Blenheim Primary school has a clear, consistent, whole school approach to the teaching of reading. Our intention is that all children leave our school being able to read confidently and fluently in order to access all areas of the curriculum, as reading is fundamental to many aspects of life. By supporting our children to develop their reading skills, we aim to prepare children for the next stage of their academic journey and to have a love of reading for pleasure, as well as reading for meaning.
1-1 Reading and Home Reading
Each day 1-1 reading takes place where children read with an adult every day. This happens across the school and takes place for 25 minutes during early morning work. The aim of this session is that every child reads at least every two days and identified pupils read daily. Pupils read books that correspond to the National Curriculum standards and adults gather evidence against age related expectations, as they hear the pupils read. Children in every class are also expected to read at home, using books from school, for at least 15 minutes per day.
Additional time can be allocated within a class’ weekly timetable to ensure that each child is reading regularly. This can also be through the use of reading volunteers and additional adults.
We currently use a range of different reading schemes to meet the interests and individual need of each and every child. These include, Collins Big Cat, Rigby Star, Kings court and Read Write Inc books for those in the early stages of reading.
Here is some guidance about reading at home.
The Teaching of Reading at Blenheim
At Blenheim Primary School children are exposed to a wide selection of high-quality texts. In Reception and year 1, Phonics is taught using the Read Write Inc program. Please see the phonics tab for further information. Comprehension texts are specifically chosen to ensure progression throughout the academic year, as well as year on year throughout the school. Extensive research is undertaken to find the best books for each year group, which link to the wider curriculum as well as being age and content appropriate. Considerations are given to the balance of pure text and picture books, texts by different authors, with a balance of male and female authors and illustrators. All year groups study multi-cultural texts celebrating stories from other cultures and nationalities. Non-fiction books and poetry are very important and are included in our book progression map to ensure they are given the same profile as the fiction texts.
As pupils move into year 2, they continue to access a daily phonics lesson, which after careful teacher assessment moves on to concentrate on application of phonics in a broader context. From year 2, children begin to access comprehension lessons as the main approach to teaching reading skills, which is the adopted approach as pupils move throughout key stage 2.
We teach the reading skills VIPERS. Vocabulary, Inference, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence Lessons are taught 4 times a week. During these lessons vocabulary is explicitly taught and modelled, and a key skill is modelled in each lesson. Children are given the opportunity to practise their fluency and read aloud and then an application activity is completed collaboratively or independently.
Key Stage 2 - NEW READING CURRICULUM LAUNCHED THIS YEAR
We are excited to continue with our new KS2 reading curriculum that was launched in September 2022 and deemed to be outstanding by our Ofsted inspectors. The children in KS2 will continue to have 3 reading lessons every week, where they will have the chance to develop their comprehension skills in discussion-rich lessons. Over the course of the year, each year group will be studying a wide, diverse range of fiction texts (including picture books, novels and graphic novels), poetry and non-fiction texts, which will expose them to a huge range of authors, genres and writing styles. It is important that we help to build our children's contextual knowledge through reading, enabling them to draw on this in future texts to support their understanding. The carefully chosen texts will provide linked reading to the books studied in writing lessons, topics studied in foundation lessons, and link to other themes such as Black History, Refugees, PSHE and topical issues such as climate change.
In each lesson, the children have chance to apply a range of comprehension skills to the chosen text. However, there will always be one specific skill that is modelled by the teacher at the start of the lesson, providing clear strategies for the children to use. We explicitly teach strategies for the following skills within our lessons
Whilst we focus on giving our children clear strategies to be successful readers, we also continue to model and discuss other important skills such a monitoring understanding, connecting with prior knowledge and experience, previewing a book before reading, and visualising as we read.
The main focus is on discussion; we want to allow pupils time to share their ideas and thoughts with their partner and the class, developing their inference skills and ability to articulate and justify their ideas. They will also have chance to independently apply their skills at the end of the lesson answering a range of questions in written form.
More than anything, we hope to foster a real enthusiasm and love for reading, encouraging our children to read for pleasure, helping them to discover texts, authors and genres they can enjoy in their own time, and building habits that will hopefully last a lifetime!
You can see our new Autumn 1 Reading Spines here...
Reading for Pleasure
We believe it is important for every child to read and for every child to be read to. Children have access to high quality and diverse texts during their reading for pleasure sessions. Class texts are chosen and are read daily during our timetabled ‘Reading for Pleasure’ session. During this time, fluency is modelled to pupils, discussions around the books takes place and children are given the opportunity to discuss books they have read and any recommendations they have.
Children in EYFS and KS1 have the opportunity to take Bedtime Bear home. This is a suitcase with books, Bedtime Bear, a notebook, where children and parents can make a record and some information for parents about the importance of sharing books as a family. Not only has this initiative had a fantastic response but it has created a positive and encouraging reading environment, which is being transferred from the classroom into children’s homes.
Each classroom displays a stimulating book corner These book corners are inviting spaces which allow children to independently access a range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction books throughout the school day. Children can access a range of high quality texts, learn about new authors and discover recommendations made by both children and adults working in school .
Every month a reading assembly is hosted to promote a love of reading. During the assembly, children will learn about new releases, hear extracts read by a range of adults in school, listen to the reading experiences classes have had, hear recommendations made by the reading ambassadors and see the newly published newsletter.
Reading Ambassadors will be working towards promoting reading and reading for enjoyment across the school. They will do this by organising a range of book themed activities across the school, keeping the school and class libraries up to date with new authors and books, as well as hosting book quizzes and sharing book recommendations. Reading Ambassadors will read to other classes and individuals to help show what great reading role models they can look up to. They will select texts on a weekly basis for children to access at lunchtimes and playtimes. They will also promote reading and be part of creating the monthly reading newsletter.
Meet the Reading Ambassadors!
*Come back soon to see who they are!
Reading is celebrated in lots of different ways throughout school; we have themed challenges throughout the year and hold a host of celebrations around World Book Day.