At Valley View, we want children to develop an appreciation and love of reading at all stages of their learning journey from their beginnings in Nursery until they leave us ready for high school. We have planned high quality and vocabulary-rich texts which are used in reading and writing lessons and across the curriculum so that children may develop knowledge of themselves and the diversity of the world in which we live. We encourage our children to discover new information and develop their comprehension skills by reading widely using both fiction and non-fiction texts which (where possible) are linked to their topics across the curriculum, and which reflect our root values at Valley View.
We have planned a wide range of class novels (or books of the week in EYFS) which class teachers read aloud to their classes, engaging them in high quality fiction and storytelling, aimed at developing reading for pleasure and a love of books and reading. By the time our children leave Valley View, we envisage that they will be competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, seek out books from a range of different genres including contemporary, historical and classic fiction; contemporary and classical poetry; non-fiction on topics they are interested in themselves, and which are linked to current learning we do in school; and that they can engage in discussion about authorial choices or impact on the reader. Our children begin and develop their life-long reading journey here with us; it is our intention that they will leave Valley View being able to use their reading skills in order to access the curriculum in their secondary education and beyond.
- We provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include:
- learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes
- sharing high-quality stories and poems
- activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending
- attention to high-quality language.
- We ensure Nursery children experience all the aspects of Phase 1 Phonics:
- Environmental Sounds
- Instrumental Sounds
- Body Percussion
- Rhythm and Rhyme
- Voice Sounds
- Oral Blending and Segmenting
Children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and continue blending in Reception.
We teach following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Scheme of work.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
- Children make a strong start in Reception. We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. We ensure that teaching and learning of phonics is reviewed weekly to help children become fluent readers.
- Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
- Children in Year 1 review Phases 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
Daily Keep-Up Lessons
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support. This ensures that every child secures their learning.
- We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 and above who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Rapid Catch-up assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Rapid Catch-up resources – at pace.
- These short, sharp lessons last 15-20 minutes daily and have been designed to ensure children quickly catch up to age-related expectations in reading.
Reading Practice sessions
- We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These sessions use books which are closely matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments.
- Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
- prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
- comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
- Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
- In Years 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.
- The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
- ‘Reading for pleasure’ books also go home for parents to share and read to children. We share the research behind the importance and impact of sharing quality children’s books with families.
Additional reading support for vulnerable children
- Children in Reception and Year 1 who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading practice book to an adult daily.
Ensuring consistency and pace of progress
- Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.
- The Phonics and Reading Leaders regularly monitor and observe teaching.
In Year 2, once children have progressed from Little Wandle reading practice sessions based on decoding, and have passed the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check, they are taught reading through guided reading sessions. Children practise their reading skills in a daily lesson, either through direct teaching from an adult who can model and scaffold learning at the correct reading level of the group, or through independent tasks related to their current reading levels, set and marked by the teacher. Banded books are chosen by the teacher to ensure that the text is at the correct level for these developing readers.
Children are taught to use the various elements of reading (VIPERS) and will discuss these with their teacher during their guided reading lessons. Some lessons will be focused on prosody, so that children become more fluent by the time their enter Key Stage 2.
WHOLE CLASS READING:
These lessons are focused on teaching all the elements of reading, which are needed for children to become expert readers: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequencing / Summarising – (VIPERS), along with a wider knowledge of the world.
These lessons follow the Valley View Core Pedagogy of Teaching and Learning ensuring:
- retrieval of prior knowledge
- direct instruction from skilled adults
- collaborative learning and discussion
- children become self-regulated learners.
- In EYFS and Key Stage 1, children are introduced to a text, read by the teacher, in the form of the class novel (or book of the week in EYFS). Reading by adults is planned in daily, is lively and engaging and focuses on the elements of reading through the adults reading to the children.
- In Key Stage 2, in addition to adults reading to children, modelling prosody, the children begin to read together in Year 3, following a text read by the teacher, working towards reading independently (age /lesson focus dependent), whilst all studying the same text, and again focusing on all the elements and varying skills of reading.
- Questioning is linked to the text, discussed by the teacher and class, and plenty of opportunities are given for verbal (and written) responses, modelled by the teacher, in collaboration with their peers and independently.
- All children are taught the various elements of reading for their year group, and for younger children, or children whose writing skills are below their reading levels, adults may scribe responses for pupils as a guide to written responses in their books.
- Three times a week, children in Key Stage 2 have their Whole Class Reading (WCR) lessons taught through ‘linked texts’. These texts may differ widely, but are linked in some way to ensure that children can retrieve their prior knowledge, make links in their learning, and the cognitive load is lessened, due to the connected ideas, themes, writing style, grammar, genre etc.
- During these lessons, children will read aloud to the whole class, group, or individually to the teacher, giving them a chance to prepare and practise reading aloud, demonstrating their growing fluency and expression.
- Children will have opportunities to develop their understanding and practise responding to questions about the text independently, in collaboration with their peers, and through modelled and supported teaching from the skilled adults.
Children in Key Stage 2 take home a ‘graded reading book’, selected by their teacher at the appropriate reading level for them to access and practise their reading skills.
Reading for Pleasure:
Children also take home an additional ‘Reading for Pleasure book’ chosen from our Valley View Reading Spine. These are books chosen for each year group with a range of genres and subjects, ensuring children have access to engaging and quality fiction, non-fiction, poetry, contemporary fiction, classic fiction, reflecting the world in which we live and our root values at Valley View.