Curriculum Leader: Miss Lacey Jenney
At Reynolds Academy, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. We are committed to fostering a love of reading and enabling our children to become lifelong readers. To help embed a culture of reading, we provide the children with opportunities to read independently, on a one-to-one basis with an adult and as part of whole class teaching. We actively encourage the children to share their opinions and ideas about what they have read and to give recommendations to their peers. As part of our focus on reading, we have developed two new welcoming reading areas in the school where our children can relax in comfort and let a book whisk them away to a new world. In addition to this, we have forged links with members of the local community which has allowed us to organise a weekly visit from a therapy dog – something that further encourages the children to read! The reading challenge encourages children to read a variety of texts at least three times a week at home; engaging parents and carers in the children’s reading. Our reading journey begins in Foundation Stage with the use of Bug Club Phonics to support the children’s phonetical understanding. At this point, they will learn all the 44 sounds and the corresponding letter groups. Further phonics work throughout KS1 paves the way for competent word reading. As children progress through the school, word reading skills are refined and comprehension skills developed and embedded as part of whole class guided reading. Reading Gems are implemented across the school and children become familiar with a range of different reading domains through the explicit teaching of these skills. By the time children leave the school, our aim is that they will be competent and enthusiastic readers with experiences of a variety of literature.
What approach do we take to teaching reading? Early reading is taught through systematic synthetic phonics using Bug Club Phonics. Teachers in Reception and Year 1 are provided with phonics pacing sheets to support in the delivery of the curriculum. At this point, the children will learn all of the 44 sounds and the corresponding letter groups. Further phonics work throughout KS1 paves the way for competent word reading. Early reading is supported through the use of Bug Club books. As the children progress through the school, word reading continues to be supported through use of a system of levelled books, which the children progress through. Alongside reading banded books, the children are encouraged to develop their own personal preferences and have the opportunity to choose their own books from the selections within the classrooms and in the library. The timetable has been organised so that each class has allocated time in the library. At the end of the school day, the pupils will listen to their class teacher read, allowing the children the time to enjoy listening to someone read to them and to develop a love of being immersed within a book. It is important that children listen to a mixture of new texts and stories, but that they also enjoy revisiting well-known stories, their favourite stories and ones which they have chosen for themselves. As the children progress through the school, word reading skills continue to be refined and key comprehension skills developed and embedded. These key skills are taught and developed through whole class guided reading sessions, which generally link in with the written units of work that the children are working on. Reading Gems are implemented across the school, which tie in directly with the reading domains in the national curriculum. Children become familiar with a range of different reading domains through the explicit teaching of these skills during dedicated guided reading sessions. In addition, children are also exposed to a variety of supporting texts to further enhance their knowledge, particularly with reference to non-fiction and poetry. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum and children are encouraged to develop their own preferences of genres and authors.
We use FFT for teachers and Curriculum Leaders to monitor coverage and track progress across reading. Leaders also carry out regular monitoring to ensure that appropriate sequencing is in place. Teachers use a mixture of the national curriculum, FFT statements and knowledge of the children, in conjunction with planning, to ensure that children develop their knowledge and skills as they move from Early Years through to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. In addition to this, regular testing takes place through the use of Testbase.