It is our intent at Grove Lea Primary School to follow the National Curriculum requirements to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. We do this by using our Long Term Plans to ensure each child makes progress across the curriculum , also using Progression Grids to monitor skills, knowledge and vocabulary.
With regards to reading, learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we endeavour to ensure each child learns to read as quickly as possible to benefit them both in school and in life.
We intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. We want the children to have a love of reading, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and develop their comprehension skills. It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
The children when they begin their learning journey are immersed in a world of literacy. Words are made to be irresistible. We use quality texts (such as a wide range of stories, classic tales, myths and legends, poetry and factual texts for example) to immediately encourage them to want to read. This approach is adopted all the way through school. We then, start by teaching phonics to the children in the Foundation Stage. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are.
The children when ready also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. These are also known as Common Exception Words.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they are working on. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence, resilience and approach to new learning.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
By the end of Year 2, children should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own story book, which constantly reinforces comprehension skills.
All the staff have been trained to teach reading in the way we do it in this school. We believe that it is very important that all the teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way. Senior teachers watch other teachers and teaching assistants’ teaching to make sure that the children are learning how we want them to learn.
Children bring different sorts of books home from school. We also give the children a reading diary. It is expected that children will be heard read regularly and this will be recorded in the reading.
In Key stage 2 children are introduced to reciprocal reading. This is weekly homework that is built up through Key stage 2. It encourages the children to think about the different roles and skills that they are required to use when reading e.g. predicting what has happened in the story, clarifying unknown words. Asking questions about what has happened and what may happen, as well as asking what puzzles them about the story. Finally, they will summarise what they have read.
We want children to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly when a child is finding reading difficult. First, we move children to a different group, so that we can make sure that they have learnt what they need to know. If they still struggle, we give them extra time with an adult on their own. These adults are specially trained to support these children.
We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Children will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Pupils will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up.
We also use a reading test so that we can make sure that all our children are at the level that they should be for their age compared to all the children across the country. We complete termly assessments using the PIRA scheme and in Years 2 and 6, do practise SATs reading assessments.
In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress.