“Enjoyment of reading has a greater impact on a child’s educational achievement than their parents social-economic status” The National Literacy Trust 2014
‘First we learn to read, then we read to learn.’
Intent of our Reading Provision
At Whitehouse Community Primary School, we believe that reading is crucial in order for children to reach their full potential, and that in order to achieve well in reading, children first have to enjoy it. Therefore, supporting children in developing a love of reading underpins the reading curriculum at Whitehouse. We believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject, in preparation for their forthcoming secondary education. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.
Implementation of our Reading Provision
At Whitehouse Community Primary School, we teach the core comprehension skills (retrieval, inference, prediction, vocabulary and summarising) as whole class daily guided reading lessons. Each reading lesson focusses on one age-related key reading skill. These skills are taught using character dogs to support the children’s understanding in a way that is relevant to their age and abilities. In lessons, children study carefully selected texts which aim to inspire, motivate and promote a love of reading. In many cases, books are chosen to support and further enrich our Enquiry curriculum in order to give an even greater purpose to reading. A range of fiction texts, non-fiction texts and poetry are studied in each unit. Therefore, depending on the text length and year group, some units may only last a week while some units may last up to four weeks. Older children are more likely to study a novel for a number of weeks. Discussion is at the heart of all reading lessons and children are given the opportunities to formulate their thoughts and ideas through paired or group discussions. Children are taught to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas during whole class teaching time.
To support the planning of the units, teachers use a range of carefully written age-related targets, which cover all aspects of reading as per the National Curriculum, as well as strands from the content domains. Relevant targets are shared with the pupils at the start of every lesson along with the Whitehouse ‘three step’ learning challenges. These steps allow for differentiation and the chance for all pupils to achieve. A gold challenge offers further extension to more-able pupils. In each reading lesson, there are opportunities for independent reading and demonstrating understanding. Children are asked questions relating to the skill being taught so that they are able to practice their written explanations. These are marked daily, usually through ‘live marking’ in order for the children receive instant positive feedback and to be able to act upon advice they are given. ‘Afternoon surgeries’ are used following morning reading lessons to clarify misconceptions and to embed learning and understanding. Intervention reading groups and extra one to one reading sessions are also used to support SEND and other focus children where reading has been identified as a target area. We help each child maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers equipped with the confidence, tools and strategies that they need.
In addition to daily reading lessons, we have well-stocked libraries in school and the children are given regular opportunities to read for a variety of purposes such as reading for pleasure or reading to inform. They are encouraged to use the library to change their books regularly and we have a librarian to support children in choosing books which will interest them. We expect children to demonstrate their love of reading through regularly reading books they have chosen for themselves. At Whitehouse we use the ‘Accelerated Reader’ (AR) scheme in KS2 to support children to read books at their own level, pace and based on their interests. When children have read a book, they are asked to take a short quiz. This enables teachers to quickly identify children who need additional support. It also ensures that children are rewarded for their reading successes. We love to celebrate success at Whitehouse and children can earn points for the books they read and are awarded certificates such as ‘word millionaire’. These are celebrated in classes, assemblies and via weekly newsletters. Reading is assessed daily in reading lessons, weekly through AR data and termly through summative assessments. Each term, this data is added to the assessment tracking system and then used to target specific pupils and inform planning.
Impact of our Reading Provision
The top priority of our school reading curriculum is clear: for children to develop and demonstrate a love of reading that will enable them to make progress in all curriculum areas through sustained learning and transferrable skills.