Reading

The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

At Gawthorpe Academy, books are celebrated throughout school.  The community of Gawthorpe does not have easy access to a high-quality library or other rich source of books so we have a commitment to surrounding children with books and developing a love of books and stories.  The environment is a treasure trove of books, including appealing displays in classrooms, well-loved and frequently used book areas in classrooms and tempting arrangements of books in corridors to spark children’s interest and enthusiasm.  Conversations about books can be heard around school as both children and adults discover books which interest and intrigue them, and which they want to share with others. The school library is cherished by pupils and staff, and is in the process of being renewed and refurbished after moving to a bigger space in school to raise the profile of reading even further.

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth.  What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.  Books help us to understand who we are and how we are to behave.  They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” Anne Lamott, novelist.

Reading Statement of Intent

At Gawthorpe we believe in creating a love of books and reading from the very start, encouraging children to see reading as a prize in its own right.  Reading is promoted by all as the key to success in all areas of the curriculum and this is fostered through the provision of high quality, appealing texts to support teaching in the wider curriculum.

The high priority of reading is demonstrated through the way books are promoted in classrooms, children read every day in class, children are read carefully selected books by an adult every day in class, adults model a love of and enthusiasm for reading, and through the thorough planning and progression of the teaching of reading throughout school.  We follow the EYFS Framework and KS1 and KS2 National Curriculum for reading.

Through the use of the systematic synthetic Floppy’s Phonics programme, early readers are taught the knowledge and skills to accurately and efficiently decode words with the intent that by the end of Key Stage 1 all children are fluent readers who are able to access age-appropriate texts.

From Year 2 onwards, children are taught whole class guided reading using the “Book Talk” (Jane Considine) approach, with the aim that children are exposed to high quality, vocabulary rich texts which they can fluently read.  Comprehension is at the heart of the approach, which equips children to develop oracy and demonstrate all the required comprehension skills through focussed, structured and scaffolded conversation.

The school library is at the heart of the school and is well used by staff and children alike in fostering a love of reading.  All classes have a timetabled slot to visit the library, as well as lunchtime openings which offer the opportunity to spend time in the library and enjoy additional story time.

We intend for every child to leave Gawthorpe as a fluent, skilled reader with a love of and appreciation for books and all they offer.

Implementation

Phonics is taught through the Oxford Floppy’s Phonics scheme.  This is a rigorous synthetic phonics programme for teaching reading and writing success. This programme engages children from the outset and enables them to read quickly.  It is a well-structured programme with carefully paced lessons and follows a clear teaching sequence. It is matched to fully decodable books, ensuring reading practice that is matched to the children’s phonic knowledge.  There is an element of language, oracy and vocabulary development built into the programme which supports the wider curriculum. Phonics is taught daily and lessons follow a prescribed structure: Revise sounds using the flashcards and frieze displayed in the classroom; teach new sounds using the flashcards and an online page spread which matches the fully decodable books; practice new and revised sounds and letter groups using letter sheets.  Frequent and systematic assessment means that where children are at risk of falling behind, they can be quickly identified and additional support put into place to ensure that they keep up.  For children beyond Key Stage 1 who are identified as needing additional phonics support, a daily Floppy’s phonics session is taught in addition to their whole class guided reading lesson.

Book Talk lessons from Year 2 upwards involve the use of set, high quality books which all children read independently or are supported to read.  Time is given for children to read, with a specific comprehension focus.  This is followed by a structured talk session where children discuss their understanding and interpretation of the text.  Sentence starters are given as a scaffold so that children’s oracy skills are built and frequently practised.  This routine is completed three times within a reading lesson, meaning that children have three different comprehension focus lenses within each lesson.

Children are expected to bring home-school reading books into school every day and reading records are checked to ensure that children read regularly at home.  Priority 1-1 readers are identified in each class and given the opportunity to read to an adult in school in addition to whole class guided reading lessons and any additional phonics provision.  When children have completed the Floppy’s phonics programme they are allocated reading books accurately through the use of book bands which are frequently checked to ensure children are accessing books at the appropriate level.

Impact

Children have the knowledge and skills to be able to confidently read books at an appropriate level and understand them.  Children make sustained progress in reading which is demonstrated in Year 2 and Year 6 end of Key Stage assessments.  Pupil voice interviews will establish that children talk about books with clarity, understanding and enjoyment.

We intend that through the high-quality teaching of reading, children are well equipped for the next phase of their learning.