At Reculver, we believe that the ability to read is fundamental to our children succeeding; enabling them to access the next stage of their education and beyond. Our curriculum has been designed to ensure that pupils have opportunities to develop a love of reading. Our aim is to ensure that pupils gain a thirst for reading a range of genres and participating in discussions about the books; exploring the language used by different authors and the impact the written words have on the reader. Our curriculum has also been designed to ensure that pupils not only read for pleasure but to use books to research and gather new knowledge to extend their understanding.
We believe in the importance of children developing a lifelong enjoyment of reading. We want them to “learn to read so that they can read to learn!” The children in our school show a great enthusiasm for reading and they are given a wide reading opportunity through a range of fully decodable books for those learning to read. We use our well-stocked children’s library to introduce our children to the widest possible selection of books for those mastering the skill. We believe that children become confident and fluent readers when both school and home support them. We encourage parents to hear their children read a little every evening and record comments in a reading record.
There are several key areas that children need to master to become confident readers.
1) Phonics – which gives children the ability to decode words.
2) Vocabulary – which helps understanding.
3) Comprehension – the understanding of what has been read.
4) Fluency – acts as a bridge between phonics and comprehension.
We acknowledge that having a sound understanding of phonics plays an integral role to being able to read and write, therefore we support pupils who require it through the use of a scheme called Read, Write Inc. This is a structured approach to decoding, comprehension and spelling. All Early Years children begin using the programme and this is developed daily through Key Stage 1. The programme is designed to be completed by the end of the Autumn Term for Year 2 children. For those pupils who are identified as needing to remain on the programme beyond this time will continue to have this as a daily lesson.
As the children progress through the school, they are introduced to literature of increasing complexity. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. The children are encouraged to draw inferences, make deductions, make predictions and learn to analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts.
Reading is a key skill that is essential for being able to get on in life. As a child grows up, being able to read well not only enables them to discover new facts and to learn, but also opens them up to a whole world of new ideas, stories and opportunities.
To ensure your child has the strongest opportunities for the future, all children are introduced to early reading and writing skills. Reading skills are supported by a phonics program called ‘Read, Write. Inc’; this enables children to develop a strong understanding of phonics and, as a result, become a competent reader, speller and writer.
The children are also encouraged to develop a love of reading by having access to a wide range of stories, poems and non-fiction books in our extensive library. We carefully select appropriately challenging texts for whole class readers across the school to inspire our English curriculum. These provide rich language opportunities for children to discuss and explore. High quality texts are used in all areas of the curriculum to help teach specific topics.
At Reculver we use the Accelerated Reader programme. Children take a ‘Star Reader’ assessment three times a year which provides them with a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) to help to guide their reading choices.
The children have free reign to choose books within their ZPD. After reading a book the children complete a quiz which helps the teachers to monitor their understanding and comprehension skills. We encourage the children to average 85% or above on their quizzes. If the children achieve 100% they receive a raffle ticket and are then entered into a termly prize draw.
As part of the AR programme parents can track their children’s reading from home using the ‘Home Connect’ website. Parents can receive instant feedback on the quizzes taken and help to guide their children in their reading choices
In reading, we monitor and check progression of skills throughout the year through our ‘teaching the skills of reading sessions’, end of term assessments, STAR assessments and teacher assessment. Pupils are encouraged to showcase their skills at every opportunity. Pupils will also participate in discussions with staff members to know what they have learnt, identify how they have progressed and know their next steps. Staff members will participate in professional discussions to identify the impact of teaching and learning.