Reading

Rationale – Teaching Reading at Whirley

At Whirley, we have 6 key steps that provide a common thread through our reading curriculum:

  • well trained staff
  • embedded reading curriculum
  • engaged parents
  • nurturing reading environment
  • quality targeted resources
  • regular celebration of reading

These key steps enable us for focus on two specific objectives:

  • to foster a love of reading
  • to teach reading

Children at Whirley will be taught a range of strategies to support their reading and comprehension skills throughout their time here. Their learning journey begins with phonics in Reception which progresses to guided reading groups throughout Key Stage One, and then whole class teaching using Cracking Comprehension. Trained and experienced staff will use a range of resources to support children’s reading, regularly assess progress and identify areas of needs to plan clear objectives to accelerate learning.

What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when they’re combined will help children decode words as they read.

Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words. Phonics involves matching the sounds of spoken English with individual letters or groups of letters. For example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck or ch. Teaching children to blend the sounds of letters together helps them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. For example, when a child is taught the sounds for the letters t, p, a and s, they can start to build up the words: “tap”, “taps”, “pat”, “pats” and “sat”.

What is Guided Reading?

Teachers and teaching assistants will work with a small number of children to analyse a text in detail, making sure each child can read each word and discuss meaning of the text with them. Children will be divided into ability groups, according to their reading levels. The teacher will choose a set of books for the group she or he is reading with, that is appropriate to their level. The teacher will plan an objective for the lesson, this will focus on the needs of the group they are working with. Example may include; blending and segmenting, fluency, prediction, intonation, inference and deduction.

What is Cracking Comprehension?

Cracking Comprehension is a range of resources that have been developed specifically for the new 2014 curriculum to improve reading comprehension skills across the whole school. With a mix of interactive whiteboard activities, practice texts and assessment tasks, Cracking Comprehension allows teachers to model, and children to practise those skills and techniques needed to improve reading comprehension skills. Using a step-by-step approach, it teaches children the skills and strategies they need to successfully explain their understanding of a wide range of texts, and offers ideas to extend their enjoyment of, and engagement with, reading.

There are nine comprehension units for each Year, three per term: one each of fiction, non-fiction and poetry or play scripts from well-known authors such as Dick King-Smith, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen and Carol Ann Duffy.

EYFS
In Reception children are welcomed into a world where books are loved, exciting and celebrated. The children are immediately immersed in books, we look at pictures and tell a story, for most, this is the beginning of their reading journey. We also begin teaching phonics straight away.  This is the basis of our reading teaching. We teach 25 minutes of phonics every day, whole class. As well as some children being supported to in ‘catch up.’

We read vc and cvc books weekly with the children on an individual basis. The books are based on the child’s phonics ability. During this session children read with the teacher or teaching assistant developing reading skills. Throughout the session the teacher will model reading through segmenting and blending to encourage and support children’s confidence. Towards the Spring term, reading is taught weekly through small group guided reading sessions based on the child’s reading and phonics ability. During this small guided reading session, children all share the same text, where they follow and listen to others in their group segmenting and blending in order to read for meaning. Throughout each session, the class teacher continues to model reading using a range of strategies to encourage and support children’s confidence to read fluently.

Children are sent home with 2 different reading books a week, one of these will be a phonics-based book which directly links to their phonics ability; therefore, children are exposed to the different sounds they have learnt during our dedicated phonics session. Children are also given the opportunity to take home a ‘free choice book’. This is a book that is still colour banded based on phonic ability, however the child has been able to choose this based on their own preference and interests. There is a communication link with home through the school homework diaries and teachers and staff record children’s reading books and next steps in their planners each time a child is read with.

Year 1

All children receive daily phonics lessons to support the development of their reading and spellings skills. Those children who find using phonetic strategies difficult in either there reading or spelling, take part in additional revision sessions.

Building on from individual reading in reception, reading is taught through small group guided reading sessions based on the child’s reading and phonics ability. During this small guided reading session, children all share the same text, where they follow and listen to others in their group segmenting and blending in order to read for meaning. Throughout each session, the class teacher will model reading using a range of strategies to encourage and support children’s confidence to read fluently. Within this session children are also taught a range of reading comprehension strategies based on their ability level.

Towards the Spring term, children will begin to take part in a whole class guided reading session where we use Cracking Comprehension, they will all share the same text and are taught different decoding skills as well as different questions types and how to answer these in preparation for Year 2.

Children are sent home with 2 different reading books a week, one of these will be a phonics-based book which directly links to their phonics ability; therefore children are exposed to the different sounds they have learnt during our dedicated phonics session. Children are also given the opportunity to take home a ‘choosing book’. This is a book that is still colour banded based on phonic ability, however the child has been able to choose this based on their own preference and interests. There is a communication link with home through the school homework diaries and teachers and staff record children’s reading books and next steps in their planners each time a child is read with.

Year 2

A combination of whole class, group and individual guided reading takes place in Year 2, with the emphasis moving towards more whole class teaching than in previous year groups.  At least once a week all children participate in a whole class guided reading session using Cracking Comprehension as a structured resource. The focus during these lessons is to develop an understanding of text as well as developing sequencing, inferring and prediction skills. Parents are made aware of the weekly focus so that they can support their child when reading at home.

The children also participate in guided reading sessions in groups according to their ability. The learning focus remains the same as when they work as a whole class. Those children who find it difficult to read basic texts fluently also receive significant further opportunities to read with adults on a one to one basis. This may be with their teacher, teaching assistant or other adult helper.

All children receive daily phonics lessons to support the development of their reading and spellings skills. Those children who find using phonetic strategies difficult in either there reading or spelling, take part in additional revision sessions.

The children take home a structured book chosen by the teacher from the school scheme once a week. This book is ability (colour) banded. Up until the children reach the orange band, the structured book is phonetically based. From this level upwards, the book may require the child to make more use of a wider range of reading strategies. As well as their structured scheme book, children can also select a book from their ability band every day.

There is a communication link with home through the school homework diaries and teachers and staff record children’s reading books and next steps in their planners each time a child is read with.

Year 3

Moving forward from Year 2, children continue to take part in a combination of whole class and group guided reading sessions.

At the beginning of the year, children participate in small grouped guided reading sessions; these groups are based on their ability. Each week, the groups will sit down and read a book together. Through dialogic teaching, the teacher scaffolds the children as they read, talk and think their way through a text. The main goal of these sessions is to help children use reading strategies whilst reading for meaning independently.

Whole class guided reading session using Cracking Comprehension is then introduced. During these lessons, children are exposed to a variety of different texts where they focus on developing sequencing, inferring and prediction skills. In these lessons, children are taught the skills and strategies that they need to successfully explain their understanding of a wide range of texts, whilst at the same time offering ideas to extend their enjoyment of, and engagement with, reading.

Parents are encouraged to read with their children, by doing this, children can use the skills they have been taught at school and apply them at home.  The children take home a structured book chosen by the teacher from the school scheme once a week. This book is ability (colour) banded and this has been brought up to them from Year 2.  Reading is many things, but ultimately it is a skill for life. As well as the book they are given from the teacher, the children also have a ‘free read book’ which they pick from the classroom bookshelf or the library.

There is a communication link with home through the school homework diaries and teachers and staff record children’s reading books and next steps in their planners each time a child is read with.

Year 4

Building on the skills developed in Year 3, children in Year 4 continue to access whole class teaching using Cracking Comprehension. Reading and comprehension skills are developed through these lessons and some children are taught through small group sessions. The structure of each unit delivered begins with the teacher modelling reading the passage followed by whole class discussion and questions. This gives the children the opportunity to hear the correct expression and intonation from the teacher as well as the chance to discuss any areas that come to surface after reading the text. For example, if the children are not sure what a certain word means, strategies will be offered to help children have a good guess. Following this, both teacher and class, work through some comprehension questions. The modelling software on the whiteboard allows the children to physically see the teacher go back to the text after each question a retrieve evidence helping them to answer the question in their own words – a vital skill in comprehension.

After this, the children should be fully equipped to have a go using this method of evidence collecting with a new comprehension. To ensure children do not feel unconfident with this, they first work in mixed ability pairs to guide/be guided by the other. Children physically highlight the piece of evidence on the paper, similar to what was modelled on the IWB. Questioning and discussion is encouraged. After this, the children mark their own work. This part of the process is very helpful to the children; marking their own work allows them to hear other answers, have discussions around certain answers and really understand how to get the marks. Finally, the children complete an assessment task where they put all of the skills and strategies they have seen modelled into practise. Cracking comprehension uses a wide range of texts and questions in its assessments to ensure all areas of the reading curriculum are covered.

Children receive a book suitable for their reading ability each week to read at home with parents. On returning these books, the children are verbally tested on their understanding of the book. This can involve being asked several comprehension questions, summarising the story, describing characters etc.

There is a communication link with home through the school homework diaries and teachers and staff record children’s reading books and next steps in their planners each time a child is read with.

Year 5 & Year 6

In Year 5, children will continue to develop their reading and comprehension skills through our whole class teaching using Cracking Comprehension. The class teacher and teaching assistant continue to model strategies that enable every child to read and comprehend successfully. A small number of children will have the opportunity to take part in small group pre teaching sessions. These sessions enable us to plug any gaps that lower ability children may have resulting in accelerated progress.

As well as free reader choose books, children also take home a banded reading book. Children are regularly assessed resulting in them having a colour band. They can choose a range of books from their band and share these at home. There is a communication link with home through the school homework diaries and teachers and staff record children’s reading books and next steps in their planners each time a child is read with.


Rationale - Fostering a Love of Reading at Whirley

Whilst helping children learn to read, at Whirley, we also acknowledge the importance of creating an environment that embraces and embeds a love of reading for all children. We believe that we model reading as a natural part of daily lives therefore, embedding the lifelong pleasure of enjoying a range of books.

At Whirley, we have 6 key steps that provide a common thread through our reading curriculum:

  • well trained staff
  • embedded reading curriculum
  • engaged parents
  • nurturing reading environment
  • quality targeted resources
  • regular celebration of reading

These key steps enable us for focus on two specific objectives:

  • to foster a love of reading
  • to teach reading

All members of staff and children have the opportunity to share their favourite books in school. Parents, authors and storytellers are welcomed at Whirley where they are able to model good reading and enhance our curriculum. All classes celebrate reading in different ways, examples include, ‘reader of the week’, ‘star reader’, Class Dojo points and we celebrate authors too during ‘author of the term’.   

Whirley take part in World Book Day and other celebrations, for example; National Share-a-story month. We also have ‘reading for pleasure’ times, where children can choose a quality book from their well-resourced class libraries or our school library. Children enjoy this time spent in a quiet environment and then have opportunities to share their books with their friends and family.

Teachers model reading daily with their class. Books are chosen are from Pie Corbett’s reading spine. There are about 85 books that make up the reading spine. During their time at Whirley, these books will be shared with the children. Pie Corbett’s reading spine not only capture’s children’s imagination, supports vocabulary development, exposes children to more rich and varied texts, it also provides a clear progression from reception and we believe, it reinforces a true love of reading that children can take to High School.

EYFS

In Reception children are welcomed into a world where books are loved, exciting and celebrated. Children develop this love through being exposed to a wide range of topic based quality texts such as Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson, Jack and The Beanstalk, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Children are read to every day; several times a day, by different staff as well as their parents coming in to be the ‘Star Reader.’ Children can also vote for their favourite book to be read using names mega blocks. Children’s Year 6 buddies also regularly come and read to them and on occasion even bring the children stories that they have written.

Children are regularly given the opportunity to bring in one of their favourite books from home which will be read to the class. This encourages parents to engage with a love of reading with their child and share in their excitement that it is their turn to bring in a book. The children are also encouraged to choose a book at their reading level, which they can swap as much as they like; from the free choice basket. These are a range of phonics-based books pitched perfectly for their reading ability which they find exciting as they can choose which ever book they like. Some children develop favourites which they take home regularly. This is to be celebrated as it is lovely for children to develop such excitement for a book.

Key Stage One

In classrooms, children have access to their own reading area and the school library, which has a variety of quality texts. The books in classrooms are grouped carefully into non-fiction and fiction, with the fiction books sub divided into traditional, familiar settings, fantasy world and poetry. The children are encouraged to select books from these different genres through the year to broaden their experience of different texts and authors, whilst recognising children will naturally select the genre they find most engaging. This system allows children to independently choose a book that they are interested in and gives them more of a chance to enjoy a variety of different quality texts from a range of authors. These books are enjoyed during our ‘reading for pleasure’ times and children look forward to the opportunity to read their chosen books in a clam environment and after they are able to share their books, their thoughts and opinions with friends.

In addition, the children are made aware of high-quality authors through our ‘Author of the Term’ feature. The children are able to read the authors books through the term and then given the opportunity to discuss the books they have enjoyed with their peers. Each child will be given the opportunity to spend time with their parents, looking, discussing and reading their books at home in order to choose their favourite one to share, read and discuss with the class.

It is vital the children hear great examples of reading from their teacher and other adults (showing ourselves as great role models). To support this, every day, children are read to by their class teacher. The book is taken from the Pie Corbett ‘reading spine’. Some children’s favourites include The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Amazing Grace, Not Now Bernard and Fantastic Mr Fox.

Lower Key Stage Two

Reading for pleasure in lower Key Stage Two is regarded as highly important. We understand that great books build the imagination and ultimately contribute towards well-inspired creative writing. To expose the children to a range of high-quality books, we use Pie Corbett’s reading spine specifically for our year group. Aside from discussions, children are not expected to do any ‘work’ connected to the book. This allows the children to simply become absorbed by the memorable places, characters and events within each book. The children are able to enjoy this well-loved ‘story time’ frequently in the week with time at the end of the day specifically put aside. By children being offered these invaluable experiences of listening, enjoying and appreciating good literature, they are inspired and encouraged to read even more.

Book choice is the first step in getting children hooked on reading. When they have ownership of their reading, successful, independent readers begin to bloom. The children independently pick their own ‘free choice book’ (within their reading ability range) either from the class bookshelf or library. Both places are filled with a wide range of books and children can choose from a range of genres. Children are given a lot of opportunities throughout the week to read a book. We aim to set aside portions in the week for D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read). During this time, everyone including the teacher reads.

Additionally, ‘story time’ is a valuable time slot in our weekly timetable. We use Pie Corbett’s reading spine. He has developed a range of reading lists and these books he has chosen, encourage a love of reading and develop a variety of key skills. During these sessions, children are able to develop their imaginations and engross themselves in the story. It’s a part of our timetable that we all really enjoy. Some of the children’s favourites include, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Hansel and Gretel and Charlotte’s Web.

Upper Key Stage Two

Reading for pleasure continues to be a big part of Upper Key Stage Two to develop a love of reading in every child. In Year 5 and 6 children enjoy a range of books throughout their time in these year groups. Every week, class timetables offer the time for children to choose books from our class and school library, where they can enjoy a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. We call this time ‘reading for pleasure’. Children enjoy the quiet, focused environment where everyone, including the class teacher, can immerse themselves in a new world. Time is also allocated where children are encouraged to share with the class their favourite phrases, descriptions or any new vocabulary they have read.

In addition, we like to save time at the end of each day where the class teacher can model good reading. Class teachers share a story which is selected from our Pie Corbett reading spine. These books have been chosen to support children’s enjoyment when listening to a number of rich and varied texts. Some of the children’s favourites include, Street Child, The Midnight Fox, The Hobbit and Skellig. This is a really lovely end to the end where children can ‘sit back’ and enjoy a range of great stories.

Furthermore, Year 6 regularly share their favourite stories when they visit their buddies in the Reception class - they are also encouraged to share their own writing too.

Contact the School

Whirley Primary School

Whirley Road
Macclesfield
Cheshire
SK10 3JL

Main Contact: Amanda Edwards - Head Teacher

Tel: 01625 783815
admin@whirley.cheshire.sch.uk

SEN Contact: Rebecca Gregory - SENDco