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INTENT – The Reading Curriculum 

Reading is at the heart of all we do – a key curriculum driver within our school vision is ‘We Are Lifelong Readers’. In addition to this, one of our ‘Hunton and Arrathorne 21 aims’ is for all children to meet an author in person before they leave year 6. The importance of reading is recognised and celebrated and, as the key to unlocking the rest of the academic curriculum, underpins much of what we do in school. Developing a culture where reading is at the forefront of our day-to-day teaching is established in Reception and consistently developed through to year six with opportunities for children to ‘read for pleasure’, both individually and with others, provided regularly. As reading engagement is strongly correlated with reading performance in an academic sense, we strive to make reading as enjoyable and purposeful as possible to ensure no child is left ‘disengaged’ with reading; our children’s passion for reading is evident in school and is something we intend to build upon. Verbal discussions based around a text are recognised as key to unlocking understanding and engagement and this is a key factor in our approach to teaching comprehension skills. Once a text has been digested and understood, with the children provided with the opportunity to question and share their thoughts, then written comprehension skills can be developed. By the end of year 6, we intend for our children to be fluent and passionate readers, whilst also being equipped with the skills to apply this passion to enhance their understanding across the curriculum.

IMPLEMENTATION – The Reading Curriculum 

Reading is at the heart of everything we do at Hunton & Arrathorne – so much so it is a key driver within our school vision. We have a variety of strategies to enable children to become lifelong readers.

  • Guided reading sessions which take place daily in EYFS / Year 1 in line with our SSP (Little Wandle).
  • Whole class reading sessions 4 times per week from Year 2 – Year 6.
  • Timetabled daily story times in each class, so children can listen to their teacher and practise fluency and reading prosody.
  • Book corners in each classroom which are full of age appropriate texts, recommended reads and books from high quality authors.
  • Regular opportunities for pupils to read individually to adults within school.
  • Use of ‘Reading Spines’ and ‘Recommended Reads’ to ensure pupils have access to a range of high quality texts from a variety of genres.
  • Celebrating and encouraging a love of reading with plentiful opportunities to share and discuss what they have read.
  • Access to books and texts at break-times.
  • Opportunity to enjoy our non-fiction library at lunchtime with children from different classes.
  • A focus on texts which showcase inclusivity and diversity, which is key in our small village school.
  • Celebration of ‘World Book Day’ with exciting and engaging activities throughout the entire week to celebrate a love of reading.
  • Given pupil’s ownership of the development of reading through ‘Reading Ambassadors’.
  • A new non-fiction library which is taken ownership of by the children.
  • Termly ‘Reading Newsletters’ which share recommendations, book reviews etc.
  • Children take part in ‘Reading Buddies’ as part of our ‘Big Read’ where they read with a peer from a different year group.
  • Termly opportunities for parents/carers to come into school for our ‘Big Read’ where they can enjoy reading based activities with their children.
  • Author visits and author web-chats.
  • Children who are not yet fluent readers by KS2 are given a daily ‘Rapid Reader’ intervention
  • A new, high quality range of individual reading books which are matched to each child’s ability.
  • We have a subscription to ‘Weekly News’ to enable children to read about current events in an age-appropriate way.
  • A ‘Reading Raffle’ to encourage and reward children for demonstrating their love of reading at home.

IMPLEMENTATION – Whole Class Reading Lesson Structure 

At the beginning of the week, a new text will be introduced to the children which will be the focus for their comprehension lessons for that week. Teachers are encouraged to select from fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts whilst also ensuring children are exposed to examples of ‘classic texts’ as well. As research suggests that children must be able to understand between 95-98% of the vocabulary to fully access a piece of text, children will be explicitly taught the new vocabulary before reading the text to ensure they are familiar with any new or ‘tricky’ words. This new vocabulary will be revisited throughout the week to ensure they are embedded and applied in various ways, helping to build understanding and oracy. The text will then be read using a variety of methods in order for children to develop their prosody: the teacher will model fluent and expressive reading, echo reading will be used, paired reading, individual reading and whole class reading so that children have the opportunity to read aloud to the rest of the class. You may see a number of these different strategies during one session.

Subsequent lessons throughout the week will follow a consistent structure and the content domain will be shared at the beginning of each lesson, ensuring children are familiar with the different question types and how they are required to answer them. Teachers will model skills such as scanning for key information as well as how to develop written responses to questions. The week’s structure will focus on the most heavily weighted domains following analysis from the end of Key Stage Two assessments: Tuesday will focus on vocabulary based questions, Thursday will develop retrieval skills and Friday will work on inference. Other domains, such as sequencing, summarising and predcting, will be covered through out the curriculum as well as during daily reading of a class text to ensure children are exposed to each of the comprehension skills required.

Teachers are provided with suggested texts through the use of ‘Reading Spines’. This helps to ensure a wide range of texts and genres are used across each year group and class, including ‘classic texts’ and poetry. In order to develop high-quality written responses, a range of strategies are encouraged and applied. Children may initially speak their answers orally, recognising their first idea may not be their best. Sentence stems, key vocabulary and structures for more developed responses may be provided where appropriate to ensure each child is able to access and achieve. Answers should be discussed at the end of each lesson so that children are aware of how well they are achieving in reading sessions. We recognise the impact COVID-19 has had on reading and also that those children who fail to read early start to dislike reaing as they grow; we there fore have a robust assessment procedure in place to ensure children are able to ‘keep-up’ rather than ‘catch-up’. 

IMPACT – Reading 

By the time children leave Hunton & Arrathorne they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.  They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum, and communicate their research to a wider audience. Primarily, they develop a love of reading and establish themselves as ‘Lifelong Readers’.

We encourage children to orally talk through their answers and ensure it is the best they can give before writing anything down. We also acknowledge it is good for children to also be able to formally record an answer. Children can do this in a variety of different ways such as discussing the answer first with peers and/or an adult and then being provided with the opportunity to develop their best response in writing. All skills must be modelled by the teacher and children should have a clear picture of how well they are doing in reading with answers discussed, edited and improved each lesson.

During this reading session teachers focus on specific children during the session, this may mean hearing them read individually whilst others are reading independently, in pairs or groups, discussing answers with those children and working one to one or within a group with them during a session whilst the others form an answer independently. Teachers can then assess these children based on NC expectations and how they are performing relating to the specific content domain.