In Reading, the intent of our curriculum is to equip our pupils with the essential skills and knowledge to enable them to achieve their full potential. We value Reading as a crucial life skill and therefore our high quality Reading curriculum is at the core of everything we do. Our aim is that our Reading curriculum ensures that by the time our children leave us, they are able to read confidently for meaning, regularly enjoy reading for pleasure and confidently communicate effectively. Our Reading curriculum provides our pupils with the opportunity to explore and demonstrate some of our school values including peace, escapism through a good book and perseverance, learning new skills and knowledge to reach their full potential.
The aims of the Reading Curriculum follow that of the EYFS Statutory Framework and the National Curriculum, ensuring children have a secure knowledge of decoding, segmenting, blending, prosody and all the content domains of comprehension. Our high expectations in Reading set for all pupils provide the opportunity for them to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually regardless of their background or attainment level.
At St Barnabas CE Primary School, we teach early reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. We also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. The teaching and learning of phonics will usually be complete by the end of Year 1, but it will continue for as long as our pupils require it. Every child in Year 2 or above who cannot read at age-related expectations receives targeted support so that they can access the curriculum and enjoy reading as soon as possible. Trained staff deliver the Little Wandle Rapid Catch-up programme that mirrors the main phonics programme but has a faster pace. It enables children to catch up quickly. Any child who needs additional phonics practice has daily Keep up support, so that every child secures their learning.
Pupils accessing our phonics programme have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired with three weekly reads. Books used for reading practice sessions are carefully selected and matched to each child’s reading ability and each session has a clear focus on either decoding, prosody or comprehension.
We are a Talk for Reading school and use this whole-class teaching model to develop our children into appreciative, effective and skilful readers from Reception through to Year 6. The Talk for Reading approach follows a clear teaching sequence and enables pupils to deepen their understanding of a text with the use of key reading strategies including vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarising. In order to successfully deliver our Reading curriculum, high-quality texts have been carefully selected and sequenced to engage our pupils and provide progression and coverage. We have consciously chosen texts that appeal to our pupil’s interests and in some cases texts that link to our wider curriculum and themes, including key historical events, inspirational figures, science topics, historical periods and current global issues. Our children play an active role in our Talk for Reading lessons and can identify how previous learning links to current learning.
To create a love of reading across our school we are excellent reading role models for our pupils. We read high-quality texts to our pupils every day from our Reading Spines and share our own recommendations. We provide inviting and well-organised reading areas in our classrooms and around the school where pupils can enjoy and explore a wide-range of books and we have a timetabled book club session each week. We encourage our pupils to be excellent reading role models too, making recommendations to their friends, reading in their spare time and in some cases taking on the role of Reading Ambassador. Children have access to reading for pleasure books to enjoy at school and at home and these books are continually refreshed and updated. We provide many enrichment opportunities including author and poet visits, whole school events such as World Book Day and book fairs and visits to our local bookshop.
We actively encourage our families to support their children by engaging in reading activities. At home, pupils accessing our phonics programme can share their phonics decodable books and all pupils take home a reading for pleasure book to share and enjoy with their families. In addition, pupils also have the opportunity to read online, using Collins Big Cat Ebooks. We provide regular reading updates on our weekly newsletter and ClassDojo. We deliver parent workshops and share support videos and handouts to enable our parents to understand how they can effectively help their chldren to read at home and encourage parents to listen to their children read regularly.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it. Assessment for learning is used daily within phonics and reading lessons. Summative assessments take place at the end of each half term for phonics and termly for reading comprehension, or earlier and more often for those pupils who have been identified as needing additional support. Pupils in Year 1 take part in a Phonics Screening Check (PSC) towards the end of the school year to assess their word reading skills and to determine if they have secured the knowledge and skills needed to be on track to becoming a fluent reader. Teachers assess children’s progress in reading termly and measure this against the objectives of the National Curriculum. These assessments build an accurate picture of each child’s overall progress as they move from year group to year group, to ensure they are ready for the next stage of their learning. To measure reading attitudes across the school, the Reading Lead regularly meets with pupils across the school to determine what pupils enjoy about reading at our school, what has helped them to become fluent and skilful readers and how their experience of reading could be further improved in the future.
If you would like any further information about our curriculum, please contact the school office.