The Seven Areas of Reading at St. Mary's.

The Seven Areas of Reading
How do we prioritise reading?

Reading is a school priority within our School Development Plan. We recognise the vitality of reading in ensuring that pupils can fully interact with not only the wider curriculum, but with the world around.  

  • High quality texts in a range of genres are regularly rotated in each class book nook. This includes magazines, comics, newspapers, audio books etc.
  • We encourage reading at home using Karate Bands (Key Stage 1) and Hot Chocolate (Key Stage 2). We also use this to monitor pupils not reading at home so we can provide extra provision in school.
  • Systematic Phonics (Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised) is taught daily, within KS1 and whole class reading comprehension is studied daily also.
  • Reading comes in three forms daily in each class. Guided or Little Wandle Group Reading, Read aloud story time and a poem a day.
  • Children have access to our library and are encouraged to take library books home, in addition to their regular reading books. In EYFS and KS1 pupils take a library book home as a book to share for pleasure as part of their reading books.
  • We celebrate reading regularly during weekly celebration assemblies, termly reading buddy sessions, reading cafes, author visits, library trips, national celebration days and so much more.

How do we promote a love of reading?

Staff and children are passionate about reading. Please explore our website reading tab to see more.

  • Teachers read to their class each day, using the pupils to choose the text that they engage in ‘for pleasure’. We also have "mystery readers" which can be parents or members of the community. We love to immerse our children in the world of imagination.
  • Our daily ‘Guided Reading’ session is where children unpick a text in a deeper fashion, these are closely linked to the topic being studied, and where this isn’t possible, they are a high-quality recommended ‘Classic’.
  • Daily, class teachers share poetry to their class. Once a week, every child reads with their class teacher and some children read to adults in school every day.
  • The school library is regularly restocked through the Cornwall Library Service and our Librarians assist the English Leader with selecting new texts.
  • Each Key Stage 2 class has a ‘Reading Buddy’ with our younger children.
  • All children have access to our library and each classroom has a well-stocked reading corner which matches the ability and interests of the children; as well as affording them opportunities to recommend texts to their classmates.
  • We also have a school ‘Book Swap’ where children can bring in old reading materials from home to swap for something different from school. 
  • Once a term, each class hosts a ‘Reading Café’ where local parents and siblings of children are invited in to share books and advice on how to develop early language and reading skills.
  • In pre-school, children are given story sacks to share with their family at home.
  • Every child in the school has user credentials for ‘Borrowbox’ an APP that allows them to download ebooks and audio books from the Library Service. 
  • Children in KS2 also have access to a reading comprehension website called ‘Readtheory’.
  • The school has strong links with the local library, running a monthly Book Club "Chatterbooks" for pupils. As well as this, there is a weekly ‘Library Club’ that is available to all pupils- here they can find out about different authors, genres etc and recommend texts to each other.  The school also runs an ‘E-Comic Club’ in conjunction with the local library.
  • We have many yearly book celebrations. This could be a visiting author, trip the library or having a day to celebration and nationally or globally recognised reading day. 
How do we make sure pupils make progress?

We have adopted the Little Wandle Revised Letters and Sounds Phonics Programme to teach Early Reading. This programme uses a combination of daily systematic phonics lessons and regular group reading sessions to develop pupils’ early reading skills.  All staff are trained in this approach. Progress is regularly monitored through teacher assessments, termly data reviews and through the formal testing (including SATs, The Phonics Screening Test). We use optional NFER reading assessments to also inform our judgements on pupils’ attainment. Those children who are not making expected progress are identified and daily 1:1 keep up/ catch up sessions are put in place to ensure they keep up with their peers.

How do we match the pupils' reading books to their phonic ability?

The Little Wandle SSP uses assessment to closely match books to the sounds that the pupils know.  Each week children still learning to decode take part in three group sessions to develop their reading skills.  In this session children practise reading the book that they will take home to read. In addition to this, children also take a book from the library to share with an adult.

Once the children have mastered their phonics, they progressed to levelled reading books which focus on the development of their comprehension skills. We monitor progress in reading and then match their ability to the stage of reading on the scheme.  This is done through notes from guided reading and from teachers hearing pupils read individually. Staff monitor and check that these books are changed regularly.  Staff will move them onto the next stage when they are confident they have mastered the skills of the stage.  When pupils are confident readers in KS2 they become ‘Free’ readers.

How do we teach phonics from the start? 

Our children learn to acquire early language from the moment that they begin our nursery class.  Here they explore environmental sounds, early rhymes etc.  Once in Reception Class, the children begin the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Programme.

  • 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. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
  • Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.
  • We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:
    • 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 Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
  • The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
How do we support pupils to catch up?

Within the National Curriculum, it states ‘If children by the end of Year 1 are still struggling to decode and spell they need to be taught to do this urgently through a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so they catch up rapidly’.

The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised SSP provides support for staff to deliver high quality small-group or individual "Keep up" support.

Those children who are assessed as being in the lowest 20% of each year group, receive Little Wandle Rapid Catch Up or additional comprehension support.

How do we train staff to be reading experts?
  • All teachers and teaching assistants have been trained to deliver high-quality LWLSR phonics.
  • A robust monitoring through coaching system has been implemented by the Early Reading Leader, to ensure that practice is consistent. This approach is collaborative and supportive.
  • EYFS use their knowledge of early language acquisition to provide advice to parents – this can be accessed on our school website.
  • Each year, a phonics meeting is held with parents, to show them how reading is taught at the school.
  • There are many other resources on our website that parents are able to access.
  • To ensure teachers have a broad and deep understanding of children’s literature including classic texts and current book titles we have a staff borrow box system where we read, review, share and swap texts and if the staff enjoy the book, they share it with their class.
  • Many staff members attend a "Teacher's Reading Group" supports adults own Reading for Pleasure and research-informed practice.