Core Subject Provision
One of our most important roles is to ensure children leave us as fluent, expressive and proficient readers ready to access the KS3 curriculum and beyond. In order to achieve this, we take a structured approach towards the development of children’s reading building their skills in a systematic manner using well researched, proven approaches.
In Foundation Stage and early key stage 1 we aim to ensure children secure the building blocks of reading through the provision of high quality synthetic phonics teaching. Using the Read Write Inc scheme (see Phonics) we aim for children to be able to proficiently blend sounds and segment words to enable them to read naturally and with increasing confidence and speed. High quality teaching, backed up by a dedicated Phonics Leader and regular coaching, ensures children receive a tailored offer which meets their individual needs and maximises their progress. In addition, children receive reading books closely matched to their phonics ability to take home, making sure that parents can actively support their child’s reading development. We aim for the vast majority of children to be completing the Read Write Inc scheme by early in year 2.
As children build their confidence in the mechanics of reading we start to focus on ensuring they become fluent readers who are able to read with speed and accuracy. In year 2 and early key stage 2 this becomes our main aim. Children are given increasing exposure to high quality literature which is matched to their overall reading ability through the use of Lexile scores. This ensures that high interest, engaging texts can be chosen which children can access and enjoy. We aim to maximise the time children have to practise the skill of reading and use whole class reading, echo reading and modelled reading to show children what fluent reading looks and sounds like. We teach reading in a whole class approach, encouraging children to discuss and express opinions about the texts they are reading. This ensures that they start to develop personal preferences and opinions about writers and reading.
As children continue on their reading journey we start to encourage them to think about the meaning of the texts they are reading and, ultimately, why the author has written the text as they have. This element of a child’s reading development starts in parallel to their other reading skills, with children being asked to think about the text they are reading. Initially, this focuses on retrieving information from the text and showing where they found it, building to children to inferring what characters might be feeling at different stages of a story through the details of the text. We use whole class teaching, discussion and debate to develop children’s thinking, always asking them to justify their thoughts through the use of evidence from the text they are reading. This ultimately enables children to be able to discuss why a text has been structured in the way it has and why authors make particular language choices. This empowers children to analyse texts and get under the skin of the books they read.
Reading for Pleasure
We believe that it is vitally important that, right from the start of their reading journey, children understand that reading is both pleasurable and an important skill to master. They should understand that reading opens up new worlds and new opportunities to learn and be provided with strong role models of ‘readers’. To this end, at Maltby Lilly Hall we work hard to encourage children to build a positive view of reading from their earliest days in school. We make sure that children are read to regularly during their first days in school but also support parents in reading to them by providing a range of high-quality books for them to read with their children at home. Through the 25 books to read at bedtime scheme we aim to make sure that all children benefit from a range of high-quality picture books both in and outside school. This is developed through the key stage 1 years as children take part in the ‘25 books to read with a grown-up’ initiative, reflecting the children’s growing skill in starting to understand and increasingly join in the reading of the texts. Finally, the ‘25 books at read at home’ scheme in KS2 provides a wide range of classic and contemporary fiction and non-fiction for children to enjoy. These schemes, combined with daily story times in class, reading themed assemblies and a wide selection of other reading resources provides the backbone of a strong culture of reading which helps children build a reading habit through school. The aim is to help children form a positive view of reading, forming a sense of their preferences and exploring different genres and authors – to enable them to build the foundation of a lifelong reading habit.