Reading at North Wootton
The teaching of reading at North Wootton can be seen to achieve four simple intent aims:
These aims are to create fluent readers who can understand and explain their thoughts of a text and to promote a love of reading. We believe that being able to read and spell are two of the most important skills children will learn during their education.
In respect to developing a love of reading, the school has a consistent approach across the school in which our pupils are exposed to a range of high-quality books (and poems) through a carefully planned sequence of shared reading texts, home readers that are shared with parents and access to the school library.
In regard to fluency, this a primary focus in EYFS and Key Stage 1 where priority is given to the development of reading ability in respect to the level and range of words the pupils are able to decode and read aloud. The aim is to expose pupils to texts where 95% of words can be read but 5% form the basis of new learning. Therefore, all pupils are carefully tracked through the school’s reading scheme.
Pupils are expected to complete home reading supported by parents with books sent on at least a weekly basis. Home reading is tracked and additional in-school reading is provided for those unable to read at home, those who are struggling to progress or those who are entitled to additional support.
As fluency develops, the teaching focus moves more on to understanding wherein weekly guided reading tasks aim to specifically develop seven key skills referred to as VIPERS: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequencing/Summarising.
All Key Stage 1 Carousels will include three key tasks: a pre-read in which pupils can think about key vocabulary, a teacher-led guided reading activity in which a key skill is taught and an independent follow-up task.
In Year 3, a continued priority is given to the development of reading ability with the ambition that all pupils are free readers by the time they leave Year 3. This pivotal year represents a transitional period towards the more direct approach of whole-class teaching. Therefore, whilst the focus moves towards a slightly altered range of skills, the format of the lesson reflects the carousel seen in the lower school to ensure that time is given to the continued development of reading ability. Moreover, all pupils who have yet to read a level of independent reading are prioritised in intervention maps with further reading opportunities provided until they have reached this level. Parents are advised that home reading 5 times a week is expected and checked weekly.
In lower Key Stage 2, reading lessons follow a structure to support the learning of VIPERS. Similar to upper Key Stage 2, the week commences with a VIPERS skill lesson which is then followed with a vocabulary lesson where children look at words from the week's text to ascertain word class, meaning, synonyms and antonyms extending to idioms. Understanding of these to be demonstrated in contextual sentences. On a Wednesday, children summarise their week's reading and predicting what will happen next based on evidence. At the end of the week, children complete reading comprehension questions about the text with the focus to be the key skill from the beginning of the week.
As children progress into upper Key Stage 2, they follow Ashley Booth’s approach to reading. This fully supports the promotion of love for reading as well teaching children the skills required to become effective readers. The week commences with an explicit VIPERS skill being taught which is then followed by 3 days of Ashley Booth. This is when children are exposed to a wide range of literature to explore before children are encouraged to think deeply about the texts they have read.
Unpick unfamiliar vocabulary
Retrieval based quick fire questions linked to the text.
Individual thinking/paired thinking and discussion
Solo work – answering question from quote.
The week is then concluded with comprehension based questions linked back to the class text in relation to the VIPERS skill taught at the beginning of the week.
Each VIPERS skill will be taught at least twice a term with a focus of developing our pupils' ability to use the text to support their understanding. As such, consistent approaches are used such as Point, Evidence, Explain (P.E.E.). Weekly marking will be linked to these skills and approaches as the teacher looks to improve the pupils’ ability in each.
In addition to the taught skills, there is an aim to develop efficiency, independence and breadth. Therefore, short text extracts from a range of genres and classic texts, as well as class readers, are the basis for independent comprehension tasks; these also form the basis of vocabulary work within a pre-read to widen their knowledge. Again, consistent approaches are reinforced in these sessions, initially through the highlighting of key words and moving on to summarising through key words. In addition, the element of efficiency increases throughout the Key Stage with the tracking of reading speed and subsequent intervention work given. Finally, there is an ongoing expectation of developing breadth and enjoyment through home reading with group texts set in school each week, resulting in summary tasks to ensure the tasks are completed.
In addition to formal guided reading lessons, children at North Wootton Academy are exposed to a range of additional reading activities to promote a love for reading. These activities include:
Celebration of World Book Day.
Weekly visits to the school library to choose a book of interest.
Reading buddies across the school (older children read to the younger children).
Judgements of Key Performance Indicators linked to in-class teaching together with termly Pixl testing are used to establish the level at which pupils are comprehending.
Weekly monitoring of home reading is primarily used to track the reading level or ‘age’ of the pupils, although this progresses more into the assessment of reading speed once pupils are deemed to be free readers.
All assessments are judged termly through a data validation process in data, books and teaching are reviewed by the subject leader and discussed with each teacher to ensure an accuracy in assessment. All SEND, EAL and pupil premium champions track these cohorts specifically on a half-termly basis and conduct pupil progress reviews twice yearly. In regard to SEND, this may involve the reviewing of their progress on NAP steps as required for pupils 2 years below the expected level.
Within the EYFS, key milestones have been identified across the year and these are used to assess the children’s progress towards meeting the ELG for reading; this enables the timelier identification of any gaps that need addressing.
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