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.

“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.

We teach and learn using a systematic, synthetic phonics approach (Read Write Inc). Our goal is for all children to be reading fluently at an age-appropriate level by the end of Year 2. Many children will achieve this earlier, where their breadth of content is widened. Groups are fluidly set so that teaching is closely matched with children’s phonetic knowledge. This is informed through constant formative assessment alongside half-termly summative assessments.

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

At Gawthorpe, we teach phonics using the Read.Write.Inc phonics programme. Read. Write. Inc. is a rigorous, research-informed approach to phonics that gives children the best chance of learning the essential knowledge and skills that form the foundation of reading. Read. Write.Inc is carefully sequenced, ensuring that children are clearly taught all of the most important aspects of the code required for fluent reading. Where required, systematic interventions based on the Read.Write.Inc approach are used to ensure that all children have the best chance of success in learning to read.

Phonically controlled books (sometimes called decodables) that are precisely matched to the Read.Write.Inc phonics programme are employed throughout Reception and Year 1 as part of children’s daily reading diet. Children take home phonically controlled books each week to practise their decoding alongside a book of their choice from the reading corner of their classroom to be shared with their parents/carers.

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.

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.