Aim: That all children read fluently and can communicate well, using spoken and written English.

The curriculum drivers: Vocabulary, Identity, Locality and Personality (VILP) tackle the challenges our pupils face and are interwoven throughout the learning.

Vocabulary – the development of a rich and specific vocabulary is vital to being able to access books and learning and be able to understand and discuss the content.

Identity – as a child reads, they reflect upon themselves against the characters in the books or against their own knowledge in non-fiction. This develops them as people enabling them to become more confident, aspirational and builds enjoyment.

Locality – reading about what and where we know brings a richness to our work and children have a sense of place.

Personality – we learn from others: we need to read widely and extensively from a range of authors: all of whom can inspire us in some way.

We think reading lies at the heart of learning. We prioritise the learning of reading from the day the children arrive at school to the day they leave. Significant time and expertise is put into children learning to decode and comprehend: through daily lessons, individual work, systematic approach to phonics, guided groups and whole class shared texts.

The school aims at all times to develop a love of reading – from enthusiastic sharing of books, to daily reading, to the school and class libraries, the school displays, encouragement to read at home regularly and share with parents, to book purchase schemes, visits from authors, to World Book Day.

Each class has their own library matched to the reading ability (using Accelerated Reader assessments) in the class and there is a central library for children to use, containing fiction and non-fiction.

Our curriculum has a strong basis of using books to learn from. The Reading Spine shows the range and progression in books as reading for pleasure and books studied with the children, for comprehension. The progression uses the 5 Plagues Reading Spine as a basis, supplemented by recommendations from the Book Trust, teachers’ own judgement and the Lexile scores. We study a wide variety of books, old and new, authors, themes and give regard to protected characteristics. Some books are linked to the science, history or geography curriculum we are studying. Our writing programme, ‘The Write Stuff’ uses books as a basis for learning and these are also included on our spine.

Early Reading

Pre-school start working with early phonics through sounds and play, reading and rereading a range of books.

The Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics programme provides a sound foundation for children’s learning in literacy. RWI is a method of learning letter sounds and phonics which is used to help 3 children develop their reading and writing skills. Books are perfectly matched to the sounds being taught.

Learning to read is one of the most important things a child will learn at our school: everything else depends on it. We want each child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can focus on composing what they write.

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • learn that sounds are represented by written letters
  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn how to blend sounds
  • learn to read words using Fred Talk
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.

When using RWI to write the children will:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
  • write simple sentences.

The program is followed until every child can read fluently, confidently and with understanding. As well as whole group teaching, top up sessions take place to accelerate and consolidate phonics understanding.

Phonics and early reading start in the first week of the autumn term of reception. Six weekly assessment of phonic knowledge and fluency place the pupils in one of 5 phonics groups and the children move up through the groups as their knowledge and fluency develop. Children who are not progressing at the expected rate have additional 1-1 or small group sessions to catch them up.

All staff teaching the phonics programme have regular training opportunities, are coached and develop their expertise.

Books are read to the children daily in Robins and Owls Class for enjoyment, development of comprehension and vocabulary. Songs and rhymes are used regularly to enhance vocabulary and comprehension and pupils revisit books regularly to develop fluency and comprehension. Kingfishers read and enjoy their class text on a daily basis.

Post RWI

As and when pupils finish the RWI programme, generally up to and including some in Year 2, they move to the post-RWI group, taught within Owls Class.

In these daily sessions, pupils work on a whole class text and use VIPERS questions to enhance comprehension. (VIPERS is an acronym and provides a structure for literary challenge; V – Vocabulary, I – Infer, P – Predict, E – Explain, R – Retrieval, S – Sequence or Summarise).

At this stage of their development, pupils get to choose a reading book from the class library to take home to read and are encouraged to read on a daily basis.

Parents are also encouraged to read nightly to their children and can choose more challenging books to share – encouraging a love of reading, extension of vocabulary, comprehension and tackling more difficult themes. The Write Stuff writing programme has books at the heart of the work and as the children progress through the school so the texts become more complex.

The RWI scheme has a clear assessment and progression system.

The school uses the Crofty Reading development progression to assess pupil development in reading. Pupils are teacher assessed termly in their reading and progress reviewed.

Adaptations to teaching and learning implemented and CPD identified for staff as a result of outcomes. Formal assessments take place termly using the Progress in Reading Assessments (PIRA) and the children’s progress again measured against national standards.

KS1 SATs are used to aid the reading teacher assessment at year 2 and pupils sit formal tests – KS2 SATs, at the end of Year 6.

Halwin School Reading Spine V1.7

Crofty Reading Progression