7 Aspects of Reading
How do we prioritise reading?
- At Dobwalls Primary School, we prioritise reading in our curriculum as we believe and understand the strong correlation between children's reading abilities from a young age and their future life success.
- From research, we understand the importance of vocabulary development and believe this is key to supporting good comprehension.
- Each year, we run parent/carer workshops in EYFS and Year One to share the importance of reading with parents/carers and to share advice and tips so that, from the beginning of the Reception Year, we are all working together to support children to become fluent readers.
- Teachers prioritise reading in their timetables and significant time is dedicated each day to teaching reading skills. In Early Years and Key Stage 1, children read every day during Read Write Inc lessons. In Key Stage 2, children have 20 minutes dedicated independent Accelerated Reader time and a daily 25-30 minute whole class reading lesson focused on the VIPERS. Children are also read to for 5–10 minutes.
- The use of Tapestry, Class Dojo and weekly newsletters supports ongoing relationships with parents/carers and to promote reading.
- Governors and the Headteacher prioritise reading by funding high-quality reading books, staff training and computer-based packages that promote reading for pleasure.
- Through School-led tutoring, we have employed a teacher to support children prioritising on reading skills working with children across the school.
How do we promote a love of reading?
- All staff are expert readers, modelling reading skills, discussing texts and sharing their own love of reading particularly during daily story time.
- Teachers read class stories each day to children promoting a love and enjoyment of stories, immersing children in the world of imagination.
- Each week, a different class shares a poem in our Friday celebration assembly which they learn by heart.
- Whole-class reading sessions teach comprehension skills so that children can access a wider range of texts and gain further enjoyment from books by benefiting from a more in-depth understanding.
- Thorough the use of Accelerated Reader (AR), teachers encourage children to regularly read at home. Teachers use AR to identify reluctant readers and help them to foster a love of reading by recommending quality-texts and engaging them in conversation about books.
- Children have access to book corners which are regularly updated using book boxes from the Cornwall Library Service linked to class topics.
- Reading Buddies – Y1/2, Y3/4 and Y5/6 are paired with a reading buddy who meet once a fortnight to share a love of books and read together.
- Each year, we hold a book fair to engage families in reading and provide exciting new books at a low cost.
- Each year, we hold a ‘Book Week’ to celebrate and promote a love of books.
- Representatives from our School Council, gather the views of the school and then select the books for the library based on this information through linking with our headteacher.
- Organiser regular author visits into school to allow professionals to share their passion for writing and reading e.g. Simon James, Ellie Jackson
- Visits from the Cornwall Library Service. Our School Librarians are members of Year 6 who visit the van to help with choosing new books. The librarians help with organising library books regularly and regularly share books with younger children in the school.
- Our local librarian from Liskeard visits the school to share details of the Reading Challenge.
- World Book Day – annual celebrations involving parents coming into school.
- Ongoing reading competitions to promote and celebrate reading e.g. extreme reading, comfy corners, reading rivers, stories in a box.
- Half-termly home learning menus give opportunities to promote a love of reading
- A reading swap/borrow shed is at the front of our school where we encourage families to share books. Books are available for adults and children alike.
- Theatre trips bring stories to life e.g. EYFS visited the Theatre Royal in Plymouth to see Pinocchio and a visit to school by the Squashbox Theatre group.
How do we make sure children make progress?
- Phonics is taught every day following the RWI progression of sounds to ensure a systematic approach. Phonics lessons follow the same sequence of teach, practise, revise, review and apply, lasting for 45 minutes. Planning includes assessment for the graphemes taught.
- Phonics is assessed half-termly by the Reading Lead to identify gaps in learning and to inform future planning and intervention.
- Children in Key Stage 2 who are not yet fluently reading, benefit from 1:1 or small group interventions following the RWI programme, Nessy or Toe by Toe based on their individual needs.
- Children in Year 1 - Year 6 complete the PIRA termly assessments to support teachers to ensure all children are progressing in reading. Where teachers have concerns about progress, they provide additional support though interventions.
- When children complete the RWI programme, they benefit from whole-class reading lessons that support comprehension development using the VIPERS. These daily sessions last for 25–30 minutes.
How do we match children's reading ability to their phonics ability?
- Every six weeks, children who are using the Read Write Inc. scheme celebrate the improvements they've made by completing a reading assessment with the Reading Lead. The reading assessment shows the sounds each child has learnt; which words children recognise by sight and which words children can blend together using their phonic knowledge.
- Reading teachers use this information to select books (for school and for home) that are very closely matched to children's phonics ability. These are changed regularly.
- Once children finish their Read Write Inc journey, they use Accelerated Reader to guide their book choices. Children complete a Star Reader Test at the beginning of each term. This generates a numeric score (known as their ZPD) which supports children and teachers to choose colour-coded books that match each child's reading level.
- The AR books are organised into “Lower Years” and “Middle Years” to ensure children are selecting books of the correct maturity level.
- Within the lower years sections, our books are organised further into levels according to their book level. For middle years books, they are organised into genres in the school library. This helps children to engage in reading books they are most interested in as well as widen their book choice. We have contemporary fiction, adventure, mystery, fantasy, Shakespeare, graphic novels, historical theme as well as sections based on authors.
- Once children finish reading their book, they complete an online quiz to ensure they have understood the text. Children and teachers are then able to track their reading progress and monitor the number of books they have read in a given time period.
How do we teach phonics from the start?
We have strong links with our Dobwalls School Nursery to ensure a smooth transition into school. Our Early Years' teacher visits the nursery regularly to teach nursery RWI phonics sessions.
When children start school at Dobwalls, Read Write Inc Phonics and comprehension take place from day one. Keep up not catch up is our philosophy.
RWI enables readers to blend individual sounds to speedy read and decode. Children are assessed every half-term and streamed accordingly to ensure their reading book that goes home matches the sounds they are currently learning in school. We also send sound sheets home weekly for specific sound practice.
By the end of the first term at school children have learnt to recognise the Set 1 Speed Sounds (below) and are blending these sounds together to independently read words, such as fun, pin and ship.
First, children will learn to read:
- Set 1 Speed Sounds: these are sounds written with one letter: m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x and sounds written with two letters digraphs: sh th ch qu ng nk ck
How do we support children to catch up?
- Our aim is for every child to meet their individual potential and, for some, they may need a little extra help to get there.
- In all year groups, we provide targeted support to the lowest 20% of readers so that all children develop into confident and fluent readers.
- Listening to children read is a priority for us.
- School-led tutoring support focuses on developing reading as the priority.
- Read Write Inc is used primarily but in cases where it is felt appropriate, we use Nessy, Toe by Toe and Fresh start to support children’s reading developments.
How do we train staff to be reading experts?
- Our Reading Lead is currently part of the Kernow English Hub Reading for Pleasure project. She disseminates a love for reading passionately across our school. The Reading Lead regularly meets with RWI practitioners to support ongoing consistency in practice.
- All teaching assistants have taken part in RWI training. RWI practitioners link regularly with our Reading Lead.
- We are now a partner school with the Kernow English Hub to support Early Reading which ensures whole school training, leader’s training and half termly support visits over the next two years.
- Reading is also a part of our weekly staff meeting agenda items for teachers to develop their knowledge of books and authors.