At St Mark's, we see reading as the golden thread to learning. Being able to read enables children to acquire the knowledge they need in order to succeed in life. This means building strong foundations from the very first day of school that will make a real difference to a child’s future.
The ability to read opens doors and gives children access to a wealth of knowledge. It is therefore crucial that early reading is seen as an absolute priority. Unless children can read, they can’t learn to the full.
The reading curriculum at St Mark's is built around high-quality, engaging texts. We have specifically chosen ones that provide the platform for teachers to forge strong links between subjects, developing children’s knowledge and understanding as well as well broadening their social, moral, spiritual and cultural awareness. As part of this, each of our core FACE values (Forgiveness, Aspire, Compassion and Engage) are explicitly explored across the range of texts to deepen the children's understanding of the impact our values have had in many different contexts around the world.
Reading for pleasure is at the forefront of our curriculum. Every week, children have time to read, discuss, share and critique what they have been reading. Opportunities for this include: enjoying a weekly session in our school library; during focused reading sessions or during bespoke reading support. Children are read aloud to daily and each class has a class reader - a book for children to simply listen to and enjoy. Fluency and reading stamina is developed across all areas of the curriculum.
Early reading skills (phonics) are taught in Infant schools and, therefore, as a Junior school, we continue to build on the children's early reading knowledge to ensure they have the right tools and skills they need to enjoy the world of reading. Through a carefully tailored Phonics approach, consistent with the one used at Benhall Infant School, we create bespoke provision to close any gaps and accelerate progress.
Individual Reading Journey
To ensure children are enabled to make good progress throughout KS2, we use a consistent approach to our main feeder infant school (Oxford Reading Tree stages); a high quality and engaging range of texts that challenge readers up to Year 6 (Stage 20).
During transition and as the children move through the school, reading is carefully monitored and tracked to ensure children chose correctly pitched and engaging texts that enable them to read a breadth of genres. Children have the freedom to chose their own books from the Oxford Reading Tree programme as well as a 'Reading for Pleasure' book from our school library.
In order to ensure consistent progression of the teaching of reading skills, we have adopted the approach of VIPERS across all year groups.
Vipers is a range of reading prompts based on the 2016 reading content domains found in the National Curriculum Test Framework documents which can be found online. (see link below)
Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieval and Summarise is used progressively across the school. Teachers plan questions based on these domains which are presented in a variety of ways throughout the curriculum as well as in discrete reading session to ensure skills are embedded.
Please see how this is mapped out for each year group below.
Echo reading is a rereading strategy designed to help students develop expressive, fluent reading as well as ultimately developing reading comprehension. In echo reading, the adult or confident reader reads a short segment of text, sometimes a sentence or short paragraph, and the student will echo it back.
“Students must hear fluent readers begin modelling if they are to understand how they should sound when they read fluently” (Miller and Veatch, 2011). Since echo reading uses modelling as a form of assisted reading, students are able to gain the support and guidance they need to develop fluent reading skills. Children will take part in a weekly fluency session within their English lesson. See our helpful parent guide below.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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