READING AT ST LUKE'S
What do we want to achieve?
Rationale: The importance of reading
At St Luke’s, reading is recognised as fundamental to the children’s learning and therefore is an essential and integral part of all areas of the curriculum. We understand that children will not be 'highly engaged' if they struggle to read, therefore the teaching of reading is one of our top priorities with a heavy emphasis on the teaching of phonics.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum as we understand the importance of talk and stories, and the critical links between these, especially the role stories play in developing young children’s vocabulary and language.
We aim for all of our pupils to leave St Luke's as independent, enthusiastic and knowledgeable readers, inspired by our reading and wider curriculum. It is our mission to make sure that every child in our school becomes a fluent reader.
We have invested and continue to invest in an abundance of new and exciting texts throughout our curriculum with the aim of inspiring our pupils to not only learn how to read, but also ignite a desire in them to want to read.
Our reading curriculum is underpinned by the national curriculum programmes of study for reading and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) statutory framework. It has been carefully designed to meet the needs of our children and ensure that pupils:
What does reading look like at St Luke’s?
At St Luke’s, we teach phonics through a systematic synthetic phonics programme called 'Essential Letters and Sounds'. This is a
Our aim is for all of our pupils to become fluent readers, reading with accuracy and at an appropriate speed to ensure enjoyment and a good level of comprehension. Teachers model correct reading fluency daily through guided reading sessions, story time and through plenty of other reading opportunities across the wider curriculum. Teachers use techniques such as ‘Echo reading’ and 'Choral reading’ to model good fluency and enable children to practise themselves. If children are struggling to read fluently, teachers identify this and implement the appropriate support. This is detailed within the policy below.
Guided reading sessions begin in our EYFS. In Nursery, 'Focus Reading' sessions take place in small groups to instil a love of reading and kick start discussions around books. In Reception, texts are selected to teach early comprehension and decoding skills to children in small groups. These carefully selected texts are alternated each week to either focus on a decodable book or a reading for pleasure book. Within these sessions, teachers model fluency and engage children in discussions about the text to improve their understanding and language comprehension. Children also have the opportunity to share what they liked or disliked about the text and start to make links between other stories that they have read.
When children move into Key Stage One, they continue to access small group guided reading sessions to support their decoding skills and reading fluency. Additionally, they participate in whole class reading sessions three times a week where the teacher uses an extract to teach a wider range of comprehension skills:
Teachers select an age appropriate text each week either from our ‘Complete Comprehension’ scheme or another high quality text to support pupils' wider learning, particularly within writing units. These texts are specifically chosen to improve pupils' vocabulary and to teach specific reading comprehension skills according to the long term plans below. Teachers expose pupils to a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry ranging across different topics, genres and authors. The week follows a structure to maximise children’s understanding:
Day 1: Prediction / Background knowledge / Vocabulary
Day 2: Reading the text and teaching of a specific reading skill
Day 3: Children complete comprehension activity independently
Children in Key Stage Two access whole class reading sessions five days a week. Teachers select an extract to use over the week with a particular focus on a key reading skill:
Teachers expose pupils to a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry ranging across different topics, genres and authors. The texts, either selected from our ‘Complete Comprehension’ scheme or other high quality texts, are age appropriate and aim to improve vocabulary and comprehension. Teachers may select texts to support pupils' wider learning, particularly within writing units supporting grammar, punctuation and language. The week follows a structure to maximise children’s understanding:
Day 1: Prediction / Background knowledge
Day 2: Teaching of new vocabulary and reading the text
Day 3: Teaching of specific reading skill
Day 4: Children complete comprehension activity independently (specific reading skill)
Day 5: Children complete comprehension activity independently (mixed reading skills)
The reading long term plans for each year group are below as well as a document which details the progression of reading skills at St Luke’s:
The documents below outline the texts and authors that each year group will study within Guided Reading lessons from the 'Complete Comprehension' scheme . Teachers select the texts that are appropriate each week to ensure they are following the reading LTPs above, supporting wider learning and developing pupils' love of reading:
At St Luke’s, we understand that children learn at different rates and that there are many factors that can become barriers to learning. We identify any pupils that may be struggling when it comes to learning to read early on and put in place the appropriate support in order to help them ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’.
Within the Essential Letters and Sounds phonics scheme, children can access either immediate intervention within the lesson, or one of the three ELS interventions that are delivered on a one-to-one, or small group basis:
Children may also access one-to-one reading sessions with an adult either daily or three times a week. These sessions are to support decoding and fluency, and where necessary comprehension.
Additionally, weekly pre-read sessions take place for pupils who need further support building their understanding of vocabulary in order to support their comprehension within whole class reading lessons.
Reading across the curriculum
Our reading spines from ‘Complete Comprehension’ and core texts selected for Writing units have been carefully designed to be challenging, age appropriate and instil a love of reading. In addition to these, we have also mapped out reading material across the curriculum within our foundation subjects. These texts are selected to teach curriculum content, improve technical and subject specific vocabulary, introduce challenging concepts, develop children’s interests and provide further and regular opportunities for children to apply their reading skills across different contexts. We make careful links between curriculum subjects, with reading forming a key part of teaching across the whole curriculum at St Luke’s.
You can see the range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and online reading material listed on specific subject long term plan documents. These can be found on the subject specific page on our website.
Reading for Pleasure:
Reading is prioritised within every aspect of school life and at the heart of our curriculum from Nursery right through to Year 6. We have invested in lots of new texts across the curriculum to build a love of reading and exposure to different genres, text-types and authors. Our writing and reading long term plans consist of core texts that inspire writing, but also excite our pupils.
Within EYFS and Key Stage One, story time is timetabled daily and children often vote for the story they wish to read that day. In addition to this, they have opportunities across the week to sing and listen to poetry to develop their understanding of rhyme and rhythm to help with early reading. Pupils in Key Stage Two access a range of reading material each day and also have the opportunity to read for pleasure during transition times during the day. They can select books from their class library, or from the school’s Accelerated Reader Library. Teachers also read aloud class texts to pupils every day. See below the read aloud texts protected for each year group:
In EYFS, books are positioned across all areas of continual provision for pupils to access during the day. Throughout the rest of school, books are displayed proudly in classrooms and have been carefully selected to represent our community and reflect the diversity of our school. Reading displays, inside and outside, promote new books and old time favourites.
We are also so lucky to have a lovely team of Reading buddies from Year 5 who read with our Key Stage One pupils each day during lunch time, sharing stories and discussing favourite books.
At the end of last year we proudly achieved the One Education Bronze Reading Award!
We always have lots going on in school to celebrate our love of reading such as author visits, competitions and Governor story drop-ins. Children have also participate in national events such as ‘The Readathon’, ‘National Storytelling Week’ and ‘World Book Day’.
This year we are developing our library spaces to ensure they are inviting and accessible to children, we have also introduced a new team of librarians to help spread the love of reading!
See the Reading Policy below and our recent newsletter for more details on how we celebrate Reading at St Luke's.
Have a look on Twitter at the fantastic reading going on at St Luke's: #Stlukesburyreading
Assessment in Reading
Phonics progress is assessed using ELS half termly phonics assessments and termly ELS diagnostic assessments. These inform teachers of any gaps or misconceptions in pupils learning. Teachers also assess pupils daily through formative assessment in order to support individual needs.
At the end of Year 1, pupils will take the phonics screening check. Its purpose is to assess whether children can read accurately a selection of words that include common GPCs: the first step in learning to read. It does not aim to assess reading comprehension or whether a child can read familiar words speedily or decode unfamiliar ones easily. The children who do not meet the expected standard are screened again in year 2.
Reading comprehension is assessed through summative tests at the end of each term within Key Stage One and Two using NFER assessments. Additionally, children in Key Stage Two take a Rising Stars ‘Star Reader’ assessment to gain a ZPD code to match them appropriately to books within our Accelerated Reader Library. YARC assessments are also used to identify what support may be needed for any pupils struggling with reading in Key Stage Two.
St Luke's Reading Policy
Our Reading Policy below details how Phonics and Reading are taught at St Luke's and explains how pupils improve their reading skills within the Phonics scheme. There is also further information on assessment for reading, how we encourage home reading opportunities, further details of interventions for extra support and how we promote Reading for Pleasure.
How can you support your child’s learning?
In EYFS and Key Stage One, teachers will set a phonics based activity on Class Dojo each week as homework for your child to complete. You can support them with this activity, by practising saying, reading and writing the sounds with them. Remember to send a picture back of the work the children have completed so that we can celebrate this achievement with them back in school!
From Reception to Year 6, children will also be set homework on Reading Eggs each week. This will be either to support their decoding for reading or understanding through comprehension based activities. Please encourage them to complete this and support them if necessary.
Additionally, it is expected that children will read at home either with an adult or independently each day. Please see our homework policy for suggested times to be spent reading for each year group. To help your child improve their reading skills, you could listen to them read, supporting them with the meaning of unfamiliar words, or you could also read to them, modelling accuracy, speed and intonation. Please remember to sign their reading record each time they read as they can win prizes in school!
Talking about books with your child is another great way to engage them. Discussing what they have read, or favourite books is a good place to start. We have provided some discussion questions below that will help you lead discussions with your child about their book. We have also provided a link to the Peters Books website, a great source to find activities and lists of age appropriate books that your child may be interested in.
Have a look also at the two documents below which provide many links to websites that offer audio books, e-libraries, author videos and plenty of other activities.