At St. Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary School, we strongly believe that reading is a vital life skill and we strive for all children to enjoy and value it. It is our aim to develop and create passionate readers for life.
Reading underpins the whole of the curriculum; each REAL Project has identified Key Texts running through the project. Throughout their time here children read a variety of high-quality books from different reading schemes. These are banded carefully to ensure that children read books at the correct level. The books provide a variety of Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry texts for the children to enjoy. Our children also have the opportunity to read quality books from classroom libraries and the school library. Our passion and drive for promoting the love of reading was recognised in May 2019 when we were, for a second time, awarded the Gold standard for the Liverpool Reading Quality Mark (Appendix A).
The teaching of reading can be broken down into ‘Word Reading’ and ‘Comprehension’. Word reading is initially taught through phonics (Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondence) and follows the scheme ‘Read Write Inc’. Systematic phonics lessons are taught daily in the Foundation Stage and Year 1 (and to those Year 2 children who have not passed the Phonics Screening Check) and this underpins the teaching of early reading.
In Nursery the children are introduced to sound discrimination (environmental sounds, instrumental sounds and body percussion), rhyme and rhythm, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting (Read Write Inc ‘Fred Talk’). Adult-led work supports linking sounds and letters in the order in which they occur in words, and naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet. Children learn to orally segment words and blend familiar words. In the last term of Nursery, children are taught to say the sounds of letters.
Following a period of whole class phonics teaching in Reception using the Read Write Inc scheme, the children are assessed and are then grouped according to the findings of these assessments. Phonics sessions take place daily. Assessments are then done each half term and the children’s progress is monitored closely. Expectations of attainment are shown in Appendix B. Children who are not at the expected level are given additional phonics intervention, either individually or in small groups. Teaching Reception children phonics in smaller, attainment-based groups enables progress to be closely monitored and work tailored to the children’s needs.
Children who are beginning their journey towards reading are given phonetically decodable books to read that are closely matched to the phonics teaching that they receive. During Reception year, children learn ‘red’ words which are not phonetically decodable and use these to read book banded reading books alongside phonetically decodable books as they are ready.
Children in Year 1 receive a daily whole class phonics session broadly based on the Read Write Inc scheme. The GPC/s taught are directly reflected in the spellings taught and practised each week. Those children who are working towards the expected level shown in Appendix B receive further phonic instruction in small groups additional to the daily phonics session.
The children in Year 1 have daily Guided Reading sessions of 20 minutes. A different focus group is taken by the teacher each day, where the children are taught skills in order to progress with their reading. These skills are based on the teachers’ assessment and the children’s next steps. Books used may be phonetically decodable or from a wider range of book banded books. Children’s reading progress is assessed regularly. Further to the focus group, a carousel of activities is undertaken by the children working independently or with a Teaching Assistant. The activities are linked to the texts the children are reading, GPCs taught, high frequency word reading and spelling. These activities promote the independent application of skills.
Additional reading in Year 1 takes place during Reading Rocketeers lessons. In these lessons the children have the opportunity to understand and apply core reading skills. These shared reading sessions develop the children’s comprehension skills at word, sentence and whole text levels, improve reading fluency in a meaningful way and focus on reading for meaning through high quality discussion.
Year 2 and Key Stage 2
The classes have Guided Reading daily. Each year group is taught in 3 groups. This Guided Reading was introduced in January of 2020 following training from John Murray. Each Guided Reading lesson is 45 minutes long. Quality texts and quality discussion around these texts is incorporated into every lesson. Reading skills are explicitly taught and the needs of each group is met through ongoing assessment and the practise of skills taught. The structure and cycle of the lessons can be seen in Appendix C. Additional reading time is given in class, children share class novels and teachers and Teaching Assistants listen to children read. Children are able to choose books from the school library and may also be given book banded reading books. Reading Plus is a computer programme used to help assess children’s reading comprehension and reading rate. It also allows teachers to understand gaps in children’s reading skills and this information is then fed into Guided Reading lessons.
At St. Teresa’s, we recognise the strong links between support at home and success in reading and seek to encourage a positive home-school reading partnership. We recommend that parents and carers take the time to share books with their children to further develop positive attitudes towards reading. We offer workshops for parents and carers on how they can support reading at home.
In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children read with an adult weekly and take books and high frequency words home to practise. Additional reading opportunities are given for children who have been identified as needing additional support. In Key Stage 2 children read with an adult weekly and, as in Key Stage 1, children who have been identified as needing additional support have further reading time allocated.