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Reading at Buckingham Park

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At Buckingham Park, we value reading as a key life skill, and we are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key for academic success and so to ensure we have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading, we implement the following.

  • Children take part weekly in reading lessons, where they engage with a range of high quality books and demonstrate their understanding and thinking about the texts
  • We are very lucky to have a wide range of reading books in our school. All children from EYFS to Year 6 choose a reading book to take home.
  • We have a fully stocked library with good links to the West Sussex Library Service, which enables pupil choice and a variety of books, which are regularly updated and desirable.
  • Each classroom has a selection of books which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
  • Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This could be the class reading book, a topic related text or a child selected book depending on year group.
  • Each classroom has a reading area that is filled with books suitable for their reading age. The reading area is a comfortable place for children to read throughout the day.
  • In Key Stage One, children who are not yet ‘independent readers’, will work through our school reading scheme – these are levelled books which match the children’s current phonics stage.
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Implementation

At Buckingham Park, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc’ which is produced by Ruth Miskin. Read Write Inc is a method of learning letter sounds and blending them together to read and write words. As part of this, children have daily phonics sessions in small groups where they participate in speaking, listening, reading and spelling activities, which are carefully matched to their developing needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge.

throughout the school high quality books linked to learning topics are used to create a series of engaging lessons. As part of this planning process, teachers plan the following:

  • Whole class reading lessons, using a wide range of quality texts;
  • Question stems which are used to inform questions about the class text;
  • A range of activities, one from each content domain, as appropriate to the class reading text;
  • Activities to teach new vocabulary which appears in the class text.

In addition to this, in KS2 teachers plan time for children to read their own choice of book using the Accelerated Reader program. Once children have completed reading a book, they take an online quiz within 24 hours which helps develop children’s ability to answer questions about the books as well as motivating them to read.

Teachers assess children regularly against the Reading Key Performance Indicators (in Years 1-6) and against the Reading Early Learning Goal (in EYFS). These regular assessments inform planning and allow teachers to identify gaps in learning. Teachers also complete regular Read Write Inc. assessments and plot children onto a tracking grid, which ensures children are grouped appropriately in phonics. In Key Stage 2 pupils also take a Star Reading test, four times a year so that progress can be tracked.

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Impact

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school.

Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.

We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds which books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.

By the time children leave Buckingham Park they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.

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