At Pauntley Primary School we recognise that the ability to read is a vital life skill. As well as helping children become successful learners, we believe a love of reading is a life-long pleasure. We want pupils to experience a good range of authors and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. In our multi-age classes, our reading aim is to develop and support each child by recognising them as individuals and using a whole child approach. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold preconceptions about any pupil’s ability to make progress. We use a range of resources and strategies to help develop an enthusiasm for reading, excellent comprehension and the skills to read for information. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, so we 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.
Each classroom has a reading area which is filled with books, both fiction and non-fiction, suitable for their reading age. In Reception/Key stage 1 there is a comfortable space for the children to read throughout the day.
Each classroom has a selection of books linked to that term’s topic. This enables the children to apply their “reading for information” skills in a cross-curricular way.
Each classroom has a wide range of reading books. All children from Reception to Year 6 have a reading book to take home and which is changed regularly. Parents/carers can comment about their child’s reading in their diaries.
How Reading is planned and delivered
Phonics and reading skills
In Reception and Key Stage 1 the children have a daily phonics session following the Letters and Sounds scheme. The children work through the six phases by participating in speaking, listening, reading and spelling activities. They learn how to recognise and sound talk individual sounds, digraphs and trigraphs and to blend them together. Daily reading of carefully matched reading books enables the children to consolidate their learning. Children who joined Pauntley from other school are assessed on entry and provision is made if there are gaps in their phonic knowledge.
Furthermore, to develop comprehension skills all children have a bespoke guided reading session where teachers model, teach and enhance the core skills of: Activating prior knowledge, clarifying, questioning, inference and prediction.
In Key Stage 2 the children change their books regularly and those identified by the class teacher as needing extra support read to an adult, daily or weekly according to need. The children are questioned during reading sessions to assess their understanding of the text. In daily guided reading sessions, comprehension is the main focus. This is modelled by the teacher and careful questioning encourages the children to move from understanding of the written word to inference and deduction.
Children are read to every day by their class teacher or assistant. This could be a book that the teacher has chosen which is linked to the topic or area of interest or a recommendation by a child. Books will cover a range of genres and are chosen to enrich the children’s vocabulary, they are always of recognised high quality text. In our multi-age classes the younger children in each class benefit from being exposed to challenging and new vocabulary, whilst those who struggle with language have the opportunity to listen to explanations and consolidate their knowledge. Teachers are always aware of story content and whether it is appropriate. If it is deemed too mature then older groups are taken off to read either with a TA or volunteer. This approach also helps the children to produce good quality writing.
Children work through the school’s reading scheme using structured books which match their phonic knowledge and skills until they become “free readers”. The school follows the Letters and Sounds programme for teaching phonics. The children begin with wordless books in reception and progress to classic and modern novels in year 6.
Children read daily in worship where they have song books or the words are on screen. They read play scripts such as Bella and Barney when they present their own worship. On occasion children in key stage 2 read the class novel rather than the teacher.
Children participate in weekly paired reading sessions where older and younger children share books together.
Assessment is both on-going and summative. Reception and Year 1 have regular phonic assessments. Years 1-6 complete the Rising Stars comprehensions six times a year, Year 1 children are assessed by the Phonic Screening Check, Years 2-6 complete the NFER booklets three times a year and Years 2 and 6 are formally assessed by the end of Key Stage assessments. All staff and volunteers receive training on how to support reading and have the opportunity to observe phonic sessions to develop their own skills.
The school works closely with the home, holding reading meetings and offering support and advice. Reading diaries are used to share progress and keep lines of communication open between home and school. Reading is celebrated throughout the year with children choosing to read during Friday celebrations assemblies and an annual Poetry day in September.
All children have the opportunity to perform poetry, rhyme and song throughout the school either during assemblies, whole class sessions or as part of their topic work. The school also celebrate poetry in an annual poetry day which is held in September – the poems cover a wide range of poets including, classic, local, nonsense and multi-cultural.
Through our teaching of systematic synthetic phonics and our reading programme children at Pauntley are confident, fluent and enthusiastic readers, able to access fully the curriculum and are equipped for the next phase of their learning and beyond.