At Ford Primary School, we believe that success at reading is key to unlocking the rest of the curriculum. We prioritise reading to ensure that children are equipped with the skills they need to access the curriculum as a whole. All our children are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. It is our aim that, by the end of their primary education, where appropriate, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject they meet in their forthcoming secondary education.
At Ford Primary School our teaching of reading focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both the word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading) dimensions. Our teachers recognise that different kinds of teaching are needed for each of the dimensions of reading. Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. Phonics is therefore emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school. More information about our approach towards the teaching of phonics can be found on the phonics section of our curriculum page. Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Our children develop their comprehension skills develop through their experience of high-quality discussion with our teachers and teaching assistants during guided reading sessions, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. Children in Years 5 and 6 take part in regular whole-class reading sessions to develop their reading aloud skills, vocabulary and awareness of different genres and authors.
All of our Key Stage 2 children, and some of our competent readers in Key Stage 1, take part in the Accelerated Reader (AR) programme. Our children regularly use the AR Star testing software to check their progress in reading and their ZPD book levels will be adjusted accordingly. We have a large selection of AR books for children to choose from which are carefully levelled using the stringent AR book levelling process. This means our children will be reading engaging books which offer them the exact level of challenge they need to make optimum progress in reading. Within the school day, our teachers plan in daily opportunities for children to read their AR books and take online quizzes on them. These quizzes check children’s understanding of the books they are reading. Whole school and class-based reward initiatives are used to recognise and celebrate children who read regularly and pass their quizzes.
At Ford Primary School we ensure that, during their time with us, our children are taught, practise and refine the skills needed to read fluently for meaning across all genres and subjects.
At Ford Primary School we carefully monitor the impact our teaching of reading has on each individual child’s progress and attainment. External assessments at the end of each key stage, external moderation and our internal assessments (including those carried out through our phonics programme and Accelerated Reader programme) provide detailed information about how well our reading curriculum is meeting the needs of our children and inform us of any areas of strength and also areas for development. Children’s progress in reading is also monitored by the senior leadership team during our standards days and evidence about children’s reading is investigated during our pupil progress meetings. Children’s views on their experiences and opinions about their learning and the teaching they receive are sought out by the senior leadership team as a part of standards days.
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