At St Maria Goretti, we are passionate about reading and want our children to foster a lifelong love of books and reading which will continue to develop throughout their education and in later life. We place great emphasis on learning to read and the value of reading and want to create fluent readers through the exposure of a variety of high quality reading material.
From the moment our children begin in our school, they are surrounded by creative learning experiences that are linked to famous and well known children's books. This is where their exciting journey begins. Phonics is taught in Nursery, when children begin to learn the seven aspects of Phase 1. These aspects concentrate on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in phase 2.
In Early Years and Key Stage One, phonic lessons are taught 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day. At St Maria Goretti, we follow the Red, Rose Letters and Sounds systematic synthetic phonics programme (Lancashire Professional Development Service) The intent behind Red Rose Letters and Sounds is to provide a rigorous and thorough planning programme which strengthens the teaching and learning of phonics, and ensures children become enthusiastic and successful readers and writers. Through these interactive and fun phonics sessions where staff use games, songs and actions, we aim to build on the children’s speaking and listening skills as well as preparing them for learning to read by developing and using their phonic knowledge. We use the phonics tracker to regularly assess the children and identify those children who need any interventions putting in place.
By the end of Reception, children are expected to at least know all Phase Three sounds. By the end of Year One all children are expected to know all Phase Five sounds. When finishing Key Stage One, most children are secure in Phase Six sounds. This phase moves away from learning sounds and focuses on spelling rules and patterns. In Key Stage 2, children who require further support have phonics sessions as an intervention delivered by well-trained teaching assistants. Phonics assessments are regularly undertaken to make sure individual gaps are targeted. Interventions such as Fast Track and Bounce Back programmes in small group interventions, take place to target specific needs and provide children with the skills they need to read independently.
Our phonics teaching is supported by a variety of fully decodable books including Little Blenders, Beanstalk books, ORT Word Sparks, Dandelion Readers and Phonics Bug Books. The children take them home to support the sounds that they have learnt in their phonics lessons. These are a great way for children to apply their phonics to their own reading at home. Once children are secure at Phonics, they will also be provided with a reading book linked to their book band reading stage. These reading books do not necessarily match with the phonics phase the children are currently on but are to develop a joy of reading with support from an adult at home.
At St Maria Goretti, we use the Lancashire Teaching Sequence in order to lead our children through the various phases necessary to ensure top-quality outcomes. We use a text led approach to our English curriculum. Through the use of engaging, exciting and challenging texts, shared reading takes place during the reading phase of a unit. During this part of the unit, teachers will model reading aloud and then children will participate in choral reading to improve their word reading skills. Following this, teachers will develop the children's understanding and comprehension of the text through reading and short writing opportunities such as diary entries, letters and role on the wall character activities. Teachers will also further develop the children's comprehensions skills through focused questioning. This immersion in the text ensures that children build up the skills needed to become skilled and proficient writers. In the Early Years, stories are shared daily so that children are immersed in rich vocabulary and story language. Across the school, teachers read aloud to children daily using class novels, poetry and from other relevant sources such as picture news.
We continue to nurture the love of reading and books through guided reading lessons. Teachers use the KLIPS (Key learning documents) and LAPS (Learning and Progression documents) to plan and assess children’s reading ability, ensuring that the children are grouped correctly and that the reading material is appropriate but also provides challenge for them. We use 'active reading' strategies and teach children to become reading detectives. In Early Years and Year 1, guided reading books are matched to their phonic ability but for developing and fluent readers books are chosen that allow teachers to build on comprehension and understanding of the text. These 20-25 minute sessions allow teachers to model specific skills, question the children and assess how children are progressing with their reading. Children in Year 2 and Key Stage 2 also have a guided reading activity book where they complete a focused task related to the text they are reading.
Reading fluency and comprehension is further supported through the daily use of Reading Plus throughout Key Stage Two. Children also access this at home as part of our homework expectations.
In addition to the guided reading session children in Key Stage Two will progress through the reading book bands, taking books home to share with their families. When parents have listened to their child read, they write a comment in the accompanying reading diary. Reading books can be changed when a child has finished their book. Children are listened to read at school by Teaching Assistants once a week however, in order to make good progress, it is imperative that this reading continues at home. We encourage children to read to an adult every day (15-30 minutes) and encourage them to use their reading detective strategies as well as engaging in book talk with them about what they have read. Some children require more support with their reading than others therefore reading interventions strategies, such as 1:1 reading, Toe by Toe and IDL (Individual Dyslexia Support) are also used in school.
There are a variety of schemes that are used in Key Stage Two, including Treetops (Greatest stories by Michael Morpurgo, Myths and Legends, Time Chronicles, Classics and Graphic Novels), Chucklers Project X, Infact (Non-fiction) and Collins Big Cat books.
We also have a selection novels for each year group to access and more challenging books for more able readers.
Reading for Pleasure
We celebrate the love of reading and books in all our classrooms. Each classroom has a reading corner and children are encouraged to borrow books which they can, with permission, take home. All children have the opportunity to visit the library at lunchtimes where, Mrs Snape and the Year 6 librarians, run various reading activities. The school also runs the FBA (Fantastic Book Award) for pupils in Year 6 where children read a variety of books and then have to complete tasks related to the text before deciding on which is the best. Children in Year 2 also have the opportunity to participate in our BBA (Brilliant Book Award) Any child who is interested can apply and they spend 6 weeks reading and scoring a selection of books chosen by the Library Service. As a school, we support lots of different reading events such as: World Book Day, Roald Dahl day, National Story-telling Week, National Poetry Day and Shakespeare Day.