Reading at Forest Fields
The National Curriculum states that the teaching of reading must focus on developing pupils’ competence in word reading and comprehension. Children must be encouraged to read widely across fiction and non-fiction to develop their vocabulary, their imagination, and their knowledge of themselves and the world. We must aim that all children develop an appreciation and love of reading that they will carry with them into adulthood. It is crucial that, on leaving primary school, all pupils can read fluently and confidently in any subject in their upcoming secondary education.
At Forest Fields, we know that literacy empowers. An overwhelming range of research teaches us that literate people are more likely to experience a huge range of benefits: mental, emotional, physical and financial. Just as importantly, reading is a joyful experience that opens doorways in our own minds and into the minds of others. At Forest Fields, we know that our pupils have a fundamental right to experience all these potential benefits and more.
Given this imperative, we aim to deliver an English curriculum of the highest quality. Through this curriculum we will strive for our children to…
- Become confident, literate, successful members of society with a deep love and understanding of English language.
- Be avid and curious readers who love books and reading of all kinds.
- Become articulate speakers and attentive listeners – irrespective of their initial level of English when they join the school.
Teachers at Forest Fields have high expectations for all children to achieve and enjoy reading, and to be able to use the skills they have acquired in a range of contexts.
Rich texts are at the heart of our teaching and a love for reading is promoted throughout the school. Teachers use ‘Big Questions’ and cross curricular inspirational ideas to engage children in work providing memorable experiences, bringing topics to life through real life contexts.
We recognise that good reading comprehension requires the develop of both procedural knowledge (skills-‘knowing how’) and declarative knowledge (‘knowing that’).
As they move through our school, pupils develop procedural knowledge for reading through:
- Acquiring the phonic knowledge and word recognition skills required to be skilled word reader
- Frequent and regular opportunities to listen to engaging, fluent and expressive reads of a range of stories, fiction and non-fiction
- Frequent and regular opportunities to practise and develop their own fluent, expressive reading across a range of stories, fiction and non-fiction
- High quality discussions of reading with skilled adults and peers
- Explicit teaching of reading comprehension skills linked to the content domains
Implementation across our school
Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and is given the highest priority with the goal of enabling the children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Success in reading has a direct effect on progress in all other areas of the Curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s self-confidence and motivation.
To ensure regular reading across the curriculum, at school and at home, we promote the Forest Fields Five Reads a Day:
- Read in a reading lesson
- Read in a linked learning lessons (e.g. History, Geography)
- Read for an alternative purpose (e.g. reading instructions, a map, a recipe)
- Read independently at school or at home
- Read at home with an adult
A core element of a pupils’ early Literacy journey is the Litte Wandle Letters and Sounds programme. The development of comprehension and positive attidues to reading are crucial. A detailed discussion of our approach can be found in our Phonics and Early Reading Policy.
Implementation in KS1
- Building on teaching and learning in the EYFS, 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.
Implementation in KS2
- Reading comprehension is taught daily, focusing on specific ‘Reading Roles’ linked to key reading skills and strategies (e.g. clarifying vocabulary, retrieval, inference, metacognition). Children develop their fluency by observing high-quality teacher modelling and regular practice. Pupils take part in book talk linked to anchor novels from the school’s reading spine. Reading across the curriculum focuses on the understanding of key terms, knowledge and vocabulary.
- Opportunities are given to children to read independently each day.
- Reading is recorded in home school diaries and checked weekly. Expectations are also given to children that they should read at least 10 minutes of their reading book at home each night and record this in their diaries.
- Children take home a book banded book.
- Little Wandle Letters and Sounds is used as an intervention for children who have not yet met the expected standard in their understanding and application of early reading skills. These children take home specific books from the scheme, plus a picture/chapter book to share at home.
- Children with Special Educational Needs may have additional class support, work in small groups and one-to-one sessions, along with further developing language and communication skills.
By the end of LKS2 we expect our children to:
- Have decoding skills that are secure
- Be independent, fluent and enthusiastic readers who read widely and frequently
- Be developing a broad range of vocabulary from across the curriculum
- Be developing their understanding and enjoyment of stories, poetry, plays and non-fiction, and learning to read silently
- Be developing their knowledge and skills in reading non-fiction about a wide range of subjects
- Be able to indepdently justify their views about what they have read
- Be developing strong skills for reading strategically for a range of purposes
By the end of Year 6 we expect our children to:
- Read sufficiently fluently and effortlessly, with understanding at an age appropriate interest level in readiness for secondary school
- Be able to read strategically for a range of purposes to independently improve their understanding, and to discuss and enjoy a wide range of texts
We expect that:
- At least 82% of Year 1 will meet the expected standard in the Phonics Screening Check
- At least 75% of children in KS1 will attain ARE or above in reading
- At least 73% of children in KS2 will attain ARE or above in readng
Additionally, we expect our children to:
- Develop a love of reading that feeds the imagination
- Read widely across both fiction and non-fiction, developing knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live
- Have a developed vocabulary beyond that used in everyday speech
- Understand nuances in writerly choice
- Understand and can use age-appropriate academic vocabulary.