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Reading at Forest Fields Primary 


Key Stage One Curriculum


In Year 1, the teaching and learning will focus on building on the skills learnt in the Early Years Foundation Stage and continual formative assessment will help target any gaps in phonic knowledge. This will be addressed in class through intervention programmes and supported individual or group work. At Key Stage One, the emphasis is on developing pupils’ interest and pleasure as they learn to read independently and with confidence. Children focus on words and sentences and how they are put together to form texts. They bring meaning to the texts they read and say what they like and dislike about them.


Adults share stories every day; they actively share their enthusiasm for reading and model excellent fluency, prosody and expression. Further, adults model and explicitly teach a range of strategies including activation of prior knowledge, clarifying of vocabulary, retrieval and summarising in context. Children develop their comprehension skills throughout KS1 in increasingly independent activities. When children have completed the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme, they  are able to read aloud age-appropriate texts accurately and with sufficient speed for comprehension. Their good decoding skills mean that they have a reliable strategy for decoding unfamiliar words when they come across them in any subject or context.


  • We continue to use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds scheme, ensuring children in Key Stage 1 are taught at their own pace though a progressive synthetic phonics programme to establish key composition and comprehension skills.
  • As the children complete the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme in Year 2, they are taught in class following the National Curriculum.  Children are introduced to and explore a variety of different genres, including key texts from the school’s Reading Spine. Teachers will model comprehension and fluency strategies. Children practise those skills in groups, in partner work and independently.
  • In KS1, children are heard reading out loud daily as part of their Little Wandle Letters and Sounds session. Any children who are reading below the expected level are given additional opportunities to read 1-1 with an adult. As the children move through the school, opportunities to read independently for a sustained period of time are afforded to them.
  • As in the EYFS, children who are on the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme will read and take home a book that is tailored to match their decoding abilities. Emphasis is on their ability to fluently read the books with expression and good reading habits, supporting their development of reading comprehension. They will also choose a picture book to take home.
  • All classes in Key Stage 1 will enjoy at least one class story each day.
  • Children behind in their reading, or making insubstantial progress, will be part of daily phonics ‘keep up’ interventions where they learn sounds and practise reading the words.
  • At Forest Fields Primary School, we have high mobility, late arrivers and most of our children speak English as an Additional Language. We believe in the whole class approach and the children join the sessions regardless of their prior learning. We then use ‘keep up’ sessions and liase with parents to fill in the gaps in learning. Our approach is guided by a wealth of research showing that the EAL learners have an metalinguistic advantage in relation to phonics learning. We believe it is our job to help our learners to capitalise on this advantage.


Key Stage Two Curriculum


Children in Key Stage 2 read for four purposes: knowledge, strategies, fluency and pleasure.


Reading for Knowledge


  • Children read to obtain knowledge of the world in science, history, geography and the arts. Here the main purpose of the reading is to develop an understanding of the world.
  • Reading for knowledge of literacy in English lessons. Here children develop their understanding of characterisation, genre, narrative arcs, idioms, figurative expressions and other literary techniques in order to help them understand similar texts independently in the future.
  • Reading for knowledge of words means an emphasis is always placed on the acquisition of vocabulary in any reading in any subject across the curriculum.


Reading Strategically


  • Teachers model and children practise reading strategically using texts related to the children’s learning. The aim is that children become strategic readers through observing and practising the metacognitive approaches to comprehension modelled by the teacher.
  • Child-friendly ‘Reading Roles’ linked to key reading skills and strategies are used in reading lessons across school. Each is linked to an icon and a set of question stems to be used by teachers.

Reading for Fluency


  • Fluency is modelled by the teacher and practised by the children. The aim is for children to read and re-read passages to develop their expression, phrasing, smoothness and pace, and to develop their reading speed.



Reading for Pleasure


  • We promote reading as a pleasurable pursuit in a myriad of ways. Daily read alouds, reading events, book prizes, independent reading, Reading Ambassadors, Read to Succeed challenges linked to reading at home, MyOn reading online, book swaps, books sale, book fairs, teacher reading swaps, celebrating events such as World Book Day and National Storytelling week are all approaches used in school to promote reading for pleasure.


Helping everyone to keep up


Any children in KS2 who have gaps in their phonic knowledge are assessed using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds placement assessment. They are then placed in a targeted phonics intervention group. These groups have daily phonics lessons which take place in addition to whole class reading lessons and focus on the most efficient methods for helping these children to catch up and keep up. Regular assessments are made at least every six weeks to check that every child is making progress These and continual assessment for learning help us to immediately address any issues that could hinder swift catch up. When KS2 children in need of catch up complete the Little Wandles Letters and Sounds programme, they take part in a ‘bridging’ intervention focusing on fluency and comprehension to further boost their ability to keep up with age-appropriate texts and objectives.


For further information, please see our Reading policy.

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