It is our intention that the reading curriculum at St Paul’s CE Primary inspires and engages children to develop knowledge of books and authors, key reading skills and ‘a love’ of reading and books which they will rely on throughout their lives. Through promoting a love of reading, children are encouraged to become lifelong readers and to see that reading can evoke feelings of wonder, intrigue, transporting them to other worlds and times and enhancing their knowledge about a range of topics and themes.
Comprehension lessons, as part of the English blocks and in stand-alone lessons, focus on building independence and collaboration, identifying question types and learning the coinciding steps-to-success. Following the national curriculum, the reading curriculum progresses clearly throughout the year groups as the focus develops from simple retrieval skills to well-developed inference and explanation.
At St Paul’s, our reading curriculum is incorporated into all lessons as children use their skills taught in comprehension to retrieve, infer and explain key information in subjects such as history, geography and science. It is our aim that the books we read represent the diversity in our school, our community and the UK today, linking our children’s heritages and cultural experiences wherever possible and enabling children to see themselves in the books that we both study and read for enjoyment.
Reading is a vehicle for oracy, discussion and development of presentation skills, allowing children to make and justify their choices, express opinions and develop a sense of individual achievement. Reading provides a clear base for development of writing, as children become familiar with genres (and their features), similar stories and author voice and the impact on the reader.
In November, our annual Poetry Week allows all classes to learn a poem to recite aloud. During this, the children will explore the poetic devices the poet uses, as well as using their oracy to present a poem with necessary volume and intonation. They will identify the poet behind the poem and learn how their identity helps the children understand the meaning of the poem. A diverse range of poets and themes will be looked at to ensure children’s own experiences are represented.
Our annual Book Week, held in March, will allow children to interact creatively with the texts and authors they read. The bookworms, our reading pupils voice group, lead on activities to promote a love of reading, ensuring children care for books and sharing ways to talk about books and reading. Authors are looked at in detail so children have a repertoire of writers which they can refer back to when they want to expand their love of reading. These authors will represent different religions, races, genders and ethnicities to ensure all children at St Paul’s feel represented in the books they read, their own experiences mirrored and addressed.
Through a variety of texts -constantly reviewed based on children and teacher’s interests- reading will be taught with a focus on both skills and love of reading. Teachers at St Paul’s are encouraged to be readers and act as models of reading as a hobby and sources of enjoyment and pleasure. Whilst planning is guided by ‘Rising Stars’ comprehension resources and writing blocks mapped out by teachers alongside the reading and writing leads, this is adapted to the particular needs and requirements of our children ensuring the National Curriculum is followed.
The leader of this subject attends regularly CPD opportunities provided by the Local Authority and other providers and keeps abreast of developments and opportunities in their subject in addition to trends in literature. Key skills. literature and genres have been mapped across the key stages to ensure clear progression through the year groups. Texts are a vehicle for oracy with reading knowledge organisers providing information about key opportunities for discussion. Performance of text extracts and poetry in class and to the wider school provide a platform for children to build and develop their oracy.
Beginning with the key text, prose or poetry, the children are encouraged to explore and perform the text before analysing vocabulary and author voice then answer questions to show clear comprehension. Children use these skills and their own knowledge to make connections with their learning across the curriculum including in history, geography, science and art in order to better comprehend a wide-range of subject matter. Bookworms support the Reading Lead in encouraging reading within their own classes and modeling positive book-talk.
The leader of this subject is part of a love of reading teacher teacher research group partaking in a project, using research supported by The Open University’s Love of Reading studies, to increase teacher’s knowledge of children’s reading practices. This aims to create a reading community, promoting high-quality reading discussion between both adults and children and children and their peers.
Children will have clear enjoyment and confidence in reading, which they will then apply to other areas of the curriculum, and their wider lives. Through carefully planned texts and launching of these texts, children will have an excitement around reading as they become confident choosing their own favourite genres and writing styles. Having read a range of authors, genres and text types, children will become fluent readers of poetry, narratives and non-fiction information types, becoming able to identify the genre required for their needs, or for their interests.
Pupil’s skills and knowledge, when assessed by the class teacher as part of an ongoing process, throughout lessons, will show that they build on previous skills and knowledge. More formal assessment such as reading check ins and written comprehension, alongside more informal child interviews show progress over time. Careful questioning and planning of child-led discussions will support the Reading leader in measuring impact and will enable the class teacher and curriculum lead to measure impact and adapt planning, texts and support where necessary.
St Paul’s sees reading as the cornerstone of engagement in the curriculum and a powerful skill which enables children to progress in the world and is committed to ensuring that all children make the very best progress possible, from their starting points, to enable them to be the best readers possible as they move to secondary school and into adult life.
Long term plans, showing the progression of skills and knowledge and the content taught in Reading and Phonics can be found below: