Teaching Reading at Delta
The teaching of Reading, both the technical aspects of decoding language and the opportunity for children to develop a love of reading, is one of our school priorities. We are determined that every pupil will learn to read; regardless of their background, needs or abilities and that all of our children, including our weakest readers, make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations. We want our approach to reading to be progressive and ensure children leave us with the skills they need to enjoy a range of texts and genres and to prepare them for future life experiences.
As a school we follow the Ruth Miskin Read, Write, Inc. scheme for phonics which enables us to have clear expectations of children’ phonics progress term-by-term. Each session includes a differentiated speed sound lesson followed by story time books and activities linked to the level of the children. As part of our phonic scheme, children are grouped depending on their phonic stage and not their age. This helps us to pinpoint exactly what children need to do next in their learning.
For children who have fallen behind we take on the approach of keep up, not catch up. This involves experienced adults on a 1:1 or small group basis, working with children to get them to where they need to be and on the journey to becoming confident and fluent readers. Children also access a whole class, speed sound lesson in the afternoons, to reinforce and expose new sounds to all. These learnt sounds are then reinforced and matched in our children’ phonic homework and books we send home.
As a school, we aim to ensure each classroom exposes children to vocabulary-rich classrooms. This includes high quality texts during carpet/whole-class teaching and daily story times to develop our childrens’ love of reading. Children also have access to phonic and reading games and resources, which they can access independently in the indoor and outdoor learning environments. To promote a love of reading, we have also developed engaging reading areas in classrooms inspired by our children’ interests, with a wide range of texts ranging from magazines, stories, poems and non-fiction texts our children can enjoy together.
In order to achieve high quality teaching in reading, our reading lead works with staff to improve and secure their practice. This ranges from 1:1 coaching to staff training sessions focusing on key areas of reading. Doing this enables us to make sure all children are getting what they need and all staff are aware of our high reading expectations.
Our RWI journey begins in Reception where children are taught well-structured and sequenced phonics sessions to enable them to decode effectively. Our Reception and Year 1 team work closely to ensure that the RWInc. programme has a smooth transition into the Autumn Term.
In Year 2 and beyond, children who are not at age-related expectation will continue with and build on their knowledge of phonics. Once children are fluent readers, they will transition to the school’s Comprehension programme. This programme uses the key strategies from RWInc. Phonics to maintain momentum and support with the development of reading fluency and comprehension.
In Years 3 - 6, whole-class reading comprehension lessons follow our weekly plan and aim to develop fluency, stamina and build vocabulary through a 5-part lesson structure. We provide opportunities during lessons for children to access a whole text to stimulate and support a love of literature. It is important that children are provided with opportunities to become engaged in a whole text to support their understanding of comprehension and promote fluency across all abilities. Each class will access a minimum of six whole texts a year and discover various styles of writing which they can then adopt to support their own writing.
In addition, we have daily slots in the timetable which enable teachers read to their classes, sharing good quality literature with them. This helps our children to develop their vocabulary as well as introducing them to unfamiliar ideas and concepts. It also gives children the opportunity to tackle longer or more challenging texts than they would be able to alone. This is an enjoyable time of the day as it is a chance to share a story as a class and to listen for pure enjoyment.
Furthermore, as part of our reading offer, and to support children with reading for pleasure, we have introduced the Accelerated Reader programme in Key Stage 2 to support children’s reading independently and motivate them to explore a range of genres and develop a true love of reading quality texts. It enables children to choose texts which are pitched correctly for their stage and ability in reading and provides personalised targets for them. While we continue to teach the skills of reading in class through whole-class reading lessons, the AR books chosen by children provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed.
Our Reading offer at Delta