Reading at Fox Hill: Years 3 through to Year 6
“Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible.” – Barack Obama
We value reading as a crucial life skill and it is our goal for all children to leave our school reading independently, confidently and for meaning. We know that reading not only holds the key to the rest of the curriculum but also has a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances.
At Fox Hill, reading is fundamental to all areas of learning and threads itself throughout the whole curriculum. This means that the teaching of reading at Fox Hill is delivered in a variety of ways. These are described below.
Whole Class Guided Reading
In KS1, children will initially answer questions orally about these by their teacher but will progress to more written responses in preparation for recording most reading lessons in books by KS2.
Reading for Pleasure
All children across the school take home a reading for pleasure book from the school library that they can share at home. In Years 2 (those off programme) -6, these books are then quizzed on the Accelerated Reader programme.
Throughout the year, children will experience in-person and virtual author and illustrator visits and workshops. Each class will visit the school library at least once a week and the local library once a year to promote the Summer reading scheme.
Accelerated Reader Reading Scheme
Our reading scheme allows children to take books home to read that are matched to their reading ability. We strive to ensure that every child is able to read to an adult at least once a week in school allowing us to monitor a child's reading ability and issue them with books accordingly. In EYFS and KS1, children will read with an adult at least three times per week in accordance with the Little Wandle reading scheme. The reading scheme follows a colour band system that children are able to progress through, both from a basic phonics level up to becoming a 'free reader' and choosing books from the book corner or library to take home and read.
The Class Novel
Each class will be reading a class novel each half term. It will often, although not always, link to the curriculum learning that the children will be doing. We believe that reading to children is important for them to develop a love of reading and to be exposed to high quality reading from an adult. The class novel is read every day. The books were chosen so that each class is exposed to a wide variety of different authors and characters from different cultural and religious backgrounds, as well as having a mixture of female and male authors and protagonists. We believe that ALL children should be able to 'see themselves' in the books that they are exposed to.
Reading at Home
Accelerated Reader can be accessed at home to build independence and reading for pleasure. This engages parents and carers as well as the pupils in their reading.
Daily reading both in school and at home is vital and the use of reading records to record the books a child is reading allows teachers to assess a child's reading ability through the use of colour coded reading books as well as their own professional judgement.
Reading is assessed in the following ways:
Year 1: Children take part in the Phonics Screening check.
Year 2: Children are assessed in Reading as part of the end of Key Stage 1 SATs.
Year 6: Children are formally assessed in Reading as part of the end of Key Stage 2 SATs.
In School Assessments
In EYFS and KS1, children will be assessed in their phonic ability each half term which will inform the book that they use in their weekly reading sessions. At this level, children should be able to read books at 90% fluency.
In KS2, reading is formally assessed termly using PIXL tests. These are used to assess children's reading comprehension skills from Year 1 to Year 6. They also provide teachers with a detailed gap analysis to support with planning. Teacher assessment of these skills is used, but we also use the Salford Reading test that can be used to gain more specific assessment information. In addition to this Fox Hill use the Accelerated Reader Programme to assess and track the minutes read per day, words read over time and chronological reading age and progress.
Every term, teachers read one to one with a child to carry out a fluency and prosody assessment to monitor how fluently each child can an appropriately-pitched text.
Teachers continuously assess children’s attainment and progress during individual and whole class reading sessions. Teachers are able to monitor progress by checking the levels of the quizzes taken by children on Accelerated Reader and their success rate in these quizzes.
By the end of Key Stage 2, all pupils will be able to read with accuracy, speed, confidence, fluency and understanding, ready to access the secondary school curriculum. All pupils will make at least good progress from their starting points. Pupils will leave Fox Hill ready to develop a life-long enjoyment of reading and books.