The reading curriculum at Thornton Dale is rooted within our three pillar approach.
Reading is integral to every part of our curriculum. Children have exposure to a wealth of high-quality texts, feeding their imagination and instilling a lifelong love of reading.
- Our priority is that every child is a fluent reader by the end of KS1, regardless of their background, needs or prior attainment.
- To engage and excite our children in reading and phonics in order to promote a love of reading for every child
- To ensure that every child learns to read to a high standard of fluency and understanding, regardless of their background, needs and prior attainment so that they can access all areas of the curriculum.
- To inspire and challenge our children, through a safe and happy learning environment, to achieve excellent standards including all aspects of the National Curriculum objectives for reading
- To equip our children with a wide ‘reading diet’ so that they become well rounded readers
- To close the ‘word gap’ in order to expand pupils' vocabulary and deepen their understanding of the texts they are reading
- To ensure that any gaps in learning, as a result of COVID, are closed and pupils meet age related expectations in reading and phonics
- To enable our children to articulate their learning confidently and to remember knowledge and vocabulary in reading and phonics
- To prepare and inspire our children for further learning in reading in secondary school and beyond
Our Implementation - Phonics Pillar One
Phonics is implemented through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. This programme was chosen due to its rigour and fidelity, providing our children with a fast paced, ambitious approach. There is a priority on CPD for all staff, including PDMs, use of Little Wandle training portal and Trust moderation.
- The Phase 2 programme of teaching begins as children enter Reception.
- We ensure the teaching of phonics is systematic and consistent across school. The lessons are always taught at a fast pace to ensure children are highly engaged for the sessions.
- We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
- Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.
- Phonics is taught in a whole class approach. Any gaps in knowledge are addressed through 5-minute boxes (additional to whole-class phonics sessions) from the start of the year in order for children to ‘keep up’ with their peers. Therefore, the children then move through the phase groups as one group together,
- We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:
- Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
- Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy
Assessment and extra practice
- Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read.
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources, and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning. This is extended into Year 2 and 3 for any children for are not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check.
- In addition to Keep up sessions, there are opportunities for repeated practice throughout the day.
- The reading curriculum is ambitious for children with SEND and those who are disadvantaged.
- We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.
- Regular progress meetings are held with all reading teachers in KS1 to monitor children making the slowest progress. Children in danger of falling behind, or who are working under expected levels (lower 20%), are swiftly identified and enough additional support is provided to enable them to keep up.
- If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 10 minutes and take place at least three times a week.
Decodable Reading Books
We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children. We use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’.
These group reading sessions are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
Each reading practice session has a clear focus so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory.
The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
In Reception, these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
In Year 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.
Our Implementation - Reading
The reading curriculum is ambitious for all children, particularly those with SEND and those who are disadvantaged. Teachers identify daily target readers to support children to make consistent progress.
Our opportunities pledge means that children are provided with a wide range of experiences, which will have a positive impact on their understanding of the wider world, imagination and thus comprehension of a text.
Reading Skills and Language Comprehension Pillar Two
- In EYFS, KS1 and KS2, there are daily opportunities during our reading aloud time where teachers model reading, which gives the children the opportunity to understand what is being read as well as listen to excellent use of expression and intonation.
- Children have a broad reading diet and are exposed to many genres and a range of authors both 'Old and Gold' and 'New and Bold', as well as high quality non-fiction texts and poetry.
- In EYFS, teachers use our reading spine, which has mapped core texts that promote children's understanding of vocabulary, grammar, the world and global events, as well as improve their ability to communicate effectively. There is a heavy emphasis on revisiting unfamiliar and new vocabulary to support children's Early Language Development.
- Throughout the day in play, through our in-the-moment approach to teaching and learning, and during storytime, adults consistently model language, vocabulary, and syntax both from books and stories, seeking to introduce new and challenging vocabulary. We will not shy away from words deemed ‘too tricky’.
- Stories and books are evident in all areas of the classroom to support play-based learning.
- In Reception, We Love to Read, is taught through a whole class, daily session. These sessions include best practice from Talk through Stories and ensure children have a firm understanding of basic comprehension, inference and vocabulary skills.
- In the Reception classroom, there are also opportunities for children to blend and read simple words. This builds up over time and is linked to their cumulative phonic knowledge.
- In KS1 and KS2 children are taught reading through a Whole Class Reading sequence, where they answer comprehension questions, linked to the reading domains. These questions require them to think deeply and connect their thinking to evidence from the text.
- The ongoing assessment of children’s reading progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind. Where a child falls behind, targeted support is given immediately in line with our ‘Keep up, not catch up’ policy.
Love of Reading Pillar Three
Teachers encourage reading for pleasure and a love of reading across our school by
- Reading out loud to children at least once a day.
- Providing time and space for children to share their recommendations and opinions during our DEAR sessions
- Using our KS1 and kS2 library to explore a variety of texts with the use of our school librarians
- Encouraging reading at home. Children take home books that closely match the letter-sound correspondences, but also are also able to take home a ‘reading for pleasure’ book from our Library.
- Developing children’s rich ‘reading diet’ and knowledge of literature. Children are given the opportunity to personally respond to texts, debating and developing links to other texts, authors, and prior knowledge.
- Weekly Reading Raffle funded by our Friends of the school and reading incentives
- Cosy reading areas contain high quality texts. These are organised into genres, recommended reads and our Super 7 to encourage book talk amongst the children.
- Our before and after school club, The Burrow, promotes a book of the week and has a daily story time.
- Helicopter stories
- Poetry Basket
Implementation - Spoken Language
To develop pupils’ understanding and use of spoken language: Pupils’ vocabulary, grammar, understanding of the world, and their ability to communicate effectively are improved through the quality and variety of language they are exposed to through; unpicking key vocabulary from a quality text with a heavy emphasis on revisiting unfamiliar vocabulary daily.
In EYFS, reading is a priority. We focus on developing fluency, confidence and enjoyment of reading. Throughout the day in play through our in the moment approach to teaching and learning and during story time, adults will consistently model language, vocabulary and syntax both from books and stories, seeking to introduce new and challenging vocabulary.. We will not shy away from words deemed ‘too tricky’. Stories and books, as well as opportunities to blend simple words, are evident in all areas of the classroom to support play-based learning.
Two We love to read sessions in EYFS; supporting children to predict, infer, make links, describe. New vocabulary is taught through these sessions and evidenced in vocabulary floor books.A vocabulary floor book in EYFS demonstrates when staff teach and model new vocabulary to children. This is recorded and revisited regularly. Children have access to the vocabulary floor book during provision time, offering them the opportunity to discuss recently taught vocabulary.
There are high quality texts in our cosy reading areas to inspire a love of books and provide the opportunity for children to tell stories and read individually, in pairs and in small groups. The books in reading areas are organised into genres and recommended reads to encourage book talk amongst the children.
Through our daily Whole Class Reading sequence from Year 3 - Year 6, children answer a range of comprehension questions, linked to the reading domains, which require them to think deeply and connect their thinking to evidence from the text.
Children from EYFS to Year 6 have a broad reading diet, and are exposed to many genres and a range of authors. There are daily opportunities for teachers to model reading, which not only gives the children opportunities to develop their comprehension skills but it also gives the children opportunities to listen to excellent use of expression and intonation.
The ongoing assessment of children’s reading progress is sufficiently frequent and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind. Where a child falls behind, targeted support is given immediately in line with our ‘Keep up, not catch up’ policy.
- Phonics teaching is strong, as a result of high quality coaching and CPD.
- Children become fluent readers by the end of KS1
- Reading provision is strong as a result of rigorous sequential approaches to Phonics and the teaching of reading
- Children are passionate about reading
- Pupils can access and follow an ambitious reading curriculum that has our vision for exceptionally high expectations as a driver
- End of key stage data is in line with or above national
At Thornton Dale, we have identified a collection of high quality, key texts for some of our youngest pupils in schools. These texts will be shared with children in Reception, Year One and Year Two in order to promote a love of reading. We understand the need for repetition when reading favourite stories and therefore these books will be regularly shared with the class. We enhance the Super 7 books in each classroom with resources and props to support our children with remembering key vocabulary whilst enabling them to retell the stories that they have enjoyed.
We have categorised these texts into Seven super groups. These include; Traditional Tales, Emotions & Feelings, Rhythm & Rhyme, Diversity & Acceptance, Classics, Changemakers & Relationships.
At Thornton Dale, from Year 1 to Year 6, we carefully choose high quality Core Texts which inspire both the children's writing and reading comprehension. Our Core Texts are chosen carefully with our children's interests at the center. Our chosen Core texts also link with our Learning Cycles.
Throughout the Year children are exposed to a wide range of genres. We also have complementary texts which run alongside our Core Texts for example non fiction and poetry.
Regular monitoring is undertaken.
Lizzie Woolgar (Phonics and Early Reading Lead)
Becky Humphreys (Reading Lead)
Please click here to read our Phonics and Early Reading policy