At Spalding St Paul’s School reading is a top priority and is a key driver for our curriculum. It is our intention to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. We therefore intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to:
- Develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live;
- to establish an appreciation and love of reading;
- to gain knowledge across the curriculum, and
- to develop their comprehension skills.
We are committed to providing vocabulary rich reading material across the curriculum.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. At Spalding St Paul’s School, we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc’ produced by Ruth Miskin. Our staff teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. All children in Reception, KS1 and, where necessary, KS2 have daily phonics sessions in small ability groups where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified.
Additional skills and opportunities are also needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader, namely comprehension. In KS1 and KS2 reading is developed during guided reading, using high quality texts and focused skill teaching. In whole class guided reading sessions, children develop their key reading skills of decoding, Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising (VIPERS). Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills.
All classes are exposed to a daily class reader, for pleasure, to excite and engage the children, and to expose them to new and varied vocabulary. All books shared with children are age appropriate and matched to the level of the class/individual.
Reading at home is encouraged and promoted. Children in EYFS and KS1 working on the Read Write Inc. programme take home a ‘book bag book’ matched directly to their current phonics level; they are also encouraged to choose an additional book to share with their family at home. Following this, children work through our school reading scheme - Accelerated Reader. These are levelled books which match the child’s current reading ability. Once children finish a book they are able to do a quiz to assess their comprehension. We expect family members at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.