At St Mark’s C.E. Primary School, our intent is to nurture a love of reading as we recognise that reading is key to unlocking the rest of the curriculum and future success. Through our reading curriculum, we aspire for our children to develop effective word reading and comprehension skills to become successful, life-long readers. By exposing our children to a wide range of genres, styles and authors, children become independent advocates and critical thinkers of the ingredients needed to make a good book.
We encourage our children to read widely across fiction, non-fiction and poetry to enable them to develop awareness of themselves and the world in which they live. Moreover, we encourage the children to reflect on their reading and recommend books to their peers. We also encourage school staff members to share their enjoyment of reading, through selecting ‘books of the month’ for each year group.
Through regular teaching and modelling of essential reading skills, for example, factual retrieval, inference, predicting and summarising, our children learn how to engage with and have a deeper understanding of the texts they read.
We seek to offer engaging and stimulating reading environments through designated book areas in classrooms and through our well-equipped school library. We also recognise the importance of building strong home-school partnerships which enable parents and carers to understand and support the skills and reading ethos of the school.
At St Mark’s C.E. Primary, we aim to foster a life-long love and enthusiasm for reading for enjoyment and pleasure. In order to achieve this, we use the Literary Curriculum; this places high-quality texts at the heart of the English curriculum.
In addition to this, across all curriculum areas, we provide opportunities for children to practise and apply their reading skills. As a school, we emphasise the importance of developing a rich and varied vocabulary to ensure confidence and understanding when encountering unfamiliar words in their reading.
In the EYFS and Year 1, we deliver a systematic, synthetic phonics programme through a Department for Education approved programme: Little Wandle. The children learn the forty-four phonemes (sounds) and their corresponding graphemes (letters that represent the sound). They learn to speedily recognise sounds through pictures and phrases, and to orally segment and blend the sounds in words. The children also learn how to write the phonemes within words. They have access to high-quality, decodable reading books to match their phonic knowledge in order to be able to read with confidence and fluency.
In Key Stage One and Two, we deliver Guided Reading sessions through the use of Literary Leaves and the Rising Stars 'Cracking Comprehension' online platform. The Literary Leaves is a whole-class approach, using high-quality texts and a range of genres, to develop comprehension and word reading skills. These lessons include a focus on the development and understanding of higher level vocabulary. The children are taught to discuss and consider the vocabulary choices made by authors and the impact on the reader. During these lessons, the children are taught important skills: factual retrieval, inference, prediction, summarising, etc.
We have an engaging and purposeful library filled with high-quality reading material. The children have regular library sessions to teach them the skills needed to choose an appropriate book and encourage them to read for pleasure. Throughout the year, we have events promoting the love of reading such as author visits, World Book Day, book fayres, etc.
Through our recommended book lists, we encourage and celebrate the reading achievements of the children and ensure that parents are aware of age-appropriate books. Our children are encouraged to read regularly at home and record in their home learning planners.
As a result of the English reading curriculum, our children will make progress and develop their ability to read fluently and comprehend what they have read. Regular opportunities are planned for to ensure children develop important reading skills linked to the different reading domains. At St Mark’s C.E. Primary, we have a positive reading culture where children enjoy, engage with, and have understanding of a wide range of literature and authors. They are able to decode, use, and understand challenging vocabulary they have encountered throughout their reading journey, and link this with their spoken and written language. We aim to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line or exceeds their potential, when we consider the varied starting points of all the children.
As a result of our Reading Curriculum, our pupils are able to read with accuracy, confidence, fluency and understanding. Importantly, they are able to access reading across the curriculum.
Both formative and summative assessment are used to assess understanding and track progress. Specialist intervention and bespoke individual education plans are implemented for those children working towards achieving age-related expectations.
In order to evaluate the level to which children are retaining their knowledge and are able to apply their learning to a range of contexts, we use a variety of techniques.
- CPD and staff meetings
- Feedback in lessons to address misconceptions as they arise
- Subject monitoring including book looks, learning walks and pupil voice
- Regular low-stake formative assessment opportunities
- Whole-school tracking of progress in reading
- In school moderation and regular progress meetings with priorities being outlined on our school development plan