Our Approach to Reading
At the heart of our curriculum is the development of reading. At Falmouth Primary Academy we are passionate and committed to raising the profile and attainment of reading throughout the school. We aim for the children to develop a love for literature and value the importance of reading as a gateway to a wealth of knowledge about the world around them. As well as the teaching of reading through synthetic phonics, we aim to develop each child’s comprehension skills through daily whole class reading lessons centred round high quality texts which link to the class topic and also provide a stimulus for writing. These lessons focus on developing vocabulary, applying reading strategies, generating discussion and careful questioning to enable children to infer and deduct information from the text. Throughout their time at school, all children will experience a range of quality texts, from both current and classic authors and have the joy of exploring them in shared reading experiences with their peers. Teachers read aloud to the children daily to further develop a love of reading.
Children are able to take home a reading book that is well matched to their reading ability. Children can also choose a book from the school library weekly which they can either read themselves or share with an adult at home.
All classrooms have enticing book corners that display a range of texts, as well as a selection of carefully chosen stories and non-fiction books relating to the topic being taught. The children are encouraged to communicate their opinions about books they have read through book reviews and by commenting in their Reading Diary which is shared with their parent or carer and their class teachers.
Special events in school such as Poetry Week and World Book Day play an integral role in fostering a love of reading. Authors and storytellers visit the school, children take part in workshops at school and at local organisations, visit the local bookshop and library and children and staff dress up as their favourite book character.
How do we prioritise reading?
Reading underpins our whole curriculum and is visible in every classroom in school. All classes have inviting book corners with recommended books to read, highlighted texts that link to topic learning and key authors identified. All classes access the school library each week and we work closely with the local library and local bookshop to enrich the reading experiences of all children in school.
Children have daily guided reading lessons using a text that links to their topic learning to ensure that they are immersed in the language of the topic. In addition to this, we have allocated six ‘must read’ texts to each topic to ensure that all children experience a varied and inspiring range of books to broaden and deepen their understanding of areas studied and to help to embed a real love of reading and appreciation of books.
All children are read to daily by their teacher and opportunities for additional reading experiences are woven into the school week. All adults in school talk enthusiastically and knowledgably about books with children and model the joy found in reading.
How do we promote a love of reading?
We provide such rich and varied reading experiences for children that all pupils are able to develop a love of reading during their time at school. Books and authors are celebrated and our guided reading promotes a sense of shared discovery and exploration of texts as children get the opportunity to discuss, investigate and to develop their own opinions and ideas in response to the books that they encounter.
We celebrate World Book Day and hold a poetry festival each year to help to widen the range of experiences that we are able to offer. We work with Falmouth Library to promote their summer reading challenge each year and were chosen to take part in their launch event this year.
How do we teach phonics from the start?
We follow the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme, beginning in Reception as soon as children start school. This prompt start ensures that all children learn to read as quickly as possible. Children are
regularly assessed and daily phonics lessons are delivered in small, targeted groups. We have worked closely with the English Hub over the last two years to ensure that our implementation of Read, Write Inc. meets the needs of every child. As a school, we have invested in the Ruth Miskin training portal to ensure that our use of the programme is as current and focused as possible.
How do we make sure that pupils make progress?
We carry out regular phonics assessments as part of our Read Write Inc. programme and those children who make slower than expected progress in these assessments are targeted for additional support. All children in school complete PIRA assessments once a term and the data from this is analysed so that those children who need additional input to make good progress can be supported. The lowest 20% of readers in each class have additional 1:1 reading time with an adult three times a week to ensure that every child is able to make good progress across the year.
How do we support pupils to catch up quickly?
Teaching all children to read as quickly as possible once they start school is a priority for all at Falmouth Primary. Assessment for learning enables staff to quickly identify gaps and barriers to learning so that targeted support can be put in place. Daily phonics top up is delivered to children who need additional practice and we have a reading mentor who delivers additional targeted support to children who would benefit from it. We run workshops for parents to help them to be able to support phonics learning at home. The SENCO works closely with class teachers and the reading mentor to ensure that any specific barriers to reading individuals have are reduced through targeted support.
How do we match the pupils’ reading books to their phonics knowledge?
Children in EYFS and KS1 who are on the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme have decodable reading books to take home that link directly to their Read, Write Inc. phonics level to ensure that they match their phonics knowledge perfectly. Children who have completed the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme have their reading assessed using the Oxford Primary Reading Assessment and are matched to reading books accordingly.
How do we train staff to be reading experts?
All TAs and teachers have completed Read, Write Inc. training and the school has invested additional funds into purchasing the Rusk Miskin online training portal. Those adults currently delivering Read, Write Inc. have their own personal pathway through the online training portal that is specific to the groups that they are teaching and to their own strengths and areas for development. Read, Write Inc. master classes are delivered regularly to staff by our reading mentor and the English Hub also provides additional training. Our reading mentor and English lead also receive personalised CPD from the Ruth Miskin training portal to ensure that all staff receive high quality CPD enabling them to be reading experts.
Books for topics - click on the pdf below and you will be able to open links to books for relevant year groups.
To celebrate World Book Day this year, we have created our own 'Masked Reader' Competition. Can you guess who each of the teachers are hiding behind the mask?