Statement of Intent
At Willow Primary, we believe that reading is the gateway to all learning and are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers. We value reading as a key life skill, one that lays the foundations for lifelong learning. We provide our pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach them to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate effectively. We encourage and inspire all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction, to develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. We aim to establish an appreciation and a love of reading and to develop pupils’ comprehension skills.
Reading in Reception begins with phonics, from day one of starting school. This then continues as children progress through Year 1 and 2. At Willow, we use a consistent approach to teaching word reading through the Read, Write, Inc programme. The main focus is to ensure that pupils can read accurately and fluently by the time they leave Year 2. Pupils who are not on track or are making slow progress are targeted for Fast Track Tutoring. We are passionate about phonics being the primary strategy for learning to read. Therefore, pupils in Key Stage Two who have not passed the Phonics Screening Check, continue with phonics until they have finished the RWI programme; to ensure they are fluent. Fresh Start interventions are used to support pupils in Year 5 and 6, who continue to need phonics.
Whole Class Reading
As the children’s reading progresses and becomes fluent, we focus more heavily on developing their comprehension skills, structured through our whole class ‘Reading Rocks’ lessons. In these sessions, our children are exposed to a wide variety of text extracts, with a range of interesting themes such as “Time Travel”, “Awesome Men” and “Black History”. They spend dedicated time within every lesson on book talk; a discussion about high-quality extracts, from REAL books. Within this, they explore a range of comprehension skills through the support of VIPERS. They also consolidate their reading skills through follow up activities, which they complete in their reading journal.
Pupils in Early Years and Key Stage One take home a familiar RWI book that has been read in class all week, plus a book bag book which is closely matched to their phonic ability. These children also take home a picture book for pleasure, which can be shared with the whole family. In Key Stage Two, children move onto our independent readers which are also levelled. Through careful assessment, teachers select the most appropriate level for each child, ensuring that their reading is still fluent. Pupils are also encouraged to choose a book from their class library to read for pleasure. These books are also levelled, so that pupils can select a book appropriate for their age. It is not expected that this book is read by the child; it could be a book that someone reads to them, as we value the importance of being read to, at whatever age!
At the front of school, we have a book swap available to families. We welcome parents and children to ‘take what they need and have a read’ and encourage them to swap one book for another.
Every day, children across Year 1 to Year 6 take part in DEAR time. This is an opportunity for everyone to ‘Drop Everything and Read’. During this time, pupils can choose to read their fluency book or a book for pleasure. Adults within the class, listen to pupils read on a one-to-one basis, paying particular attention to the lowest 20%; those currently not on track or making slower than expected progress.
Each week, we have reading volunteers in school from ‘Read With Me’. Specific year groups are targeted to receive this support, ensuring that children who do not read often are heard on a regular basis, along with other members of the class.
In order to encourage our pupils to be aware of a range of authors, we select an author of the term for EYFS/KS1 and KS2. During our ‘Reading Rocks’ assemblies, we discover facts about these authors and listen to their stories or extracts of their texts.
Story time takes place every day. During this time, the teacher reads to the class, with no interruptions. This is purely to engage pupils in the enjoyment of literature! These texts are age-appropriate and immerse our children into worlds similar (mirrors) and different (windows) to their own. They also expose our pupils to a world of rich language.
We have reading displays in every classroom, which showcase the work that has taken place during ‘Reading Rocks’ lessons. These working walls support pupils in their learning throughout the week and is a way of capturing the quality discussions that have taken place.
Our classroom libraries are well-organised, forward facing and include a range of high-quality texts linked to our curriculum and for pleasure. You will find our author of the term and the books the class have looked at throughout the year, on display. You will also discover which text they are reading currently in their story time session.
Each week, a pupil in our Early Years and KS1 classes take home a story sack, which contains Bedtime Bear, a hot chocolate, Ted’s diary and a picture book from school. In Early Years and Year 1, you will also find quality books within many areas of the provision.