The Reading Curriculum
The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two 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 (i.e. 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 in which they live, 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.
For the full programme of study for Literacy from the Department for Education, please click HERE.
Reading in St Luke’s
“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives… She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
― Roald Dahl, Matilda
Developing a love of reading begins in our Nursery where the children engage in phase 1 phonics activities, reading stories together, choosing their own books in the book corner, recognising names and key words, joining in with rhymes and songs and developing their understanding of spoken as well as written language.
Throughout Reception and KS1 all our pupils receive daily synthetic phonics at an appropriate phase for their developing abilities, taught in a systematic and interactive way. In addition to phonics, word reading is taught alongside comprehension through regular individual reading, guided reading, shared reading across the curriculum, whole class reading and free choice in continuous provision. Individual reading books are colour banded so that home reading books can selected appropriately for pupils to practise their reading skills independently, whereas books they read in school are pitched at an ‘instructional level’. Reading becomes an integral part of classroom activities and children are encouraged to respond to texts on a personal level.
In KS2 children’s comprehension and enthusiasm for reading is developed further by giving pupils access to and experiences of a wide selection of literature, ranging all the way from comic books to classic literature. Reading skills and comprehension strategies continue to be taught through individual reading, guided reading, shared reading across the curriculum, whole class stories, reading clubs and library time. Alongside this, pupils are encouraged to reflect and respond critically to an author’s choice of language, use of organisational features, purpose and aims and think about the historical and cultural significance of texts.
Throughout the school year we celebrate and promote reading through World Book Day, visits to local libraries, second-hand book sales, KS2 reading clubs and our KS1 Jackanory club. We have also created little 'reading areas' within our school where small groups of pupils or individuals can snuggle up with a good book!
Coming soon: Wordsmith – an online learning resource for Literacy which children will be able to access with their own login, both in school and at home.
St Luke's phonics scheme: Letters and Sounds
St Luke's reading Scheme: We encourage children to read a wide variety of texts and have therefore stocked our reading boxes with a range of reading materials including: Oxford Reading Tree, Bug Club, Floppy Phonics, Project X, Alien Adventures, All stars and PM books
Here are some websites to encourage reading at home:
We have a range of reading interventions for pupils who need extra support to make good progress and close the gap to national expectations. Members of staff have been trained to deliver the ‘Better Reading Partnership’, ‘Fischer Family Trust’ and ‘Inference Training’ interventions to individuals and small groups of children. In addition to these, there are Year 2 and Year 6 booster groups and additional phonics sessions led by our fabulous EAL team as part of our induction programme for newly arrived pupils who are new to English.
At the end of Year 1, a short phonics screening check is conducted to ensure that pupils are able to phonetically decode words to an appropriate standard.
At the end of KS1 and KS2 (Yr2 and Yr 6) pupils sit reading SATs papers which support the reported teacher-assessed reading attainment level and are published nationally.
Throughout the year reading is continually assessed using St Luke's reading KIPs (Key Indicators of Progress) using formative data from across the curriculum as well as from individual reading, guided reading and independent post-guided reading tasks.
For children currently working at KS1 and LKS2 age-related expectations, PM Benchmarking assessments are carried out regularly to ensure that individual and guided reading texts are pitched appropriately to develop pupils’ mechanical reading and comprehension.
Comprehension tests are administered termly in all KS1 and KS2 classes to track progress and identify gaps and we also use the Salford Reading Test to track reading ages to ensure all children make great progress.
Our school library is available for all the children to use and enjoy. Pupils can choose to read and borrow a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts including picture books, novels, poetry collections, newspapers, comic strips, reference texts and books from all curriculum areas. We re-stock the library regularly to ensure broad appeal and provide books which continue to expand pupils’ horizons.
Pupils are able to visit the library individually and in small groups during lesson times and break times to explore books and texts, read with an adult, borrow books, engage in reading games and conduct research. The library provides opportunities for reading on Kindles and mini-laptops as well as listening to audiobooks. We also visit Longsight Library to access an even wider selection of books so there's always something for everyone to enjoy!
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
― Philip Pullman