English - Reading
“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” – Frank Serafini
“Teach a child to read and keep that child reading (and talking) and we will change everything. And I mean everything.” - Jeanette Winterson
At Arboretum Primary School, we believe that all children, in all year groups, should have access to high quality texts; enabling them to experience the intrinsic joy that reading can bring, as well as developing a knowledge and understanding of the world around them. We believe that reading is the key to all other subjects and is at the heart of becoming a well-rounded individual. Reading exposes our children to the language and vocabulary that they need now and in their future.
Our reading curriculum is designed with the intention that children are ‘knowing more and remembering more’: transferring skills and knowledge within and across lessons. Through a well-structured and progressive reading scheme, we intend to build a wider school community of well-informed parents/carers, who can support children effectively at home. Having a shared staff understanding is essential to our success – this enables us to develop a consistent approach, which closes gaps in children’s understanding.
Books are at the centre of our curriculum planning and are chosen for their rich content, high-quality vocabulary and representation of diversity. With a mixture of modern and classic authors, fiction and non-fiction and a varied range of ethnicities and genders, our book offer provides the backbone to reading, writing and topic lessons. This curriculum integration reinforces decoding and comprehension whilst allowing pupils to apply reading skills in a range of real-life contexts.
Reading takes priority in our timetable, with multiple opportunities available each day. Through RWInc, our earliest readers are taught to read accurately and fluently with secure simple comprehension skills. This begins in Nursery, where children develop their speaking and listening skills. All children have access to these daily sessions, from Nursery to Y6, based on assessment of their needs. All pupils take part in daily whole-class reading sessions. The focus of this in EYFS/KS1 is primarily decoding, with the expectation that most children will have gained appropriate fluency by Year 2. Beyond RWInc, whole-class reading focuses more deeply on comprehension, where SATs style questions are shaped by our “Super Six” reading heroes. We believe in the importance of discussion, building on ‘Book Talk’ with both modelled and independent comprehension opportunities. Further to this, we share a daily class story or novel with the pupils – reading this aloud to ensure that pupils can fully immerse themselves in the moment, without cognitive overload.
Well-matched home-reading books are in place in all classes. For children accessing RWInc, titles mirror the children’s current phonics group stage and texts. In KS2, home reading books are banded and children are given a choice of books that are closely matched to both their decoding and comprehension abilities. We recognise and value the importance of home-reading; therefore, we ask that children read at home at least 4 times per week. Additional to this book, children also have access to a plethora of books in classes to take home to read for pleasure, including those from our well-stocked school library.
We recognise that some pupils may need support in reading and teachers use regular assessment to ensure that all children are both well-challenged and supported as necessary. Children in KS2, needing phonics intervention, attend RWInc sessions whilst tutoring interventions are reviewed regularly to ensure that support is well-targeted. Our Arboretum Reading Buddies continue to support our bottom 20% of readers by supporting them with decoding and fluency three times per week.
Rigorous and regular assessment is crucial in the implementation of our English curriculum. Alongside ongoing AfL in lessons, children are provided with regular opportunities to celebrate their achievements via summative assessment. Considering the age and stage of pupils, this is either done through RWInc phonics assessments, PIRA tests or past SATs papers.
All of the above is monitored regularly by SMT through learning walks, work scrutiny and PDM subject development, to ensure quality first teaching.
Reading holds upmost importance in our whole school culture and has a high profile across our whole school. National reading events are celebrated with consistency and enthusiasm, books are celebrated in all spaces around school and books are given as rewards wherever possible.
Through implementation of our robust reading offer, we expect that pupils will develop a strong foundation of literacy skills including being able to read with age-appropriate fluency, use and understand a wide range of vocabulary and comprehend texts securely. Communication skills of our pupils will be enhanced, with children able to express themselves confidently and articulately in both spoken and written forms. With thanks to our cross-curricular focus, pupils will have broadened knowledge and perspective of a wide range of historical, geographical and cultural topics, increasing their tolerance and empathy as well as expanding their understanding of the world around them. Reading proficiency will increase across all year groups, across all subject areas, with students well equipped to comprehend and analyse a variety of texts and information presented to them. All of this impact will be monitored with regular assessment: sticky knowledge quizzes, learning walks, book looks and PIRA papers.
Positive impact will be further shown by pupil voice discussions, where pupils will be able to identify and talk about favourite authors and stories. This will be supported by parents, who will feel more equipped with strategies to support their children at home. Perhaps most importantly, through engaging and enjoyable reading experiences, Arboretum Primary School aims to instil a lifelong love of reading, which extends beyond the classroom years and into pupils’ adult lives.
Reading Progression Grid
Our School Library
Click here to visit our school library page.
Information for Parents
Please read at home with your child at least 4 times per week and record this in their reading record book.
Children will move up their 'Read for the Stars' chart and can receive prizes each term!