We pride ourselves in celebrating reading throughout school, from the moment the pupils arrive until the moment they leave. We encourage pupils to develop a love of reading so that they become life-long readers. It is our aim to ensure that pupils become fluent readers as early as possible, as we recognise how crucial this is for pupils to be able to access all areas of the curriculum.
Students have daily Reading lessons. In EYFS and Year 1, Reading is completed in conjunction with ELS Phonics lessons. From Year 2, we teach to a carefully planned Delta Reading Strategy. The strategy uses a class reader in every year group, changed termly. This is a driving text for teaching the different content domains and fluency skills required, using fiction, non-fiction and poetry contexts.
We regularly invest in re-stocking the home-reading books, to ensure that all pupils have an appropriate text to help develop their reading fluency. Pupils who are learning to read take home a phonetically decodable book that is matched to their reading ability and a self-chosen real book to share at home. The Reading schemes we use are Rising Stars and Oxford Reading Tree. In KS2 we use real books, using a variety of authors, to support the children. These have been Lexiled so that they still allow for progression and promote challenge for the more able readers.
Students have access to two online reading resources. Oxford Owl, which supports our ELS Phonics scheme, for those Reading between Pink and Gold (Nursery – Year 2). Then Reading Plus for students reading White to Dark Red (Year 2 – Year 6). These online platforms are timetabled into the school day and can also be used at home. Students are assessed half termly to check for progress, with particular attention given to students reading in the lowest 20%.
We listen to the pupils read regularly and they are encouraged to read aloud to an adult at home at least three times a week. This is to help reinforce their word recognition; improve their fluency and confidence; and share their developing love of reading with siblings and parents. We acknowledge that not all pupils will have the opportunity to read at home, therefore, we ensure these pupils are listened to as often as possible within school. Whilst children are learning to read, their books are changed every Tuesday and Friday. Once they progress onto bigger chapter books, they are changed weekly, however this occurs more frequently if required.
There are inviting reading areas situated throughout the academy where children may sit and read for pleasure in their own time. Each classroom has the 30 top reads, and we have book trees available throughout our school. These book trees are dedicated to a range of authors and real books are strategically placed in classrooms and in corridors that allow children to further their knowledge on subjects that may interest them. Our intent is that no child should leave our school without being able to read and furthermore will leave with a passion for Reading.
We want the pupils to develop a love of reading. This is encouraged by using reading challenges, our book trees and class texts. We ensure all our pupils read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age. We also use the REC (Reading Enhanced Curriculum) to teach our Foundation subjects, providing extra opportunities for the children to read, apply and practise their developing skills. Furthermore, we arrange engaging experiences such as author visits, library visits and book fayres, to expose the pupils to the joy that reading can bring, whilst involving and inspiring the local community.
We reward pupils who read at home with ‘regular reading’ prizes. They are recognised weekly and half-termly in assembly with special prizes and certificates. Our passion for reading is evident in every area and aspect of Whetley Academy.