At St Mary’s reading is incorporated into everything that we do. Our aim if or children to leave school as confident and capable readers who possess a genuine enjoyment of reading. We aim for transferable reading skills to be across all areas of the curriculum, and, by building on prior knowledge, we aim to prepare all children for the next steps in their learning.
These aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum and framework, that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Following the Pathways to Write Programme, we use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers also ensure that, when applicable, cross curricular links with topic work are woven into the programme of study.
The National Curriculum (2014) for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Currently, we are reviewing our current phonics curriculum and the books which support phonetic progress. Our Reading Buddies scheme introduced in the Autumn term of 2018 goes from strength to strength with children looking forward to reading to a buddy, or hearing fiction and non-fiction texts read to them by older children. Our school library is full of books which, twice a week, year 6 children supervise and monitor the borrowing of across the whole school. Each classroom has age-appropriate books in their books corners and feature a range of fiction and non-fiction.
We love to celebrate success of all learners and strive to help all children achieve their goals. Reading is celebrated in classrooms and around school at St Mary’s, where our bright and colourful and topical displays celebrate children’s writing, their favourite books and reading reward schemes. Weekly, in our celebration assembly, we celebrate our reading champions and those who have excelled in class. Annually, our curriculum is enhanced through World Book Day
At St Mary’s, we identify children who need support and provide intervention in the most effective and efficient way that we can. We run intervention reading groups led by our reading champion, Mrs Dicks. Furthermore, we are fortunate to have parents and helpers who come in regularly to hear children read. Most children on the SEND register have reading and comprehension as one of their targets. Teachers plan and teach English lessons which are differentiated accordingly to the needs of each child. We help each child maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers once we have helped to equip them with the confidence, tools and strategies that they need.
We run parent information sessions on reading and SATs for Year 2 parents and a SATs meeting for Year 6 parents so that they understand age-related expectations. These sessions are always very well attended by parents. In the build-up to SATs, structured booster sessions are timetables to further support children.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the reading and writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2. Most genres of writing are familiar to pupils through a varied reading curriculum and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills which are often magpied from our own reading choices.
We hope that as children move on from St Mary’s to Secondary School: their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.
Please also fins attached some useful links for parents:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/school-radio/nursery-rhymes-songs-index/zhwdgwx – BBC Nursery Rhymes and Songs – A collection of nursery songs from the Early Learning series Listen and Play and Playtime, both of which are currently available on iplayer and as podcasts.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/school-radio/audio-stories/zh3t2sg – BBC Audio Stories – A collection of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 stories.
https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/ – Book Trust – Suggested books for children, advice on how to read with your child, book lists, fun games, competitions to win free books, Children’s Book Club etc.
https://www.lovereading.co.uk/ – Love Reading – Expert recommendations and opening extracts of books.
https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/ – Oxford Owl – Phonics advice and access to free E-books.
https://www.pearson.com/uk/learners/primary-parents/learn-at-home/help-your-child-to-enjoy-reading.html – Pearson – Advice and help for parents reading with children at home.
https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ – Phonics Play – Supporting the teaching of phonics from home.