Reading at St Martin’s Church Of England Primary School
Aims of our reading curriculum
At St Martin’s Church of England Primary School, we highly value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling all of our pupils to become lifelong readers. Reading takes them into imagined worlds far beyond their own experience and makes possible endless opportunities to explore new areas of learning, thinking and ideas. The power of reading is immense, and we want children to be able to take full advantage of the benefits, pleasure and enjoyment that it has to offer.
We believe that reading is the foundation for success across the curriculum and at St Martin’s Church of England Primary School, we intend to:
- Enable children to read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- Develop children to become enthusiastic and motivated readers
- Develop children’s confidence in reading a wide variety of genres and text types, for both pleasure and information
- Teach children the skills to decode words in order to be able to read fluently with a good understanding of what they have read
- Encourage a love of literature and enjoyment of reading for pleasure
- Use discussion in order to learn, enabling children to be able to elaborate and explain their understanding and ideas clearly
Reading in School
At St Martin's Church of England Primary School we use 'Reading Vipers' to support children with their reading comprehension skills. All children will be working on VIPERS during class reading, whether it is reading as a class, in a small group, or one-to-one with an adult.
All children are heard to read on an individual basis multiple times during the week, working on individual targets, specific to each child at their level.
Phonics is taught daily throughout EYFS and KS1, following the "Supersonic Phonic Friends" Programme for teaching. This continues into Year 3 to support the children as they transition into KS2. ( See below for more information)
Home reading books
In EYFS & KS1 the children take home reading books that are fully decodable. (This continues into KS2 where appropriate) These books are carefully selected and levelled and they progress through the phonics phases in line with the Supersonic Phonic Friends phonics programme that we use in school. Each child reads fully decodable books that practise sounds that they have learned in their phonics sessions at school. As the children move further through KS1, they also begin to access the Accelerated Reader books/system alongside these reading books.
Throughout KS2 the children use ‘Accelerated Reader’, which is a computer program that helps teachers to manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Each child picks a book at his/her own level (ZPD level, which is determined by a termly STAR reading assessment at school) and reads it at their own pace. When they have finished the book, the children take a short quiz on the computer or ipad. (Passing the quiz demonstrates that the child has understood what was read.) Accelerated Reader gives the children and staff at school feedback based on the quiz results, which is then used to help each child to set goals and direct ongoing reading practice. It is also extremely useful to help staff to identify children who need additional support with their independent reading. Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them. Parents and carers are also able to track their child’s progress in reading and stay informed of their quiz results, using Accelerated Reader’s ‘Home Connect’ system.
Reading for Pleasure
At St Martin's Church of England Primary School we have many exciting initiatives to ensure that our pupils develop and maintain their love of reading. These include:
- Every class has a range of texts which are carefully chosen in order to expose children to a wide range of genres and authors. These are read to the children by their class teacher on a daily basis.
- Rocket The Reading Rabbit – The EYFS and KS1 classes have a ‘Rocket The Reading Rabbit’ reading mascot who visits a different child’s house each evening to share a bedtime story with their family.
- Author visits – Local authors are invited in to share their books – a super opportunity for the children to become inspired by real authors and to ask questions. We also join online author sessions wherever possible.
- Library visits – Children are taken on trips to the local library. They are also encouraged to take part in school holiday competitions/reading initiatives run by local libraries.
- Extreme Reading Challenges – Children are encouraged to show their love of reading off by reading in wild and wacky places!
- Word Millionaire rewards – Children appear on our Word Millionaire board, as well as earning their special ‘Golden Word Millionaire Badge’.
- Bronze, Silver and Gold 'AR STAR' badges are awarded to acknowledge reaching milestones on their way to reaching Word Millionaire status.
- Children who demonstrate enthusiasm, positive attitudes, or perseverance in their reading are awarded a 'Reading Star' badge.
- Book Week/World Book Day – A new theme every year with school wide activities and events, including book themed dress up days.
- Book recommendations – Children are regularly encouraged to recommend books to other children by sharing book reviews/recommendations. These are shared with parents/carers also.
- Daily story time in every class – A rich variety of stories and texts are available in every class, with the current class text being displayed outside the classroom.
- Books at Bedtime – Evening story time in pyjamas with hot chocolate and biscuits!
- Parents being invited in for ‘share a book’ sessions
- Book related home learning challenges, including writing book reviews/recommendations for their peers
- Books are available for children to read at lunchtimes/breaktimes
At St Martin's Church of England Primary School we follow the ‘Supersonic Phonic Friends’ phonics programme, which is an engaging, progressive programme designed to help teach children to read (decode) and spell with phonics.
Phonics 1 - Firm Foundations
Firm Foundations in Phonics offers experience, exposure and enjoyment of sound awareness. This phase is purely about securing a strong sound processing system which is critical to enjoyment and success in children’s later reading and writing skills.
In the initial stages. there are daily activities for children to develop their auditory processing and memory skills and tune into sounds in the environment, instruments and body percussion. In the later stages there are daily activities for children to develop their skills in rhythm and rhyme, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting.
The Basics 2
The Basics 2 teaches children at least one spelling for 18 of the 44 sounds of the English language. Children will use their auditory processing and memory skills from Firm Foundations in Phonics 1 to start to recognise the spellings for the sound with Sam, segment and build with Seb and Bill, read and blend with Rex and Ben and write with Ron. They will learn the early concepts of Choose to Use with Suze for a handful of multiple spellings for sounds.
At the end of The Basics 2, children will be able to hear up to 3 sounds in words, recognise spellings and read and write simple CVC words with the 18 spellings for sounds. They will be able to read decodable texts with The Basics 2 spellings and make phonetically plausible attempts in their emerging stages of spelling in their writing journey.
The Basics 3
The Basics 3 teaches children the spellings for the further 26 of the 44 sounds of the English language. Children will use their auditory processing and memory skills from Firm Foundations in Phonics 1 and their Basics 2 skills to continue to recognise the spellings for the sound with Sam, segment and build with Seb and Bill, read and blend with Rex and Ben and write with Ron. They will continue to learn the early concepts of Choose to Use with Suze for some further multiple spellings for sounds and an introduction to Switch it with Mitch for alternative pronunciations of spellings for sounds. Children will learn their tricky words with Tess and read nonsense words with Nan.
The Basics 4
The Basics 4 teaches children to be able to hear more than 3 sounds in a word. They will continue to embed their mastery of The Basics 1 and 2 spellings for sounds in words and progress to 4, 5 and 6 sounds in a word. They will be supported by Magic Mack and Jazzy Jack who will help them hear the tricky adjacent consonants that are challenging to hear in words of more than 3 sounds. Children will learn their tricky words with Tess and read nonsense words with Nan.
The Higher Levels of Phonics - Choose To Use Spellings
The Higher Levels of Phonics – Choose to Use Spellings teaches children the concept that there are more than one spelling for a sound that they can hear in a word. With the help of Choose to Use Suze, they will find out all about ‘sounds the same but looks different’ and cool and not so cool choose to use spelling rules for up to 85 spellings for the 44 sounds of the English Language. With the help of Switch it Mitch, they will also find out all about ‘ looks the same, sounds different’ and switch it spelling sounds where one spelling can make up to 2 different sounds in words. Children will learn their tricky words with Tess and read nonsense words with Nan.
The Higher Levels of Phonics - Switch It Spell It Sounds
The Higher Levels of Phonics – Switch it Spell Sounds teaches children the concept that there are more than one spelling for a sound that they can hear in a word. With the help of Choose to Use Suze, they will find out all about ‘sounds the same but looks different’ and cool and not so cool choose to use spelling rules for up to 85 spellings for the 44 sounds of the English Language. With the help of Switch it Mitch, they will also find out all about ‘ looks the same, sounds different’ and switch it spelling sounds where one spelling can make up to 2 different sounds in words. Children will learn their tricky words with Tess and read nonsense words with Nan.
Year 1 Phonics Screening
At the end of Year 1, children will undertake a statutory phonics screening check. This is a short assessment to make sure that children have learnt phonics to an appropriate standard.
There are 40 words in the screening check which children are asked to read on a one-to-one basis with their teacher. The check is made up of 'real words' (eg. 'mud') and 'pseudo-words' (eg. 'splog') and children need to apply their phonic knowledge to read all words. Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening are supported through carefully targeted interventions, followed by then being able to resit the screening check in Year 2. These children are further supported in KS2.