Here at Fairburn, we feel passionately that not only must all children be able to read and write fluently but that it is our job to introduce all children to a love of books and reading. There is nothing better than enjoying a book you love or feeling proud of writing you have crafted.
What do we want to achieve?
We show our belief about the importance of books by ensuring that they are prevalent in each classroom and in all aspects of school life. We want the children to be exposed to a full range of high quality texts in the classroom and to be motivated to read in their own time, recognising the value that engagement with a good book brings.
The image below demonstrates how we act on our belief about how a competent reader develops-
- being exposed to a strong reading culture
- having a consistent approach to the teaching of reading across the school
- developing a full range of comprehension skills so that children can enjoy and fully engage with texts.
This is based on the model of Reading produced by ‘Talk for Writing’ with Pie Corbett. We have written our version, detailing what happens in our school.
Without all three vital components, children cannot become competent, fluent readers.
How do we teach reading?
All children in Y1‑6 are taught the content of the National Curriculum. Please see the link below for details.
The next image shows in more detail the progression of teaching reading across the school. Children enter Foundation Stage at the left hand side of the diagram with early reading skills. As they progress through the school, experiencing all our teaching practices and reading experiences, they leave us in Y6, with a developed set of skills as the right hand side of the diagram shows.
Daily phonics teaching begins in Foundation/Year 1, initially with short, discreet sessions that increase in length up to 30 minutes. We follow the ‘Letters & Sounds’ approach through a recently adopted programme (Summer Term 2022) called ‘Littler Wandle’. Please see the link below to find out more about ‘Little Wandle”- how it is structured; the phonics sounds covered and support for parents.
Constant re-cap of the phonic sounds continues throughout the school. Children in Foundation/Y1 complete phonics based activities during the day to support discreet teaching.
Y2 & 3 and 4,5, & 6 use phonics based teaching aids (Little Wandle) to support them in class and regularly recap on the phase 5 & 6 sounds.
Whilst for the majority of children, learning to read is most effectively achieved through a phonic programme, there are some children who cannot phonetically decode. If your child struggles with phonics, please do not worry. The class teacher will provide additional materials and will allocate additional time during the school day to allow your child to seek the support they need.
In F & Y1 and Y2 & 3, children have guided reading sessions in small groups with a staff member leading. They teach the reading process and check comprehension. Books either align to the Little Wandle phonics programme or are levelled at the children’s reading ability.
In class 2, Y4,5,& 6 children have daily whole class reading sessions. Either one book is followed by the class or they are split into two groups. Books are largely chosen from Pie Corbett’s reading spine or ‘page turner’ recommendations. Comprehension is checked following targeted questions using VIPERS-
We really value and recognise the importance of hearing children read 1:1 as well as in groups. Following lockdown, all children were heard to read at least three times a week. Now, all children are heard once a week alongside the guided reading sessions and children needing additional support, continue to read three times a week, supported by a team of volunteers.
Reading is also set for homework. Books are changed regularly as detailed in the ‘Key Information’ section for Parents.
The link below also demonstrates a TA reading with a child to give you an idea about what to do and questions to ask.
If you want support hearing your children read at home, please come and have a chat with us.
Reading for Comprehension
As well as taking part in 1:1 and guided reading sessions, all children are read to daily. The class book is shared with parents through the curriculum newsletter. We are aware of numerous sources of research evidence which shows how our ‘brains privilege story’ (Willingham) meaning children learn best when attached to a story/text based context. The research around the last SAT’s tests in 2019 where over 25% of Y6 pupils did not achieve the expected standard in reading revealed that vocabulary was a main cause. Therefore, here at Fairburn, we have always chosen to prioritise reading within the school day.
Slots for dedicated reading time, are allocated within the school day. More recently, to further strengthen this approach, we have introduced basing our topics on a text. In F/Y1, learning areas have books within them and children are strongly encouraged to locate information within them. In class 1 & 2, books are carefully chosen and discussed in class as part of the topic lesson. We hope that by adopting this approach, children will practise their comprehension skills throughout the day as opposed to one off comprehension lessons.
Reading for Pleasure
Because of our desire to convey a love of reading to all children, all staff talk enthusiastically about books and often share their own reading preferences. Children see staff referring to books and reading themselves which models their importance.
We host a range of events throughout the year to celebrate books. Here are some examples-
recommending new books in newsletters
displays around school
We encourage children to talk about books they enjoy and make recommendations to others. In F/Y1, children bring in their own books from home throughout the week to share with the class. In class 1 & 2, children are able to bring in their own books each Monday to share together and read in class.
What do children think about reading in our school?
2I like it when we read history books because we learn loads of new facts and I love learning new things”. ( William Y3)
“Reading is fun and it helps me with my spellings”. ( Guy Y2)
“I like reading because you learn new words and get better at pronouncing them”. ( Charlie Y2)