Our Reading Leader is Mrs Davies.
At Towngate Primary Academy, reading is at the core of our curriculum. Every day, children are presented with many opportunities to read, be read to and explore the wonder of books.
At Towngate Primary, we follow the National Curriculum, Early Years Framework and Reading Framework to ensure our children become fluent readers by the time they leave primary school. We use Read, Write, Inc. to teach phonics to support pupils’ word reading and teach language comprehension through our book-led English curriculum and guided reading lessons daily.
In order to support our pupils’ early reading, all children accessing phonics teaching are given a Read, Write, Inc. (RWI) Book Bag Book which is specifically matched to their reading / phonic attainment to read both in school and practice at home. This builds pupils’ fluency and accuracy in decoding.
After pupils complete the RWI phonics programme, they choose appropriate banded books from the Oxford University Press TreeTops range prior to becoming ‘free readers’ where children access books matched to their reading ability from the rich array we have on offer in school.
Children in Year 2 through to Year 6 complete Guided Reading sessions four times per week: pupils use Rigby Star Navigator books to practice pupils’ individual reading and build language comprehension through the careful modelling and questioning led by adults in the classroom.
Reading is a high priority in our book-led English curriculum, where teachers plan weekly comprehension lessons to match the reading domains for each year group. Through teachers choice of high quality texts, we intend to develop a love of reading and allow children to recognise the pleasure they can get from reading, develop pupils’ imagination and perseverance to read at length for enjoyment.
With this, we aim to provide children with a well-rounded understanding that reading provides opportunities to discover new knowledge, revisit prior knowledge and understand more about what they learn across all subject matters.
Early Reading and Phonics follows the RWI programme: each lesson starts with a recap and review of previously learnt sounds and words. The new learning is introduced in small steps with teacher modelling pronunciation, blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. Children are guided through the whole session with opportunities to apply the learning independently. The programme follows a logical plan that builds up children’s phonic knowledge in a sequential manner at a good pace so that children achieve age-appropriate reading skills. Children are regularly assessed which allows for flexibility in reading groups, ensuring pupils are in the right place at the right time for their learning.
Guided Reading lessons take place using a carousel approach: this allows small groups of children to read texts appropriate to their attainment with an adult, whilst also working independently on reading based tasks. Each session of group guided reading begins with a recap and review of previous learning: this includes revisiting previous vocabulary or summarising what has been read so far. Children unpick tricky vocabulary and discuss the author’s use of language throughout the sessions, listening to an adult modelling reading strategies and practicing with a partner and independently. Adults are listening for accuracy and fluency of the written word. Guided reading sessions focus on key content domain reading skills and strategies: the adult models these strategies throughout the lesson, providing an opportunity for pupils to use the skills independently to answer pre-prepared questions.
As part of the English curriculum in place, teachers teach a whole class comprehension lesson based upon the class novel across all classes. It is here that pupils practise and apply key reading skills taught within guided reading sessions and develop a love for books and authors, ready to use these as a basis for their own compositions in writing.
Every Wednesday, children participate in Reading For Pleasure sessions. Every class has a book basket which is full of carefully chosen texts picked to immerse and expose the children in an array of texts, authors and genres. As part of reading for pleasure, the following reading stations are set up for the children to enjoy:
– Reading aloud: an adult models reading for enjoyment to the children in the dedicated reading corner
At the end of every day, pupils stop lessons at 3pm and are read to by an adult. Adults read a high quality pre-planned novel to the children every day, exposing children to language, content and texts they may otherwise refrain from reading.
Reading is at the core of our curriculum and children are provided the opportunities to become life-long readers and value the importance of reading in their every day lives.
Through the innate approach to reading taken at Towngate Primary, children read wide and often which support them in their understanding of concepts across the curriculum. The vast majority of children enter Key Stage Two as an independent reader, ready to be exposed to a rich menu of books on offer. The environment is adorned with high quality texts in classrooms, on corridors and in the academy Wonderland themed library to raise excitement and prevalence of reading into all our children.
Pupil voice and monitoring by the curriculum leader measures children’s enjoyment and pleasure for reading. As a result of the reading provision on place, children have a developed ability to use their phonic knowledge at their stage of development to decode and blend successfully, leading to fluency and accuracy in their reading.
Through the approach taken, children are developing their comprehension skills by revisiting skills through lessons, which enables them to know more, remember more and pupils achieve well in reading in summative and National statutory assessments.