuals, non-fiction books etc.  The F.R.O.G.S group are active members of our school community who take pride in supporting our children in accessing school library books.

Immersive Reading Areas (IRE)

All classrooms from F1 to Y6 have Immersive Reading Areas to support the teaching of the class text.  These develop over the course of the term in line with the plot.  Children use these areas to become fully immersed in the text and ‘become’ the characters in the story.  Children are timetabled weekly access to these areas alongside a task requiring a written response.  

Assessment and Tracking

Target mats are used to assess children’s reading skills on a daily basis.  These are kept in children’s learning journeys and used during guided reading sessions.  Children take ownership of these and work alongside the class teacher to provide evidence of meeting agreed targets.  Other forms of assessment such as practice SATS/PiRA tests are used to support teacher judgements.  

On a half termly basis children’s reading levels are submitted on to the EMag and progress is tracked.  Children making no progress are encouraged to discuss their targets with an adult and identify areas for improvement.  Long term no progress children are then discussed and intervention put in place.  

Reading trackers are displayed in all classrooms to track weekly reading at home.  Children reading 5 or more times a week are put into a weekly draw to win a book.  

Teaching of Spelling

In Foundation Stage children are taught spelling in line with their phonics teaching. Tricky words are taught as part of phonics teaching and reinforced throughout the provision and through songs, rhymes, mnemonics etc. Children are taught using a variety of strategies such as magnetic letters, writing in sand etc throughout the provision and are exposed to the words in print.  

Continuing into Key Stage 1 children continue to learn spellings following the phonics being taught in class.  Spelling patterns are identified and children are provided with spellings to take home and learn.  Children are given 5 spellings following a given pattern and are then challenged to find 5 additional spellings following the same rule.  Children practice these at home and are tested on a weekly basis.  Results are tracked and support put in place if required.  Try dictionaries are used in school to support children in developing independence in spelling.  Word mats are provided for children’s learning journeys as well as age appropriate common exception words.  Again a variety of strategies are used to engage children in practising spellings in and out of school.  Spellings are also taught through handwriting to give children more exposure throughout the week.  The NC appendices are used in both Key Stage 1 and 2 to ensure coverage of common exception words.

In Key Stage 2 spelling is taught in a similar way to Key Stage 1.  Discrete spelling is taught twice a week with consistent spelling slides used throughout school.  All children recap on phonemes before completing a speed read of the previous week’s spellings.  Children are then exposed to the spelling rule and spellings for the week and provided with different activities to help practice the rule.  Children are given a set of spellings each week to learn as part of their homework, as well as looking at these during spelling lessons. Children explore the meanings of the words, apply them to context and look for patterns. 

All classes also have a ‘Word of the Week’ often taken from the class text.  This is displayed in the class and discussed for its meaning.  Children are then expected to use this, spelt correctly in their own learning.

Marking and feedback of spelling has high expectations of what children can achieve.  There is an emphasis on children checking their learning for spelling errors before submitting it to adults for feedback.  Words that have previously been taught to children are highlighted with an expectation that children will return to them and correct.  Up to 3 new spellings are also highlighted for children to use dictionaries to correct.

Knowledge organisers are created each term from Y1 to Y6. These are kept inside the children’s learning journeys and include cross curricular key vocabulary about the current topic . Children are encouraged to refer to this when using these words in their learning. As part of the display policy all displays, including the IRE area promote key vocabulary for the children to use as part of their cross curricular learning.   

Termly Spelling Bee competitions take place focusing on common exception words.