At Derwent Vale, we place significant emphasis upon developing children’s reading skills and love of reading. The ability to read with ease and fluency from a wide variety of texts is a pivotal skill in order to access all aspects of the school curriculum, a necessary life skill and a life-long source of enjoyment.
By providing pupils with high-quality teaching, we enable our pupils to become fluent, skilled and attentive readers. We do this be teaching both word reading (the ability to translate written words into the sounds of spoken language) and language comprehension skills (the ability to understand the meaning of the language being read).
The social and personal impact and benefits of reading for pleasure are wide ranging and there is also a proven, positive relationship between reading frequency and enjoyment with attainment. We intend to develop this love of reading and books in all children right from the very beginning of their learning journey at Derwent Vale.
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. Reading lessons take place daily in progress groups. Activities are carefully planned to match the ability of the group and with a clear purpose.
Pupils progress quickly and are assessed every 6-8 weeks, allowing teachers to re-group according to the children’s phonic knowledge 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.
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 National Curriculum for reading. 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.
'Reading for Pleasure' has a high profile at Derwent Vale. We want children to become engaged with reading right from the beginning. Children should develop a love of reading, this is fostered by reading or being read to from a wide range of literature, media and genres, encountering diverse authors, texts and characters. In doing so children develop a rich and deep understanding of the wider world. There are set times in the school day for independent reading and times when teachers read to the children. The children are given opportunity to explore the range of books in every classroom and the school library and decide what they or the class reads.
Alongside CUSP children use Accelerated Reader to choose their own home reading 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.
By the end of EYFS, children will listen to and engage in story times, recalling events from the story in detail and know a range of poems and rhymes. Children in reception will be able to read individual letters and groups of letters and blend these into short words. They will also be able to read some common exception words which do not follow the taught grapheme-phoneme patterns (red words).
By the end of Key Stage 1, children will be able to accurately and speedily decode words, including many ‘red words’ so that they are able to read fluently without noticeable sounding. They will be able to read words of two or more syllables and recognise some common suffixes, understanding how these change the words. They check that what they are reading makes sense and self-correct inaccuracies, are able to make simple inferences and predictions as well as ask and answer questions about what they have read. Children will use new vocabulary they have learned and link new meanings to known vocabulary.
By the end of Key Stage 2, children will have developed their word reading skills, knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes sufficiently so that they can read aloud clearly, fluently and with intonation to make the meaning clear. They are able to make more complex inferences and predictions, justifying these with evidence from the text, summarising the main ideas from a text and asking and answering questions. They use their morphological and etymological knowledge to understand the meaning of new words that they meet. They show their love of books and reading by engaging in ‘book talk’, sharing and discussing what they have read, their likes and dislikes and by making comparisons and recommendations.