The ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ learning across the curriculum, their ability to be independent and their future life experiences. At Queens Road Academy, we are committed to ensuring that pupils develop the key skills to read with fluency and confidence; understand and analyse what is read and develop an enthusiasm and love for reading. As a school, we use a range of age dependant strategies to ensure that we meet these aims
As a school, we follow the principles of the Letters and Sounds program to teach pupils to read words. This is a high quality, synthetic program which teaches pupils to recognise phonemes and graphemes and use these to read and spell. For more information, please see the separate information guide on our school website.
Reading in Nursery
We believe that children should have the opportunity to explore books from the first day that they enter our school. Our nursery pupils all have an opportunity once per week to sit with an adult and look at a picture book. They will develop key book skills such as page turning and learn key book terminology. When pupils are confident with some letter sounds and key words, they will then progress onto reading simple books which they can decode. In addition to this weekly session, pupils are given opportunities to explore and interact with books in all areas of continuous provision as well as a range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction books in the dedicated reading area, in the classroom. All pupils are given a home reading book, which is changed weekly, and a reading record for parents to record observations in when reading at home with their child. As well as this, parents are invited into school once per week for a library session where they can come into school and enjoy shared reading experiences.
Reading in Reception.
When children move up into reception, they have the opportunity to read with an adult twice per week. This builds on the strong foundations set in nursery. The level of challenge in book, matches pupil’s ability to decode and their phonic knowledge. As well as providing opportunity for pupils to become fluent readers, it also provides opportunity for children to talk about books and begin to develop skills such as retrieval and prediction. In Summer term, pupils begin preparation for transition into Year 1 and have a focused reading session daily. This will either be reading with an adult or responding to reading through an independent or provision based task. Alongside these sessions, we also use high quality texts to lead our weekly themes. As in nursery, parents are invited in weekly to share books with their children at the library session and books are sent home weekly for parents to enjoy with their children and make observations/comments. A range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction books can be accessed by our pupils in all areas of continuous provision, both inside and out, as well as a dedicated reading area.
Reading in Key Stage 1
In Year 1, reading is taught daily. Pupils have a 25-minute daily reading session which involves reading with an adult or completing independent activities to further develop both word-reading and comprehension skills. In addition to this guided reading session, they have a 20 minute phonics session during which they are split into ability based groups and work through the Letters and Sounds scheme. (See additional information sheet on school website.) Once pupils are secure with word-reading the emphasis is placed on developing fluency, pace and expression alongside key comprehension skills.
In Year 2, most pupils participate in a whole-class reading lesson each day. Here, an extract of text is shared, and explored developing both fluency for reading skills alongside different aspects of comprehension. Those children who still need access to small group reading have this provision and children who are still not yet secure with decoding, have an additional daily phonics session for 20 minutes.
Pupils across Key stage 1are heard read independently by an adult, each week, reading a book which matches their phonic ability. When pupils complete the phonics scheme and can decode confidently and fluently, they work through the KS1 scheme which is in line with national nook bands. Both classes in Key Stage 1 have reading challenges in which children are rewarded for their commitment to home reading and hold a weekly library session for parents to come into school and share reading experiences with their children.
Reading in Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2, we develop reading comprehension skills through a whole class approach. Pupils spend 30 minutes daily, reading and exploring quality fiction books, poems and non-fiction texts and responding to this reading through differentiated activities. We place emphasis on the key skills of retrieval, inference, word meaning and authorial intent as well as ensuring that all of the objectives set out in the National Curriculum are well-covered. For those pupils, who would not benefit from a whole-class approach to reading in Key Stage 2, small groups are planned and delivered focusing on word reading alongside comprehension.
In addition to these daily guided sessions, all Key Stage 2 classes have a novel which they read together for pleasure and this is an opportunity for staff to model fluency and expression when reading. Pupils are assessed and given an appropriately challenging home reading book at the start of each year and then they are given regular opportunities to change their books when completed. As in Key Stage 1, each class holds a reading challenge in which pupils are rewarded for their commitment to home reading.
We have several members of the school community who give up their time to come into school and share reading experiences with our pupils. Some of these volunteers are given specific children to work with by staff whilst others provide opportunities for all pupils to share their books regularly. At Queens Road, we value greatly our volunteers commitment to providing these sessions and strive to ensure that they are given the training and guidance to confidently deliver quality reading sessions. If you are interested in becoming a reading volunteer, please contact the school office for further information.