At St Clement’s and St John’s Infant school, we aspire for all of our children to become fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want all of our children to develop a lifelong love of reading, language and literature. Through skilled teaching and opportunities to share quality texts together, we want the children to gain a good knowledge of a range of authors and text types and to learn more about the world around them through the knowledge they gain from stories and texts. It is our aim for all of our children to meet age related expectations in reading by the time they leave us at the end of Year 2.
At St Clement’s, we know that English has a pre-eminent place in education and society and that the future success of our children is linked directly to a broad vocabulary, love of reading and an ability to effectively communicate through text and written language. We strongly believe that all children should have an equal opportunity to succeed in learning to read, regardless of their background or previous opportunities.
A high quality education in English, reading in particular, provides children with invaluable opportunities to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. The language skills that the children develop during reading are essential in enabling them to participate fully as a member of society in later life.
The aim of teaching Reading at our school is:
Read Write Inc (RWI)
At St Clement’s, we use RWI as our phonics programme, as this programme was developed predominantly in schools with high numbers of EAL children. RWI was selected as our synthetic phonics programme due to its focus on repetition, fluency and consolidation, which benefits all learners and is particularly supportive of EAL children learning English.
Our phonics progression map has been informed by prior Early Excellence generated EYFS baselines. Previous baselines have indicated that a significant proportion of pupils beginning FS2 (Reception) are below typical age-related attainment in skills such as recognition and generation of alliterative sounds, correct articulation of voice sounds and accurate oral blending and oral segmentation.
Alongside the children’s daily phonics session, every child reads 1:1 each week with either their class Teacher or Teaching Assistant. Each week, the 1:1 reading session takes a different focus such as word reading or a comprehension focus such as making a prediction or discussing characters feelings. Notes are written in the child’s individual reading record as a bank of evidence and progression. Teaching Staff and Teaching Assistants receive numerous training and development sessions to support high quality phonics teaching and high quality reading sessions.
Once the children have completed the RWI phonics programme (after passing the National Year 1 Phonics Screening), lessons move towards using the RWI Spelling scheme where children learn and fully consolidate their phonics skills for the purpose of spelling and the learning of the spelling content as listed in the English National Curriculum 2014. Lessons also take more of a focus on developing comprehension skills, enabling children to develop skills such as retrieving information, making inferences and predictions and developing vocabulary.
Reading at Home and Parent Partnership
We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop their love of reading, as well as their word reading and comprehension skills. We aim to encourage a strong home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to support and enhance the skills being taught at school.
As of September 2020, children use the RWI Book Bag Books as their home reading books. These books provide the children with a wide selection (fiction and non-fiction) of fully decodable reading books to read at home which support their RWI phonics learning within the classroom. The books are sent home once the sound set is secure. Therefore, the home reading books are consolidatory and aim to improve children’s confidence and fluency. The books range from Red Ditty through to Grey and include notes for parents and carers on how to help their child at home. A support card is also sent home to the parents to inform them of the sounds and red words (the words that should be sight-read without blending) that their child will be using within their current set of books. Before a child has secured the first sound set, Lilac Book Band Books are sent home to encourage positive book behaviours and development of oracy skills through discussion of picture books. Children also have opportunities to take books home from the school library and from their classes ‘Bedtime Story Box’ to read with their parents or to have read to them.
In addition to the resources and support sent home to parents, we also run parent sessions on phonics in school for Reception and Year 1 parents, as well as reading and SATs workshops for Year 2 parents so that they understand the age-related expectations. Each term throughout the school year, Parent-Partnership sessions are run across the school in which parents are able to come into the classroom to work with their child. At least one of these sessions is focused on phonics or reading comprehension (Year 2) and provide a great opportunity for parents to gain an understanding of how reading skills are taught at school, so they can further support their children at home. These sessions are often well attended by parents and carers who comment about how helpful the session has been for them.
Celebrating success in Reading
At St Clement’s, we love to celebrate the success of all of our children. As a school, we have a reading reward scheme which aims to encourage the children to read regularly at home. The theme of the challenge changes each year to keep the children motivated from planets, to gems and colours of the rainbow. By reading at home and completing challenges such as reading a book online, reading a recipe, creating fact files and book reviews etc, the children work through the stages of the reading challenge earning prizes such as badges, bookmarks and certificates. At the final stage of the challenge, the children win tea and cake with Mr Poole and a friend! These successes are celebrated each week in our whole school family worship.
Reading at St Clement’s is progressive and is planned to meet the needs of all our children. Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure that the children are receiving the correct level of support, as well as being challenged in their learning of reading. Assessment procedures used to assess progress and to measure the impact of our curriculum are conducted in the following ways;