At Even Swindon Primary School, we are readers.
We believe that our reading curriculum opens the door to all other areas of learning and that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend a wide range of texts.
We have carefully designed our reading curriculum to develop a lifelong love of reading and expose pupils to a range of authors and text types so that they are able to achieve an appreciation of the world in which they live and skills which will support their ongoing education.
We strive to inspire our pupils to use reading to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves.
- Reading is taught daily across the school, both discretely and through cross-curricular opportunities.
- Our reading curriculum is delivered through the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics, a graduated approach to individual reading, taught guided reading lessons, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and reading with an adult, and hearing quality texts read aloud every day.
- We use the Essential Letters and Sounds phonics programme to teach early reading, where the children are taught letter sounds and the essential skills of segmenting and blending (refer to the phonics document).
- Even Swindon’s reading progression documents guide the teaching of the seven areas of reading in each year group, ensuring skills are sequentially taught, developed and built upon throughout the pupil’s journey through the school.
- When teaching phonics, as well as continuously assessing daily through the review element of the lesson, the children are assessed termly using the ELS online assessment tool. These regular assessments identify gaps in learning and allow teachers to put into place appropriate interventions. When teaching guided reading, at the start of each unit, children will review previous learning and have the opportunity to share their current knowledge of the skills required for reading. When reading individually with the child, adult observations and assessment analysis ensures that individual support can be provided.
- To support our pupils with additional educational needs, we ensure they have access to coloured overlays; text enlargements; Communicate in Print to support understanding of vocabulary; iPads; book bands so that they are reading at their own level; Barrington Stoke books; and increased 1:1 reading opportunities. We provide further interventions such as pre-reading opportunities, comprehension groups, Better Reading Partners, Nessy, and Tic Tac Toe.
- To ensure our higher prior attainers are suitably stretched, we focus on increasing their exposure to a range of texts and providing them with opportunities to coach their peers, both in class guided reading sessions and as reading rangers across the school.
- Even Swindon has a large, whole school library that is well stocked with books that inspire a love of reading and support the entire curriculum. It is open to all pupils and their families, as well as teachers and their class as a whole. There are mini libraries in Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2 which stock banded books to support the sequential progression of individual readers and a small collection of other books. Each classroom has a book corner stocked with an attractive selection of age appropriate texts, access to iPads to facilitate online reading, a purposeful display to promote reading and an area to recognise reading undertaken by children and the class.
- In the EYFS, the continuous provision matches children’s current knowledge and understanding whilst ensuring the children are suitably challenged. In Nursery, the teachers teach phonics using the three to four word reading statements from Development Matters. It is planned and taught to the whole class using the four-part lesson elements. In Reception, children take part in whole class, daily phonics lessons. The children have guided and independent phonically decodable reading books that match closely to their phonics knowledge. Children are given physical and digital copies of these books that they read multiple times, at home and in school, over the course of a week.
- To complement our reading curriculum, the national Winter and Summer Reading Challenges are promoted throughout the school and our own reading is celebrated through in internal rewards system, which ranges from pupils receiving a bookmark for 50 reads to a book of choice for 300 reads. Additionally, children have the opportunity to meet authors through attending visits at a local secondary school and/or us hosting our own visits.
- We take our reading beyond the curriculum also, through the celebration of Roald Dahl Day, World Book Day and National Poetry Day – which often sees us host an in-house Poetry Slam; we host a Teddy Bear sleep-over in the library for our Reception children; stories are shared by pupils and staff across the Key Stages; we hold bi-annual book fairs; we arrange book swaps and other whole school book activities; we have an after-school book club; and staff lead after-school story time sessions and have recorded bedtime stories for the website.
- Reading is led by a team of knowledgeable leaders who have a passion for reading. Regular staff meetings are held to provide CPD for staff, and resources are readily available to support their planning and delivery of a rich and varied curriculum, including access to Literacy Shed, Ashley Booth resources, Oxford Reading Buddy and Oxford Owl.
We believe high quality learning in Reading has been achieved when pupils can appreciate good quality texts, word chose of the author and the work of the illustrator and design of the book. The children will read for pleasure; they will be able to make good choices of books to read and understand the benefits of reading such as being transported to other places and time both familiar and unfamiliar; they will know that reading supports their learning across the curriculum; they will recognise that reading will enrich their lives now and in the future in many ways including their mental health and well-being. In our school we teach our children to read, but we also bring to life the joy of books.
This will be evident through the use of high-quality books throughout the school day. There will be engaging book displays and reading areas around the school such as in the classrooms and corridors. The school library is at the heart of the school. It has a broad and diverse range of authors, topics, books and publishers. It supports children and their families to enjoy reading, to see themselves as good readers and improve attainment and wellbeing.
Children are taught to read, and have opportunities to read, throughout the school day. Phonics is taught daily, and it is supported by reading books at their phonic level. There are guided reading lessons, DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) and DEAL (Drop Everything and Listen) every day. The Even Swindon Reading Spine, from Nursery to Year 6, supports the book choices for the teaching and enjoyment of reading. It includes poetry and songs as well as fiction and non-fiction texts.
The impact of our reading curriculum will be overseen by the subject leader(s) through learning walks, team teaching, book looks, pupil and staff voice, planning feedback, and ongoing data analysis.