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High Bickington C of E Academy Vision for Reading

Vision ~ At High Bickington C of E Primary Academy, we are continually striving to create ways which foster a lifelong love of reading for all our pupils.  By exposing our children to a range of good quality literature from across all curriculum areas, supports pupils to develop their interests, understanding and aspirations.

We believe reading opens up new worlds for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places, meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures. Building up the children’s vocabulary gives them the word power they need to become successful speakers and writers as well as confident readers. Reading is a key life skill, and we strive to embed a culture of reading into the core of what we do, providing opportunities for children to read both independently and aloud as well as allowing them the chance to discuss and recommend books they have read to their peers. Reading and quality literature is implicitly interwoven into our curriculum through the use of key texts to expose our children to various genres and famous authors and to enhance the variety of exciting topics that we teach.

Intent ~ For pupils to succeed in education, reading has got to be a priority.  Pupils’ reading ability and knowledge acquisition are of great importance with the associated costs to the lives of individuals and wider society being enormous (World Literacy Foundation 2015) Irrespective of our children’s needs, abilities or background our aim is for all pupils to learn to read fluently and with understanding.  We aim to develop secure confident, independent readers who enjoy and understand the benefits of reading.

Implementation ~ We provide a ‘healthy literacy diet’ to children consisting of:                                                  

Phonics and decoding (through specialised interventions) Decoding is embedded in classroom practice through reading sessions and decision spelling, where staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them.                                                                                                  

Reading at ‘just the right level’ Once children are confidently reading, they move on to the Accelerated Reader programme in LKS2.  The school ensures all texts are accurately matched to pupil ability, as all books within AR are graded to ensure progression and challenge for all children.                                                                                                                    

Access to reading material ~ Books are carefully selected by teachers with the knowledge of how they link to other areas of the curriculum.  All classrooms have their own class reading areas with topic themed books, as well as our well-loved school library.  It is intended that these areas are further enhanced regularly.                                                                                                    

Comprehension strategies ~ All children take part in 1 Whole Class Reading session per week.  All teachers use these to introduce pupils to a range of genres and to teach a range of techniques which enable children to comprehend the meaning of what they read. These sessions take place when children are familiar with the text.  Progression is established through the use of sequential learning steps. Teachers read with pupils daily.  The focus of these reading sessions is vocabulary development, the development of specific reading skills and immersion in a wide range of texts.  These lessons use class novels as a stimulus for deeper thinking and link to a range of fiction and non-fiction texts to these in order to further develop contextual knowledge and understanding.  This is also, when reading fluency and speed is a focus.  Any children not making the expected progress have 1:1 or small group intervention using bespoke packages which supports their acquisition of sight vocabulary. The lowest 20% of children receive daily reading opportunities.

Meaningful writing opportunities - Experiences are always sought by the teachers to ensure that the children become writers with a reader in mind and also read as a writer. It is the intent of sharing powerful reading that drives standards in writing.

Impact ~ Pupils enjoy reading regularly, for information and for enjoyment.  Pupils are able to discuss books with excitement.  Pupils know the value in reading.  The impact of reading teaching is monitored closely through a range of strategies including: AR STAR quizzes in LKS2 and termly Rising Stars tests.  Pupil progress meetings ensure progress is monitored and intervention is provided to enable pupils to be on track to meet year group expectations.