As reading is the back bone to our entire school curriculum, our reading curriculum is designed to develop fluent, comprehensive readers with a life-long love of reading. Not only do we teach our pupils the skills needed to read, we want to ignite a love of literature within them.
Children should also see reading as a tool that allows them to acquire knowledge, widen their vocabulary and access the world around them.
Reading is threaded through all curriculum subjects – there are opportunities throughout to practise and apply a repertoire of reading skills. Not only does this develop their reading ability, it deepens their understanding of every curriculum subject they are exposed to. This illustrates how reading acts as a facilitator for children to achieve academic excellence across all curriculum subjects.
Our children’s learning of reading is prescriptively mapped out in our reading continuum. This ensures the development of word recognition, comprehension and reading for pleasure is progressive during their time at Whiston Willis. This approach allows children to build the solid foundations necessary in order to deepen and extend their reading ability year on year.
Our school follows the highly successful Read, Write, Inc programme for teaching phonics and guided reading in EYFS and KS1. This programme allows for a rigorous approach to the teaching of early reading and writing. Children have 20 minutes speed sound sessions followed immediately with a 10 minute writing activity to give the children the opportunity to decode and encode the phonemes and graphemes taught. We then dedicate 15 minutes every day to deliver the guided reading element ensuring children develop their word reading skills, fluency and a love of reading. All children read a Read, Write, Inc text book clearly linked to their phonic knowledge and the matching book bag book is also sent home. By teaching early reading in this way, we can ensure children have the opportunity to repeatedly apply their phonetic knowledge so that it is deeply embedded.
Whilst the children remain on the RWI programme, reading for pleasure is developed through our ‘Favourite Five’ books and reading for pleasure books. Every half-term, each class are given the opportunity to choose 5 stories that they will read again and again using the RWI 'Talk through Stories' model. This allows children to learn stories off by heart as well as extending and deepening children’s comprehension and vocabulary.
At stage 5, children who have completed the RWI programme, begin our 6 transitional bridging units. The bridging units act as a stepping stone to prepare the children for the application of comprehension skills in whole class guided reading lessons. At this stage, children become free readers and are assessed using our STAR Reader programme. This allows children to choose books at an appropriate and accessible level for them. Children will also begin using our Accelerated Reader Programme which continually develops comprehension skills through regular quizzes.
At stage 6 of our reading continuum, children are taught using whole class guided reading sessions through a cycle of fiction, non-fiction and poetry/ mixed media. During this cycle, the children will immerse themselves in a fiction or non-fiction text from the successful Literary Leaves scheme. This scheme allows children to develop a wide range of skills through high quality texts. These skills include prediction, factual retrieval, inference, vocabulary, explanation, summarising and sequencing. As well as this, the children will practise and apply their reading skills through other media. This cycle ensures that the children are constantly being exposed to a range of genres and text types.
At the beginning of the children's reading journey, they will take home a Read, Write, Inc book which will be directly linked to the phonemes and graphemes they have been learning that week. In addition to this, children will be given a book bag book which matches the same level. Your child’s books will be changed once a week. Your child will also get a reading for pleasure book that they will simply read, either alone or with an adult, for enjoyment.
All children will have either a paper or an online reading record to log their home reading. We recommend that your child reads at least 4 times a week for a minimum of 10 minutes. This can be either 10 minutes of reading or 5 minutes reading and 5 minutes discussing the book with an adult.
Follow the link below for a guide to Read Write Inc. Phonics:
When the children pass stage 5 on our continuum, they will access our Accelerated Reader Programme using books from our school or local library. This is a programme that promotes a love of reading and helps motivate and engage while developing their comprehension skills and widening their vocabulary. Parents are able to access their child’s Accelerated Reader account too. This means they can carefully track their child’s progress over time. As a school, we also use this programme to regularly assess each child’s reading progress. By doing so, we are able to direct them towards the most appropriate books for their age and ability.
Reading for Pleasure
We strive to foster a love of reading in all of our children, therefore, as well as teaching the children the skills to read we also commit to developing reading for pleasure and a love and thirst for literature.
In EYFS and KS1 this is done through Favourite Five using the RWI 'Talk through Stories' model. Every half-term, each class are given the opportunity to choose 5 stories that they will read again and again. This also allows children to learn stories off by heart, giving them a whole repertoire of stories, settings, characters and exposure to a wide range of vocabulary.
In KS2 each phase focuses on a class novel each half term and as a class we spend discretely-planned time to enjoy the text regularly. Our texts are chosen carefully to reflect appropriate challenge, vocabulary and interest levels, whilst also addressing social and cultural issues, including the protected characteristics and Fundamental British Values. These are carefully considered to address our personal context and include the No Outsiders texts.
For more information about the No Outsiders texts, follow the link below: