An overview of reading at St John's
Our reading curriculum is broken down into year group specific objectives. Please click on the links above to view the curriculum for each year group.
Phonics is taught daily in Reception from 9.00-9.30. In Year 1 from 10.30-11.30am and at 9-10 am for those continuing with the programme in Year 2. We group pupils homogeneously, according to their ability and progress in reading, which is regularly assessed.
We follow the Read Write Inc teaching programme which is split into two main parts; 1. Speed Sounds and Spelling and 2. Reading and Writing.
In the first part of the session (Speed Sounds and Spelling) the children begin to learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, they then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. They learn a new sound every day and regularly review the sounds they have been taught. They then practise spelling words containing the newly taught grapheme as well as reviewing known graphemes and tricky words.
In the second part of the session (Reading and Writing), we use phonetically decodable books which are closely matched to the children’s increasing knowledge of phonemes and their corresponding graphemes and ‘tricky’ words. As the children re-read the books, their fluency increases. The children also write every day, rehearsing out loud what they want to say, before spelling words using the graphemes and ‘tricky’ words they know and composing and writing sentences. Children’s composition (ideas, vocabulary and grammar) is developed by drawing on their own experiences and talking about the stories they have read before composing their own pieces of writing which will increase in length as they progress through the programme.
Reading comprehension is taught twice each week from in year groups 1 to 6. Across each year, children will focus on four key strands of reading comprehension: retrieval, vocabulary/word meaning, inference and deduction, explanation, prediction and summarising – the children know these as V.I.P.E.R.S. Within each strand, a different question type will be taught each week. The question types will include: tick box, written answer, match up answers, find and copy, true/false. Children will be taught how to answer these questions to gain 1 or 2 marks as appropriate. Three-mark questions will be introduced in UKS2. To answer these questions, children will be taught to make two points each with supporting evidence from the text (Point Evidence Explanation or PEE). During the reading comprehension sessions, children in each year group will follow a reading cycle.
The reading comprehension teaching cycle is as follows:
Whole class teaching of reading comprehension is covered within the literacy lesson to allow children to apply the skills taught in reading comprehension to the class text. It is also part of the dedicated Guided reading Sessions which take place three times a week. Teachers will recap the skills taught and children will have the opportunity to answer a set of questions on a range of strands and question types covered thus far.
Children who struggle with reading comprehension based on their Reading Comprehension Test results are put forward for Reciprocal reading interventions that support the development of reading comprehension skills in supportive group activities.
Reading stamina is actively promoted across school. It is expected that all children will read 90 words per minute of an age appropriate text from Year 2 onwards. Based on their year group, the children are given a passage to read within a set amount of time.
By the end of each academic year, it is expected that:
To help children achieve this, all children in Year 1 to 6 are to complete a reading speed assessment at the start of the year. Children need to read the given passage for their year group with the class teacher/TA. If they achieve 90 words or more in a minute, they do not need to be assessed further in this way; if they achieve less than 90 words, they should be implicitly targeted with 1:1 reading on a daily basis or speed-read interventions based on 60 second texts. They will then need to be assessed for their reading stamina at the end of each term.
Reading for pleasure is encouraged in a range of ways across school. All classes base their literacy work on a class text to engage all children and inspire a love of learning across the curriculum. Additionally, all classes share a class story with their teacher at the end of each day so that the children have the chance to listen to someone reading to them. Regular time in our school library during afternoon sessions also helps to promote the importance of books to a child’s education. Library clubs are currently running at playtime and after school to enable children to have access to a wide range of literary works. Where possible, children are given the chance to work alongside authors to listen to stories and produce some of their own. (The latest visitor to school being Billy Bob Buttons who wrote ‘I think I murdered my teacher’.) Opportunities for library visits are also planned to ensure that children can access this service. Parents are regularly invited into school to take part in reading workshops and reading breakfasts to develop good home-school links.
The Rocket Reader Challenge runs for all children in school. The challenge is to read 3x per week for six weeks to receive a reward and these rewards build through the year including a badge system and Raffle entry for those who show exemplary reading at home. 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.
Regular and rigorous assessments take place throughout lessons and at various points throughout the year to ensure the children are accessing the correct level of reading for them. If children are not working within the expected standard, they will receive extra support and targeted intervention from one or more of the following programmes:
Progress made by children who participate in these intervention programmes is tracked by the TAs delivering them and then monitored by SLT to identify if it is successful or if a different intervention is needed to ensure that these children close the gap and reach their expected level in reading.