Reading at All Souls' CE
Reading Curriculum Rationale
At All Souls’ CE Primary, we are readers! We want our children to love reading. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be authors, journalists, poets and reporters. We want them to embody our Christian core values. We all embrace the school motto of: “we are a place to grow’ – this is both spiritually and academically. The reading curriculum has been carefully designed so that our pupils develop their word reading and comprehension knowledge and understanding to support confident speakers and writers. Pupils are encouraged to read a wide range of text in including Shakespeare in all year groups from Nursery through to Year 6. This is enhanced through a dramatic performance of the Shakespearian play studied. We want all our pupils to remember their learning in reading in our school, to cherish these experiences and embrace the opportunities they are presented with.
The English curriculum promotes the development of knowledge and skills in reading, writing and spoken language. We promote a love and thirst for learning and curiosity about the nature of reading and its necessity to everyday life. It is ambitious and empowers our pupils to become independent and resilient.
We want to equip pupils with ambition beyond the minimum statutory requirements of the English National Curriculum and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. The curriculum is meticulously planned with the intention to address social disadvantage and ensure that all pupils - including those with SEND – have an opportunity to engage with a challenging curriculum and achieve success. Any gaps in pupils’ knowledge are quickly identified and addressed to ensure that pupils are supported to meet the ambitious intended end points of the curriculum in reading.
The reading curriculum is focused upon the development of pupils’ reading within two-dimensional competences - skilled word reading and excellent comprehension. Within skilled word reading, we aim to develop speedy pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the automaticity and recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why we emphasise phonics in the early teaching of reading. Effective comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. We seek to develop comprehension skills through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussions with the class teacher as well as exposure to a range of engaging stories, poetry and non-fiction texts. We actively promote reading widely as this increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure- house and joy for curious minds. We seek to ensure that our pupils are able to read fluently, confidently and with enjoyment - as we develop a learning to read approach into a reading to learn experience. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to further develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
The reading curriculum is progressively sequenced to ensure that pupils gain appreciation of the key foundational knowledge and concepts. This supports pupils to develop accuracy, automaticity and prosody to become fluent readers and embed the strategies required for effective comprehension of texts. Through high quality discussions, pupils are able to articulate key ideas, consolidate understanding and extend their vocabulary thus developing inference skills. We seek to develop the application of literary knowledge and skills through a range of cross-curricular opportunities such as, developing an understanding of vocabulary in science/history etc: promoting speaking, listening when debating/discussing ideas, and reading for information across the curriculum.
We want our pupils to use the vibrancy of our great town and wider city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, co-operate with one another and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong local contextual links where possible. For example, the curriculum offers visits to the school from local authors where interaction supports the application of literary knowledge in a fun and exciting experience building on the knowledge and concepts pupils have gained.
British Values and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. This often feeds into the reading curriculum. Cultural capital development is addressed through reading workshops, online exploration, and visitors to school and first-hand experiences. We enrich pupils’ time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities to engender an appreciation of human development and achievement.
We effectively develop and invest in our teaching staff to ensure that they are fully equipped with expert subject knowledge in order to support the delivery of the exceptional English reading curriculum. Teaching is highly effective for all pupils. Teachers present the curriculum content clearly through composites and component parts supported by unit plans and core text studies, which break the unit knowledge, concepts and skills down for each lesson in each year group.
The curriculum is delivered through a subject specific approach, which supports pupils to develop the key concepts and knowledge of the reading curriculum. Each lesson within a unit of work is carefully crafted and builds upon what has been previously taught from one year to the next.
Frequent audits of the reading curriculum take place. Following the findings from these audits, the reading curriculum is adapted to build upon the learning opportunities and assessment end points for each year group and ensures progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
As an English Hub, we have the opportunity to be at the forefront of the most current reading initiatives including the most recent research studies from EEF etc. From this, we have devised our own approach to promoting effective reading engagement and analysis of text. We develop skilled word reading by having fidelity to the Read, Write Inc. approach written by Ruth Miskin. This provides a strong foundation upon which to build excellence in comprehension. Reading comprehension is developed by teaching pupils specific strategies that they can apply to both check how well they comprehend what they read, and overcome barriers to comprehension. This includes a focus upon inference, questioning, clarifying, summarising, and predicting. This unique school developed approach is entitled RAMP Reading (Reading And Modelled Practice.)
Reading and writing in this school operates in symbiosis. This essential link determines the text used for reading equally promotes the outcome for writing. In this way, pupils can use their reading experiences to filter into their writing and provides the stimulus and motivation to support pupils’ writing enjoyment. Links across the curriculum are made with the text chosen for each year group in school. For example: the narrative ‘Treason’ by Berlie Doherty is used to link the historical unit of Medieval Monarchs in Year 5 – ‘Cogheart’ by Peter Benzl is liked to their unit of work on the Industrial Revolution in Year 6
Each reading discipline and knowledge taught is revisited in each phase, at a progressively deeper level. Pupils engage with core text studies, which explore authorial and contextual information to support prior learning alongside a strong focus on vocabulary.
Reading subject specific characteristics, which we expect the pupils to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in readingand form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are to:
- To read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
The teaching of the English reading curriculum is planned and delivered to support pupils to transfer key knowledge into their long-term memory and therefore improve the progress they make. Essential vocabulary is identified within each lesson and unit of work to ensure that our pupils can discuss and evaluate the knowledge content effectively.
Whilst delivering the curriculum, teachers are constantly checking to ensure that pupils are learning the necessary knowledge and identifying and addressing misunderstandings. Assessment is used as a tool to support pupil learning.
The English reading curriculum is research evidence informed in relation to the content, delivery and process of learning.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in reading. Assessment informs learning to ensure that all pupils including disadvantage and those with SEND achieve highly and acquire the knowledge, skills and concepts they need to succeed in life. Staff use assessment information to inform their short-term planning and address misconceptions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils. The end points for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down. This means that the essential knowledge, skills and concepts in reading are progressive and build year on year.
Our well-constructed curriculum in reading leads to pupils’ successful learning. This is evidenced in the outcomes within workbooks and practical work produced. Pupils are well prepared for the next steps and stages of their learning due to the progressive and well-sequenced curriculum. As a result, pupils make excellent progress they know more and remember more as they move through the English reading curriculum at All Souls’ CE Primary.