At Derwent Vale reading is a huge part of our curriculum and is a fundamental life skill. Learning to read by developing good phonological knowledge and acquiring early reading skills is key to children successfully engaging with the curriculum and the wider school community.
How do we teach reading?
From the Foundation Stage through to Year 2, children learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme. This is a complete, systematic programme for teaching synthetic phonics and reading which covers all of the requirements of the National Curriculum for literacy and language.
In Read Write Inc. Phonics:
In EYFS we emphasise the alphabetic code, pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them in short daily lessons. As pupils move through the programme they begin to read storybooks and non-fiction books that are closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge. This ensures pupils experience success and gain confidence in their skills as readers. Pupils progress quickly and are assessed every 6-8 weeks, allowing teachers to re-group according to the level the children are working at and identify pupils for focussed intervention. Pupils who make slower progress are supported through daily 15 minute tutoring. We support children who are struggling readers for however long it takes until they can read.
What happens when pupils complete the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme?
Most pupils complete the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme in Year 2 and are ready to progress to the next stage of their learning. CUSP Reading begins in Year 2 and continues until year 6 and is a highly ambitious and rigorous programme that is closely matched to the new reading curriculum. Each year group has a suite of core texts, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, which form the depth study for the academic year. These texts have been mapped carefully to ensure a breadth of experiences, authors, texts and themes is addressed across the Primary years.
Children are taught daily reading lessons that include explicit vocabulary instruction as well as teaching of core reading and comprehension strategies. Lessons follow the CUSP 5-part lesson structure, promoting deep thinking and reasoning.
Alongside CUSP children use Accelerated Reader to choose their own books to read independently. Accelerated Reader has quickly become an important part of our reading curriculum, motivating pupils to read, guiding them to books that are just right for them and promoting rewards for their progress.
The basic principles of the program are that a pupil reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback. Pupils are able to respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills. Regular assessments and quiz reports show teachers how much a pupil has been reading, at what level of complexity, and how well they have understood what they have read. Vocabulary growth and literacy skills are also measured, giving an insight into how well pupils have responded to reading schemes and class instruction.
All pupils are provided with books to read at home, parents are actively encouraged to enter into partnership with the school in helping their child in the learning and enjoyment of reading. A home-school reading journal goes home with the children each day and parents are invited comment on the children’s reading whilst at home.