Communication, Language and Literacy
Reading Curriculum Intent
At SJC federation, Reading and the teaching of Reading is the foundation of our creative curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure that all children become primary literate and progress in the areas of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening so that they can access the full curriculum offer. Teaching children to read confidently, for information and for pleasure is the most important thing that we do. We have high aspirations for all our children and it is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. We have ensured that our inclusive curriculum meets the needs of all learners, including those with SEND.
Leaders prioritise reading and have invested in the leadership of this subject by employing experienced federation AHTs to work collaboratively across the organisation in a coaching capacity. They have utilised the range of experience and expertise to design an exciting, sequential, Reading curriculum that is driven by high quality diverse texts and progressively builds knowledge, understanding and skills. Strong links are made across all curriculum areas to ensure knowledge does not sit in isolation. Meaningful links with other subjects are made to strengthen connections, enable a deeper understanding of vocabulary and allow opportunities for our pupils to transfer knowledge and language across curriculum areas, thus enhancing communication, language and literacy across the curriculum.
Our bespoke Reading curriculum is just as ambitious as the National Curriculum and focuses and consists of three dimensions:
· word reading
· comprehension (both listening and reading).
· Reading for Pleasure
The carefully chosen literature spine from Nursery to Year 6 includes a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. These culturally diverse texts and authors have been chosen to reflect the unique cultures and experiences that our children bring to the federation. Alongside this, we recognise our children live in the city and may have limited experiences within and beyond this. Our pledges and trips, such as residential trips to Wales and trips to museums and theatres, are carefully planned across all curriculum subjects to support the background knowledge and vocabulary our children need to support their reading comprehension and vocabulary. Vocabulary and knowledge are both taught explicitly within our reading lessons.
By the end of Key Stage One, our children will already be successful, fluent decoders through the delivery of consistent high quality, systematic synthetic phonics teaching from EYFS until the end of KS1 (following the RWI programme). They understand that they use their phonics knowledge as the first tool when tackling new words in reading and writing. They will also have a growing understanding of text meaning which will be further developed during Key Stage 2. From Year 2 upwards we teach whole class reading daily. Within these sessions, there is a clear focus on the skills and strategies our children need to become competent readers such as:
A wide ‘diet’ of reading is provided for our children in our federation, including whole class, guided reading, shared reading and individual reading. We consider storytelling and the sharing of stories to be the keystone to develop the enjoyment of reading as well as modelling fluent reading and comprehension skills. We therefore plan in a shared reading experience each day from Nursery to Year 6.
We want our children to have a love of literature and understand how authors can inspire them in the future. To do this, each term we invite an author to our federation, and we pledge that every child will visit the theatre within their time with us.
Read Write Inc
At SJC Federation we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their phonics and reading. RWI is a method of learning centred around letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their early reading and writing.
Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read.
When using RWI to read the children will:
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- learn to read words using Fred Talk
- read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
- show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.
When using RWI to write the children will:
- learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
- learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
- write simple sentences
The Read Write Inc Website has some great tutorial videos to help you understand how Read Write Inc works and how you can support your child at home:
Reading National Curriculum Programme of Study
The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading)
It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (ie unskilled readers) when they start school.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
There are National Assessments in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6.
In Year 1 your child will sit a phonics assessment to identify which phonic patterns your child can recognise and read. The results of this test will be reported in your child's end of year report.
In Year 2 your child will have their first SATs assessment. The tests in Year 2 consist of a set of assessments conducted by your child’s class teacher along with two reading papers.
In Years 3, 4 and 5 you child will be formally assessed each term using NfER assessments . The results won’t be nationally recorded, but they help teachers assess children’s progress and are will be reported in your child’s end of year report.
In Key Stage 2 in year 6, aged 11, your child will sit further Nationally reported SATs tests. These SATs tests are more formal and consist of timed papers in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation and Maths. The papers (with the exception of writing which is marked and moderated in school) are sent away for marking and the results are known before children leave primary school in July. These test results will also be reported in your child’s end of term report.
To assess the children’s reading age we use the Salford Reading Test each term. After the assessment is carried out the results are collated and intervention sessions are timetabled for those children falling below their chronological reading age.
Reading aloud is the most important thing that we do and is a frequent and regular part of each school day. It slows written language down and enables children to hear and take in tunes and patterns. During this protected time, our children experience and enjoy stories that they might not otherwise meet.
Our Class Libraries
Within our federation, we encourage a love of reading whenever we can; children have time daily to read books, and read books that they want to read. Spending time developing the reading environment - book areas, displays, libraries and outdoor reading areas - plays a significant part in encouraging our children to read.
We invest heavily in our class libraries and they are created with a large budget to ensure our children have regular access to high quality literature. Not only do we purchase books, but we invest in the Salford Library Service each half term to ensure our class library books link to our current topic.
Our only criteria for our class libraries are that it is inviting, attractive, filled with up to date books and, most importantly, used and used daily!
At school, we encourage your child to read a range of books and talk about the books they read. Both our reading scheme and class libraries provide children with a wealth of texts in different forms, E.g newspapers, magazines, non-fiction books, modern fiction, poetry and key classics. We encourage our children read their home reading books every day and these are discussed and changed regularly by the class teacher and Teaching Assistant. In class children love to read a book and then recommend that book to their friends, which is all part of our relentless drive to building a strong reading culture.
From their earliest starting points our children are encouraged to develop good home-school reading routines. Each week children in EYFS and KS1 select a ‘reading for pleasure book’- together with an adult- from a wide selection of books in class libraries. Parents are encouraged to read these stories to children as part of a bedtime story routine.
Reception and KS1 children take home a reading book each day from our Federation Early Reading Scheme. Our early reading scheme aligns closely to our systematic synthetic phonics programme, (Read Write Inc.) Reading books are fully decodable and sequential and allow children to practice sounds they have already learnt in class. Books are specially selected from leading publishers: Big Cat Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree and Rising Stars to reflect our Federation Cornerstones and diverse inner city location.
Because reading is a priority in our school, we dedicate every afternoon to hearing/'teaching' children read on a 1 to 1 basis or in a guided reading group with one of our thoroughly- skilled Teaching Assistants. Children will be moved up through the stages when their teacher feels that they are fluent with the words within that stage and they are confident that the child is making meaning from the text.
Celebrating Reading Events
As a Federation, we want our children to leave us with a thirst for knowledge and a love of literature and reading. We place a large focus on reading for enjoyment, and children throughout the school regularly participate in a variety of engaging and inspiring reading activities both in and outside of school.
What better way to encourage reading for pleasure in our school than by having a top-quality author to motivate our students about the joy of reading? Every term we have an author visit, or take our children to the theatre to see the book come to life.
This year alone we have had a visit from the most famous and talented children's author, Frank Cotrell- Boyce and the comic creator Kev Sutherland. As well as this, the whole of our KS2 children had the opportunity to visit the Lowry Theatre to watch the performance 'Billionaire Boy' by David Walliams and Michael Rosen even paid us a visit!
Celebrating National events like world poetry day and World book day are always on our events calendar.
Follow Our Reading Adventures on Twitter
To celebrate our reading across the federation we have our own twitter handle called #SJCreader. Reading for pleasure is strongly influenced by relationships between children, teachers, families and communities. We use this twitter handle to not only celebrate reading across the federation, but to build a strong reading community.
COVID-19 Reading Curriculum Recovery Plan
At our Federation our pupil’s well-being is at the centre of all we do. We acknowledge that the children will have had different experiences during this time, so we have worked hard on our holistic Recovery Curriculum ready to welcome back all pupils in September.
Our Recovery Curriculum acknowledges that there have been big loses to children during this difficult time. We acknowledge that every child in our school has had a different experience during this time and as a school we have prioritised the importance of investing and restoring relationships and providing space for pupils to rebuild their learning voice.
We shall focus on ensuring that the pupils are ready to learn and social and emotional learning will be prioritised. “The anxious child is not a learning child.”(Evidence for learning)
We are aware that pupils will feel anxious about the lost learning time and we hope that by being transparent about how we are addressing these gaps we will help to ‘rebuild their confidence as learners through metacognition’.
At our federation our Reading Recovery Curriculum will be a graduated response, firstly a holistic whole school recovery, then to a more focused needs led targeted approach to a longer term focused on personalised specific support.
Our Holistic Whole School Reading Recovery Approach:
- A whole school scheme of work has been designed for the first 2 weeks in September to support children's return to both school and reading, following the pandemic.
- It’s important our children understand the world has changed and their lives have changed. It’s vital they know that they are not the only ones living in this situation and our teachers share their personal experiences to encourage discussion.
- It’s imperative that we give our children the opportunity to discuss their feelings surrounding the current pandemic. Our reading recovery texts have been chosen to allow for that deep discussion, with a focus on speaking and listening and a reintroduction of the basic reading skills such as fluency, retrieval and summarising.
- Children have had a long time at home with their immediate families and their interactions will have been limited. They will need to develop the basic skills again and adjust to a new way of learning, with speaking and listening at the heart.
- Reading for Pleasure will be an integral part of our daily timetable to engage our children back into a world of books. Reading together will support their sense of belonging, back within our school community.
To support our reading curriculum recovery this academic year our leaders have used the latest COVID response EEF guidance which suggests a 3-tiered* approach:
- High-quality teaching for all
- Effective diagnostic assessment
- Supporting remote learning
• Focusing on professional development
2 Targeted academic support
- High-quality one to one and small group tuition
- Teaching Assistants and targeted support
- Academic tutoring
- Planning for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
3 Wider strategies
- Supporting pupils’ social, emotional and behavioural needs
- Planning carefully for adopting a Social and Emotional Learning curriculum
- Communicating with and supporting parents
- Supporting parents with pupils of different ages
- Successful implementation in challenging times