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Reading

At The Avenue Primary School, we value Reading as an essential life skill that empowers children to achieve their full potential. We have high expectations of our children as readers and our aims are: 

  • To teach every child to become a fluent and confident reader 
  • To give children the reading skills necessary to enable their learning in all subjects 
  • That each child grows to enjoy reading, in order that they become lifelong readers   

We deliver a tailor-made curriculum, based on Government recommendations, which ensures breadth of coverage, consistency and progression and takes a balanced and creative approach, combining the systematic teaching of Phonics, a focus on reading for meaning and enjoyment, and the development and understanding of a rich vocabulary. Levels of challenge and reading progress are carefully monitored throughout school to ensure that all children make the best possible progress of which they are capable. 

Early Years Foundation Stage: Nursery and Reception 

In EYFS, children are encouraged to foster a love of reading through the sharing of quality texts during shared reading and through planned learning contexts. From Nursery, children are encouraged to enjoy and take picture books home to share with parents. From Reception, children are taught reading through the delivery of daily Phonics using the Sounds-Write scheme of learning. They move onto reading books (starting with Pink band) and start reading simple sentences. The reading books that Reception children take home are closely matched to their Phonics learning in class. There is a vibrant reading culture in EYFS with inviting reading areas for children to explore exciting worlds through different literature. 

Key Stage 1 

In Key Stage 1, children are taught reading through the delivery of daily Phonics using the Sounds-Write scheme of learning which offers a very highly structured, multi-sensory approach to the teaching of reading, spelling and writing. 

In Year 1, small group guided reading sessions are taught daily that focus on the introduction of comprehension skills and consolidation of phonics learning. From Year 2 children are taught Reading Comprehension through discreet daily whole class reading sessions, led by the teacher, four times per week. All pupils in KS1 will read with an adult at least once each week. 

The vibrant reading culture continues into KS1 with comfortable reading areas in all classrooms that encourage children to independently explore fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. Each half term we also celebrate the literature of a given author.  

Key Stage 2 

Whole Class Guided Reading 

Throughout Key Stage 2, children take part in four whole class Guided Reading sessions each week based on a wide variety of carefully-chosen stimuli, including high-quality texts, picture books, images, poetry, film, lyrics, newspaper articles, advertisements, and information texts. Sessions, which last around 30 minutes each, focus on looking at texts more closely, exploring vocabulary and authorial intent, developing inference, prediction and summary skills, and answering a variety of questions. Sessions are largely discussion based and structured using VIPERS; this ensures regular practice, and deepens children’s understanding, of the full range of reading skills. 

Shared Reading Aims 

All pupils in KS2 will read with an adult in school at least once each term. Daily opportunities are provided for all children to practice reading and be heard reading aloud in lessons – using paired, echo or choral reading – and all children are encouraged to read widely and foster a love of reading through our many school initiatives. Children also enjoy listening to stories at least three times per week with Class Novels.  

Pupilsdeemed to require extra support read with an adult in school at least once per week (in addition to taught discrete reading sessions).  The key focus of any 1:1 reading in school is developing fluency and adults use a range of strategies to support the development of this.  

Organisation of reading books 

EYFS and KS1 reading books are carefully matched against each Sounds-Write unit of learning. Children read books including sounds that have recently been taught in their Phonics sessions. Books children take home include those from publishers Sounds-Write, Dandelion, Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Project X, Collins Big Cat and Songbird, amongst many others that teachers have deemed appropriately matched.  

KS2 reading books consist of scheme books (including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Project X and Navigation Non-fiction) as well as high-quality children’s books by a wide range of authors. Books are carefully banded into colours based upon the overall difficulty of the text, as well as the level of vocabulary and age-appropriate content.  

Children are taught how to choose books that they will enjoy and are encouraged to read a variety of different text types (e.g. fiction, non-fiction, poems etc.). They will work at their own pace through the colour bands, only moving on when teachers feel they are ready to progress: movement between bands is not only dependent on the ability to decode, but also on being able to show an appropriate comprehension of the texts they meet. For more information, see The KS2 Book Banding Guide

At times in Key Stage 2, children may also be benchmarked: this is a system to check not only their ability to decode and comprehend texts, but also to highlight any areas that children may need to work on before moving on. Those who are not making expected progress will be carefully monitored and may receive additional intervention (as deemed appropriate by the class teacher). 

Home Reading 

To support teaching, reinforce skills and encourage a love of reading, all children in Key Stage 2 are expected to read at home with an adult at least four times per week. The discussion and re-reading of texts at home is vital to help embed the range of skills required to become a fluent reader. Further information on how to support KS2 children with their reading journey can be found here.

Sharing and Celebrating Reading  

Throughout school, teachers share their enjoyment of reading, as well as explicitly modelling the skills required to be a successful reader.   All children are encouraged to read widely, and celebrate and foster a love of reading through our many initiatives, such as termly reading challenges, author workshops, library visits, displays and celebration days such as World Book Day, Roald Dahl Day and World Poetry Day.

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