At St John’s we put Reading at the heart of our curriculum. We strive to foster a love of reading at school and at home. We believe that Reading is an entitlement that should enable children to connect with some of the finest words ever written.
Reading is taught through a systematic teaching of phonics from Nursery through Reception and into KS1. We follow a phonics program that allows the children’s needs to be addressed through targeted teaching supported by books at their stage of phonetic development. Reading Comprehension lessons and Guided Reading include the teaching of reading strategies and skills for decoding and comprehending.
The curriculum at St John’s addresses phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency and we believe that our progressive development of comprehension skills through school allows children to engage with texts and develop their understanding of a subject.
These three areas are detailed further within the School Reading policy see below for a link to the page.
What do Reading lessons look like in school?
A Reading comprehension lesson has a key focus on engaging the children in using their Active Reader Skills taken from the following – Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval or Summarising including picturing the text. The school refers to these as V.I.P.E.R.S skills. Although each lesson does not have a specific VIPERS focus the lesson will cover all the elements through targeted questioning based around the focus book or text or questions requiring a written response.
Lessons will focus upon a specific part of a book and allow the children to reflect on what they have read through partner, group and class work. Lessons are differentiated and challenge pupils at their level. Texts are pitched above the level of the class as the work is supported by the teacher. The WALTS are generic but the WILFs will identify the key focus for that class as a group based on their prior learning and teacher observations.
Our reading curriculum is broken down into year group specific objectives. Please click on the links below to view the curriculum for each year group. You will also find links that detail the different types of lessons and the key elements of how reading is taught and assessed here at St. John's.
Reading at Home
Supporting Reading at home is encouraged through the School Reading Rocket Rewards Challenge instigated by the school when Tim Peake flew to the International Space Station. The children are encouraged to read a minimum of three times a week at home with an adult and to record their reading in their organisers. Those who Read three times a week are rewarded with small prizes for doing six and then twelve weeks in a row. At twelve weeks of reading through KS1 and 2 the children are rewarded with Rocket Badges blue, silver and then gold which they can wear on their uniforms to show their passion for reading regularly. When all badges have been completed, they are given Rocket Raffle tickets to win book vouchers in the end of the Year draw.
These books are off the school reading scheme which is supported by the RWI structured reading scheme and the schools own reading Scheme using support from consultants to keep books relevant and Book Band appropriate. Some books have been carefully selected and are favourites of staff and children aimed at developing reading for pleasure. They can be read independently or shared at home with an adult. They form part of our Book Blanket and Book Chat activities which centre on reading for pleasure and include curriculum themed books, picture books, general fiction and non-Fiction books - these are reviewed each half term.
Below is a link to the page where we show you how you can support your child with their Reading at Home from Book Chat skills to Reading as a family! There is also a page to support reading at Home with sample questions to ask your child in the School Organisers that the children bring home.
What else is happening in Reading this year?
Throughout the year the school celebrates reading in many ways. The main celebrations each half term are the Reading Rivers where we look at how we have been displaying good Reading Habits either over our lives, the past year, week or day and we encourage the children to see how reading is an integral part of everyday life.
We also celebrate Reading through Reading Breakfasts in the Autumn term – where parents come in to school, Parents Meetings in the Spring - focussing on the support we would like to see from them with Reading at Home and finally Reading Picnics in the Summer Term when the children take their class Reading Blanket Books out to the field and are joined by their parents and the Ice Cream Van!
We also join with the rest of the UK on World Book Day to celebrate reading as a school.