“Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible.” – Barack Obama
At Fox Hill, we believe that all of our children can become fluent readers. Through our systematic and synthetic phonics programme (Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised), we aim for children to master reading and writing as they progress through the school. This, in turn, will equip them with the toolkit needed to read for meaning and pleasure and for reading to become a lifelong, independent habit.
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.
Whole Class Guided Reading
Children in Year 4 and above have daily, thirty-minute whole class guided reading sessions. These lessons will expose the children to a wide range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts. The class teacher models reading the text with fluency, intonation and expression and the children get the chance to read parts of the text aloud through echo reading and reader’s theatre. The children are explicitly taught and given the chance to practise seven key reading skills: activating prior knowledge, predicting, clarifying, retrieval, inference, summarising and questioning. This approach has been developed and guided by research from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) which suggests that this method of developing reading skills has an excellent impact on pupil progress.
Reading for Pleasure
There is time scheduled every day for reading for pleasure as a class, where the children are read to by the class teacher, or they have time to read their own choice of book. Teachers choose class texts carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Fox Hill Primary School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
All children across the school take home a reading for pleasure book from the school library that they can share at home. In Years 4-6, 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.
Reading at Home
Children who are learning phonics have access to an e-book of the reading practice text that they have been reading in class. Once children are secure in their phonics knowledge they are able to choose an Accelerated Reader book from the school library or their class book corner. We encourage children to read at home every day and each child is given a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school. Parents receive half-termly reading for pleasure book recommendations that they are able to borrow from the school library, where these diverse and high-quality texts are displayed for the children.
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.
To ensure that all children leave Fox Hill as fluent readers, we offer support for children who need additional support in the following ways:
-Keep Up support for those behind in phonics
-Access to Dyslexia Gold programme primarily for children with SEN to support reading in a fun and engaging way
-Daily one to one reading with an adult
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
Children in Years 1 – 6 are assessed using PIXL reading assessments (twice yearly in Year 1 and 2 and termly in Year 3-6). These assessments prepare the children for the format and question types used in the end of key stage summative assessments. They also provide teachers with a detailed gap analysis to support with planning.
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.