It is our aim at Prior’s Mill CE Primary School to enable children to discover a love of reading that will stay with them throughout their life. We believe that reading is the key that unlocks the rest of the curriculum and therefore we encourage all staff and children to read a lot! We aim to provide our children with a high quality reading curriculum that spans many genres and styles so that upon leaving, children are able to read fluently with understanding, confidence and with pleasure.
- Being exposed to ‘good reading’ – there is an expectation that every teacher reads to their class every day. Children need to hear fluent reading in order to notice and replicate the skills of fluent reading using the ‘6 Ps’: Pitch, Power, Pause, Passion, Punctuation and Pace. Our English curriculum has a planned Reading Spine which specifies texts that will be read with each year group. These books have been carefully chosen to encompass the ‘5 Plagues of Reading‘. Based, on research by Doug Lemov, this approach recognises that there are ‘five types of texts that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence.’ In addition to specific teaching of reading skills, pupils are given opportunities to further develop and refine their reading outside of their English lessons.
- Having sound phonological awareness – For our youngest children, we use a Systematic Synthetic Programme called Little Wandle to ensure a consistent approach to the teaching of early reading. This programme was introduced in September 2021 and has replaced our previous programme, Letters and Sounds. The programme enables children to learn the phonetic code and to apply understanding of letter sounds with the corresponding letter shapes. Phonics teaching is a daily lesson throughout EYFS and KS1 and is used to support children throughout KS2 who may require additional support in securing these skills.
- Developing fluency and comprehension – Children read books that are closely matched to their fluency and comprehension skills. We use STAR assessments in Accelerated Reader to match books for children in KS2 and phonic assessments for children in KS1. We know that sometimes fluency and comprehension can develop at different rates so we check both regularly to ensure we can support the skill that needs the most attention.
- Developing 3 core reading skills: to retrieve, to infer and to understand vocabulary – From Y2, reading comprehension is taught in a daily reading skills lesson using fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts.
We have a bespoke, progressive reading curriculum that covers all aspects of the National Curriculum and considers all aspects of reading: phonic knowledge, high frequency and common exception words; decoding; reading with fluency and prosody; comprehension; developing vocabulary skills.
Our curriculum is organised to ensure that the children have a daily reading lesson based on a quality text. The lesson focus for each day is consistent throughout school with a repeated pattern of retrieval, vocabulary, inference and deduction and application of skills. Each week there is a dedicated reading for pleasure session where children and staff share and enjoy a range of texts and authors.