At Knavesmire Primary School, we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. When you walk around Knavesmire you will see a love and excitement for reading through displays, classroom areas and talking to our wonderful children and dedicated staff team.
Our Reading curriculum is designed to ensure all children know that reading is an open door to all other learning opportunities. They understand that reading frequently makes them a good reader, and being a good reader expands their world. Our children will embrace their own individual reading journey and will celebrate their reading milestones as they develop new strategies, learn new words, explore different genres, discover unknown authors and unpick hidden meanings. By continually reflecting on their own reading journey, our children will not only be able to read, but most importantly, will want to read.
Through our teaching of reading we intend for all of our children to:
• Gain a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.
• Read accurately, fluently and with understanding;
• Apply a knowledge of structured synthetic phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed;
• Be able to read with expression, clarity and confidence;
• Develop a good linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar;
• Read and respond to a wide range of different types of texts;
• Develop a deeper level of emotional intelligence and empathy;
• Transition to secondary school as enthusiastic, fluent and confident readers in any subject.
We do this through:
• Developing children’s competence in both dimensions of reading: word reading and comprehension.
• Prioritising reading for our early and developing readers; giving them the knowledge and skills to decode, learn and recognise a growing bank of words.
• Ensuring we have a highly effective and consistent approach to teaching phonics where every child is treated as an individual, and additional support is put in place to make sure all children can succeed.
• Fostering an appreciation and love of reading for all of our children.
• Developing curious learners who confidently participate in dialogue by questioning, relating to, expressing views and engaging in discussions around a range of quality, engaging texts.
• Placing books, texts and images at the heart of daily school life and creating an atmosphere where reading for pleasure is celebrated .
Our Reading design
At Knavesmire, we deeply understand that teaching children to read is one of the most important duties of our school- one that necessitates a foundation of knowledge on which learning can be based and one which allows children to access the joy and fulfilment that the written word has to offer.
Learning to read begins with a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics, which continues through Reception into Key Stage One (and into Key Stage two where appropriate). The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. At Knavesmire, we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Programme which provides a highly structured and effective approach. Our trained staff teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them.
The introduction of Phonics starts in Nursery where children have daily FOUNDATIONS FOR PHONICS sessions. Our youngest children are encouraged to have fun and 'play' with the English language children are exposed to a wide range of stimulus from rhyming words, alliteration to songs to role play. The emphasis is to get children attuned into listening to the sounds around them and enjoy words.
All children in Reception, KS1 and, where necessary, KS2 have daily phonics sessions in small groups where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Timely intervention is planned for those children who require additional support as soon as their needs are identified.
Latest Phonics screening check information leaflet for parents
We recognise that systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader, namely comprehension and understanding.
In EYFS and Year 1 children have weekly ‘Getting Lost in a Story’ / ‘Book Talk’ sessions and these sessions are discretely linked to the reading VIPERS skills to develop children’s reading understanding and purpose.
V = Vocabulary
Ensuring our children understand the meaning of the words they mean in context.
I = Inference
Being able to infer actions, thoughts and feelings using their understanding of the text and their wider experiences.
P = Prediction
Using evidence from what they have read and what they understand to predict what will happen next and how this will affect the plot of the narrative.
E = Explain
Use evidence to explain their answers to specific questions
R = Retrieve
Find information from a text quickly to support wider learning.
S = Sequence (KS1) and Summarise (KS2)
Accurately pick out the main events and succinctly summarise these for a wider audience.
As children move into Year 2 and KS2, (once they have completed the Little Wandle programme), the development of the reading VIPERS continues into whole class reading sessions, using high quality texts and focused skill teaching. Whole- class reading sessions ensure that children of all abilities are immersed in the same high-quality literature and the discussions that these texts promote.
The reading VIPERS are based on the 2016 content domains from the National Curriculum framework. The focus is on comprehension not mechanics of reading (which is taught through Little Wandle). As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions. Reading VIPERS allows teachers to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.
In addition to VIPERS, children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills through Skim and Scans, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills. We recognise the importance of developing a rich and extensive bank of vocabulary; therefore, we discreetly teach vocabulary directly linked to the text during every phonics and reading session.
Reading for Pleasure
At Knavesmire, we recognise that the relationship between ‘the will’ to read and ‘the skill’ to read is reciprocal so alongside working hard to develop children’s reading proficiency Reading for pleasure is a whole-school priority and we are committed to building a whole school community that loves reading. At Knavesmire we have developed a brilliant reading ethos in several ways:
- - We have developed a bespoke ‘Reading Offer’ which enables all children to reach their full reading potential.
- - All classes are exposed to a daily class reader, for pleasure, to excite and engage the children, and to expose them to new and varied vocabulary. All books shared with children are age appropriate and matched to the level of the class/individual.
- - Each child and their family has access to our outstanding and stimulating school libraries (we have an indoor and outdoor library!) where children have access to new, exciting, and high-quality texts. Each child has a weekly timetabled library slot and the libraries can be accessed by pupils over lunchtime, and are open to pupils and parents after school. More information on our school library
- - Children read with their ‘Reading Buddies’ weekly.
- Children have full access to our ‘Knavesmire 99’ a list of 99 core texts to read by the time they leave in Year 6, which have been hand selected by our teaching staff. Furthermore, each child at KPS has their own reading Passport, so they can see their reading progress.
- - For reading to be purposeful and fun, children need to see their teachers/ adults enjoying reading too. Therefore, staff display what books they are reading to encourage Book talk around school.
- - As a school we are dedicated to providing children with new and exciting texts. Therefore we regularly hold fundraising events such as Book fairs and second hand book swaps, not only are these events fun, but they are constantly promoting the profile of reading in our school community.
- - We regularly hold whole school reading events such as World Book Day and National Poetry Day. Furthermore, we hold a themed Drop Everything and Read event each half term.
- At Knavesmire, children are given ownership and choice over what they read. Each child has access to our outstanding and stimulating school library where they can choose a high quality ‘reading for pleasure’ book. Along with their choice text, children in EYFS and KS1 and where appropriate KS2, children use banded books which are directly matched to their phonic and fluency ability to build their confidence in ‘decoding’ and high frequency words.
- Reading is set as regular homework, and Electronic Reading Records as well as Reading Record books are used to enable parents and teachers to record progress made, thus facilitating the transfer of information between home and school.