“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”
At Ursuline we recognise for pupils to succeed in education, reading has got to be a priority. Research shows how best practice includes; a phonic-based approach to help young children crack the 'alphabetic code,' immersion in text to develop word recognition skills; and the influence of knowledge, processing and cognition on wider comprehension. In taking these aspects into consideration, our aim is for all pupils to learn to read fluently and with understanding. We aim to meet, and where possible to exceed, the expectations laid out in the Early Learning Goals and Natinal Curriculum with pupils progressing appropriately across school. Once pupils can decode text effectively, we aim to build word recognition and develop comprehension skills in order to develop secure, confident, independent readers who enjoy and understand the benefits of reading.
Reading is taught explicitly through daily lessons and is built upon throughout the wider curriculum.
The direct teaching of reading starts with oracy and phonics. We deliver the Read Write Inc phonics programme with this being complemented by purposeful talk and the use of shared reading experiences that expose pupils to a wider range of vocabulary, syntax and sentence structure. As part of the RWInc programme, children in Reception and KS1 have a daily phonics lesson.The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure our pupils are stretched and challenged and to identify pupils who may need additional support. Our mission is to help every child keep-up rather than catch-up. In Year 2, once pupils' decoding skills are secure, they undertake Read Write Inc Comprehension lessons. Pupils will continue to access the RWInc programme into KS2 if their decoding skills are not secure by the end of KS1.
In addition to all pupils accessing daily English lessons, KS2 pupils have 20 minute whole class reading sessions (ERIC Time Everbody Reads In Class). These lessons use our quality texts as a stimulus to deepen thinking and link a range of poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts to these in order to further develop contextual knowledge and understanding. The focus here is on vocabulary development, the development of specific reading skills and immersion in a wide range of texts. This is supported through our involvement with 'Are You Really Reading?' project as we include the strands taught through this focus. Our consistent approach will equip pupils with the skills to read for meaning and will in turn instil a love of reading for pleasure. This approach also provides whole class practise to develop reading fluency, accuracy and prosody.
Great emphasis is placed on reading for pleasure through our class Book Corners and our weekly timetabled sessions in the school library as well as visits to local libraries and bookshops and the authors/illustrators we invite into school as this itself plays a major role within reading development. We are aware that promoting reading in this way can also provide our pupils with a creative outlet. All classes have a daily designated story time session in which they enjoy a high quality text as a class and can gossip about books as they share text choices and preferences.
Our Reading Schemes:
In Reception and KS1, Read Write Inc bookbag books and a RWInc text practised in class are read at home to consolidate learning. A reading for pleasure book is also chosen by the pupils to read to or with their home reading buddy.
Oxford reading scheme and extended reading books are used from Y2 onwards once the pupil is secure in decoding, and across KS2 providing a variety of genre to develop understanding and enjoyment. These texts are used for home-school reading in addition to a reading for pleasure text.
Oxford Reading Buddy is an online platform available for all our pupils as an additional home-school link.
We measure impact through learning walks, book scrutiny, formative and summative data, and pupil/parent/teacher voice. Subject Leaders meet half termly to evaluate impact and assess pupils' learning. Formative assessment takes place regularly in each classroom. Teachers and teaching assistants work closely to identify and celebrate children’s achievements and ensure timely intervention for children needing further support. Children’s progress is monitored on the school tracking system and this is also used as a target setting tool to ensure good or accelerated progress. Each term, teachers make a judgement of children’s attainment in reading based on book bands, comprehension activities, and whole class reading and in Summer term pupils in Years 3,4 and 5 are assessed through NFER assessments. In-school reading moderation is carried out termly in addition to cross authority reading moderation thourgh the 'Are You Really Reading?' project led by Maddy Barnes to ensure a consistency in judgements. We believe the impact of our reading curriculum will ensure our pupils are prepared for life beyond primary school and will become life-long lovers of literature.