At Iceni, we value reading as a key life skill and therefore provide opportunities across the curriculum to encourage and develop reading and understanding. In order for children to be passionate about reading, we provide all learners with a wide variety of texts which they can select from our richly resourced library that are of interest to the pupils. As well as this, reading for pleasure is promoted and encouraged throughout our school. In all classes, texts are shared and chosen carefully to inspire and motivate children to want to read. We recognise the value of teachers reading aloud, modelling appropriate use of story language and reading with expression to children, in order to improve their understanding of different story structures, to enthuse them with a love of books, inspire them as writers but most importantly, to make reading fun.
Ultimately, it is our aim for all children to be able to read age appropriate books or above. As a result, we expose all learners to a wide range of challenging texts within their reading sessions through a consistent approach focusing upon the key skills. We use the acronym VIPERS to support the children to understand each reading skill (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarise). In addition to this, we also intend to promote reading across our curriculum using a variety of different reading resources such as secondary sources, recounts, letters, diary entries, newspaper articles, information texts and pictures. This is to challenge every learner to reach their full potential.
At Iceni Academy, we acknowledge that evidence shows there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment. Children are more likely to be academically successful the more they read. Through the Curriculum we will endeavor to promote pupils’ independent reading through the development of reading skills such as decoding skills and word recognition. We will also build on pupils’ reading interests to provoke a love of reading and books to foster positive attitudes. Comprehension activities will also be implemented to ensure pupils have a secure understanding of text such as author’s intent, use of language, inference and deduction skills.
Through the teaching of reading, we aim to:
- Ensure that all children have the chance to follow an enriched curriculum by getting them to read early: learning to read = reading to learn!
- Provide children with a range of strategies they can draw upon when decoding a text.
- Build on the children’s language experiences and early reading skills
- Encourage the transition from inexperienced readers to independent readers who read a variety of texts for different purposes
- Encourage a high awareness of audience and the ability to adapt their language and style for different purposes/genres and audiences
- Create a genuine love of reading and an appreciation of its value, so that the children choose to read for pleasure and are able to follow personal interests and use their research skills to extend their knowledge and understanding of the world around them
- Provide equal opportunities for all children to achieve success when reading.
- Encourage a positive home/school relationship where parents support pupils reading regularly at home and pupils are keen to read.
Reading schemes in the school
Half termly, children will be assessed on their reading through the Accelerated Reading Programme. This will generate reading ZPD levels for every child. Children will then match their level appropriately to the to the books in the school library and classroom libraries. Teachers will closely monitor their children’s levels to ensure children are choosing and reading books within their reading range. This will be achieved through regular reading with the class teacher or LSA.
Strategies - helping our children learn to read
The purpose of a ‘strategy check’ is to give the children an opportunity to practice and remember the different strategies they need to apply in order to read and understand texts. Strategies have been devised into Early Readers, Developing Readers and Active Reading Strategies.
Children practice pointing using a sentence from a story. Children show and use a pointing finger for each word read.
What is happening in the pictures ~ could this give us a clue about what the unknown word could be?
Cover a word – predict what it could be and check. Model predicting a word.
Checking initial/final sounds - does it look right?
Cover the first/last letter – predict, then check. Point to the first letter – get your mouth ready to make the sound. Find the letter on an alphabet card/tile.
Applying phonics to words:
List some more challenging words in the text – decode these together using phonics – predict/discuss the meanings.
Checking meaning - does that make sense?
Explain that reading should always make sense. Practice re-reading to check meaning. Read a sentence – check it makes sense. Give the children two options – which one makes sense? Discuss what is happening on the page.
Re-reading to check:
Explain to the children the importance of going back and checking their reading. Model re-reading; practice re-reading.
Ask children to name the strategies that they can use when they are unable to read a word. Ask the children to share the different things they can do when they do not understand a word, sentence or section of text.
Inferring meaning of unknown words:
List some more challenging words from the guided reading book on a white board or easel. Ask the children to read the words and predict what they mean. Read them the whole sentence so they can check their predictions.
Analyse a page of text (eg non-fiction) how is it organised? Why? How do we read it?
Decoding unknown words: record difficult words from the text on cards or the board. Ask children to decode these words and explain what they did (i.e. syllables, phonics, knowing parts of words...) or predict the meaning of the words.
Checking meaning: read a sentence from the text which is more challenging; discuss what it means and how they know.
Active reading strategies:
Asking questions while they are reading:
Visualising: read a section of text – ask children to think about what pictures they see in their head.
Predicting: read the opening paragraph – summarise what they know so far and predict what might happen next – read the next paragraph to check.
Reading longer sentences (complex sentences):
Record the main clause from a complex sentence on the board – read it and discuss what it means – explain that authors often add more information to the sentence (subordinate clause) – add the subordinate clause and discuss how the two clauses relate to each other – locate the comma and explain that the clauses are usually split by a comma.
Identifying the main points: read the opening paragraph of the text to the children and ask them to identify the main points – list these on a board and discuss why other information is not key to the story.
Scanning: turn to a page of text and model how you scan the text for information – use a highlighter.
Skimming: model reading a paragraph quickly, looking for specific information (e.g. main characters; clues about setting).
A daily reading time of 20 – 30 minutes is timetabled in KS2 to promote reading. AR encourages substantial differentiated reading practise to create strong readers. Once they have finished reading a book, they take an AR quiz. These quizzes check that children have an understanding of the book. The percentage correct score and the points that are awarded for passing a quiz are highly motivating for children. Children challenge themselves to attain 85% or above. With staff guidance and reviewing their latest score, children then make an informed decision about the next book to choose.
At Iceni Academy, we strive to promote a positive reading culture where books and the love of literature is both celebrated and valued. Children will want to read widely for purpose and pleasure. Children will establish their own reading preferences and be able to talk about books and authors. This is discussed through conferencing with the child’s teacher.