- Reading is very much at the heart of Millbrook.
- It is an integral part of our curriculum and is taught rigorously and passionately in all year groups.
- We understand that reading consists of language comprehension and word reading and we endeavour to ensure that children achieve the skills and knowledge in these areas to become eager, competent readers.
- Reading skills are taught in a systematic way in discrete Reading, Phonics and English sessions but are applied and practised across the whole curriculum.
- In Early Years, the teaching of Reading is embedded into all aspects of learning. We value the importance of early reading and wholeheartedly believe that:
“Reading is the gateway for children that makes all other learning possible.”
Reading book scheme
Throughout our school we use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which runs alongside out Phonics educational programme. Children begin at Level 1 and continue on the scheme until they reach Level 14. After this, children become free readers and, with the support of their teacher, choose age-appropriate texts that hook and inspire them.
In EYFS we follow the Statutory Framework for the EYFS (Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (publishing.service.gov.uk)) and have developed a progression of skills map for Reading. In Key Stage 1 and 2, we following the National Curriculum for English (National curriculum in England: English programmes of study - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)) and use Twinkl’s Totally Pawsome Reading Pals to teach Reading skills. This ensures that the teaching of Reading is progressive and that children hear consistent language associated with the teaching of reading. Our pupils build upon their prior knowledge and skills as they move through school.
An introduction to the Totally Pawsome Reading Pals (Twinkl)
Key Stage 1: VIPRS
V – Vocabulary Victor
I – Inference Iggy
P – Predicting Pip
R – Rex Retriever
S – Sequencing Suki
Key Stage 2: VIPRSCA
V – Vocabulary Victor
I – Inference Iggy
P – Predicting Pip
R – Rex Retriever
S – Summarising Sheba
C – Cassie the Commentator
A - Arlo the Author
In every year group from Pre-School to Year 6, our pupils learn Wonder Words. These are usually linked to the class text and/or the current Topic. This helps the children to learn and retain the meaning of more words and encourages questions and discussions around vocabulary. This has a positive effect on our pupils’ reading comprehension.
Children who are identified as needing ‘keep up’ time in reading are offered a programme of interventions to help them to develop their reading skills. This includes daily one-to-one reading with an adult, either group or individual Phonics interventions (depending on the level of need), additional story/shared book times and/or Project X Code (Oxford University Press).
English Hub and Somerset Literacy Network
We work closely with the English Hub and Somerset Literacy Network to support our professional development.
- All children at Millbrook have daily story/shared book sessions in their classes where, usually the teacher, reads aloud to the children.
- Our pupils are taught how to take part in ‘book talk’, discussing different aspects of texts and gaining knowledge of other children’s opinions and preferences. This can help to inspire children to read books that they might otherwise not have read.
- In English sessions, Key Stages focus on two different genres of texts each term, either fiction/poetry and a non-fiction text.
- Regardless of the year group Reading, across all aspects of the curriculum, is of the utmost importance.
- Every class has a book corner with a range of genres and text-types in.
In addition to this, below is a short commentary of how our pupils learn to read in the different year groups:
In our Early Years classes, our pupils are read to, read and talk about books on a daily basis. Our classrooms are rich in print and, wherever possible, there are books supporting provision. We teach a text-based curriculum and the knowledge and skills that our children learn are linked to texts at every opportunity.
Key Stage 1
In years 1 and 2 reading is taught through daily Guided Reading lessons as well as English lessons with Reading objectives/skills focus. Guided Reading sessions have a ‘Reading Pals’ skills focus. Each day there is a whole class input linked to that dog’s skill. Within the Guided Reading carousel there is an adult led reading activity, 1:1 reading, an independent reading task giving children the opportunity to apply their reading skills and a follow up activity based on the week’s focus skill. There is also a ‘pleasure for reading’ group who have the opportunity to choose their own texts to enjoy. They are encouraged to review books and are given ‘book talk’ prompts.
Key Stage 2
Reading in Key Stage 2 is taught in discrete lessons, four times a week. Three lessons have a ‘Reading Pals’ skills focus and one has a pleasure for reading, ‘book talk’ focus. Lessons are taught as a whole class and are either centred around a text or a Reading Explorers extract.
- All children are given membership to Oxford Owl where they can access e-books at home that match their Reading level. Reception children are also able to access the Phonics books that are used in class to teach new GPCs. This also helps to create a good partnership between Reading, the pupil, parent and teacher.
- From Reception onwards, Children take school reading books home and are encouraged to read at least 5 times a week. We run parent Phonics and Reading sessions where we explain how we teach early Reading and Reading skills.
- Before Christmas, and again before the summer holidays, we provide each of our pupils with a brand new, age-appropriate text to take home and keep. This helps to foster a love of reading in our children and increases the number of books that they have access to at home.
Pleasure for Reading
- Each year we have a high-profile World Book week to coincide with World Book day, The whole school are involved and read a different version of the same text.
- Each week a member of staff reads a story for the rest of the school to listen to.
- The class who have read the most times at home during the week win the donut stop reading award and enjoy a donut each whilst listening to the weekly, whole-school story
- Postcards are sent home to inform parents/carers that their child has been Reading well.
- In EYFS, two children each week take home the reading bears and stories to share with their parents/carers at home.
- Every class has a slot to use the school Library each week.
- We run a book fair each year where parents and their children can come and buy books. As our school takes a proportion of each sale to spend on books, we are able to use this money to update our class book areas each year with new literature.
Role of the adult
- Reading is taught by skilled teachers who value the importance of supportive, challenging and targeted questioning.
- Teachers aim to inspire children and convey how reading is also important to them.
- We actively encourage book talk. Asking what a child is reading and how they are enjoying it is a normal part of day-to-day conversation at Millbrook.
- Teachers and support staff understand that reading is not isolated to taught Reading sessions, but that there are opportunities to apply and practise these skills across all subjects.
- The language of reading is used across the curriculum and our pupils are encouraged to demonstrate their reading skills in all aspects of learning.
- We believe that it is important for children to take ownership of their reading in order to become invested in it. Therefore, each year group has a weekly library slot where they listen to stories and can choose books to read.
- In Key Stage 1, our pupils go on an annual trip to the West Swindon Library and we provide information to parents how they can become members.
- Each summer we set a reading challenge to ensure that pupils remain avid readers throughout the holidays.
- We help organise, and take part in, reading competitions with the other schools in our LACT. Such competitions include the performance poetry competition. Children are given the opportunity to share their love of reading with other children who they don’t usually spend their time with.
- Where possible, we like to invite authors, illustrators and poets to visit the school. This helps to foster a love of reading in our pupils and aims to inspire and engage them to read a variety of text types. Such author visits include Taffy Thomas.
- We have Year 6 reading buddies who support our younger children with their reading.
- When children are listened to read individually by an adult, information is recorded on this in the class Reading folder.
- At Millbrook we ensure that our pupils’ Reading development is assessed accurately by considering both their comprehension and word reading skills and knowledge.
- In Key Stage 2, along with teacher professional judgment, children take termly Rising Stars reading assessments. Year 6 are assessed by SATs at the end of their time in Key Stage 2.
- Throughout Reception and Key Stage 1, Phonics assessments and teacher’s professional judgement are used to assess and plan for the learning of children. Year 2 children are formally assessed by SATs at the end of their time in Key Stage 1.
- In EYFS, all practitioners have regular discussions about the progress and development of our pupils. Careful thought and planning is put into developing children’s next steps.
- In Key Stage 1, work and monitoring from Guided Reading sessions is kept in a Guided Reading folder. Reading-focused work from English lessons is recorded in English/Topic books. Working walls provide information for current English focus skills and book areas contain relevant information relating to the Totally Pawsome Pals.
- In Key Stage 2, work and monitoring from taught Reading sessions is kept in the back of English books. Reading-focused work from English lessons is recorded in the front of English books. Working walls provide information for current English focus skills and book areas contain relevant information relating to the Totally Pawsome Pals.
- By collecting and analysing our reading data, we are able to identify children who need ‘keep up’, provide extra challenge for children who are excelling and look for trends that help us to identify areas for celebrating and sharing and improving. We use this information to improve the planning and teaching of reading across the school.
You should see our pupils…
- Excited to read and listen to books being read to them.
- Making good progress with their reading.
- Reading a variety of different text types.
- Using and understanding the language around reading.
- Reading books that match their Phonics/ reading ability.
- Eager to talk about the texts that they have read/are reading.
- Confidently applying the reading skills that they have learned in different contexts.
- Asking and answering questions about the books they read.
- Understanding more about the world because of what they read.