Learning to read is one of the most fundamental skills that your child will learn whilst at Ashton Vale Primary School. We intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across fiction, non-fiction and poetry to develop their knowledge of the world in which they live, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and develop their comprehension skills. It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently and have a deep-rooted appreciation and love of reading that they will carry throughout their lives and continue to allow them to be lifelong learners.
Reading is taught, developed and embedded across the curriculum. In the Early Years, children are taught to identify letters and sounds through a systematic, synthetic phonics programme. For more information about how phonics is taught, please follow the link to our Phonics Page.
Whilst our children are taught to read for comprehension across all aspects of the curriculum throughout the school week, they also receive a dedicated daily reading session where they develop their fluency and comprehension skills.
In Key Stage 1, phonics continues to be taught and used as a reliable strategy for reading unknown or phonetically decodable words. Other reading skills are taught in whole class guided reading and story sessions.
In Key Stage 2, there is less focus on decoding (word reading) skills and a higher focus on understanding a range of text and embedding the key reading skills taught in Key Stage 1.
Children are explicitly taught the reading comprehension skills (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of reading VIPERS – Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Sequencing/ Summarising.
Across the school, children’s reading attainment is carefully assessed using a system called Benchmarking. Each child is benchmarked at different points across the year to ensure that all children are making progress. Based upon what is observed, we can then identify any gaps and support they require to progress their reading quickly and effectively.
We have a levelled reading scheme and every child has an individual reading book. Children have opportunities to read regularly to each other, teachers, and teaching assistants. The children progress through the scheme until they become "extended (free) readers" at which point they can choose books from their class book corner or the library. We actively encourage parents to hear their children read every night and a Reading Record aids home/school dialogue in this area. In Key Stage 1, this home reading is celebrated weekly through certificates.
Reading is used as a stimulus for writing and evidence in books shows pupils’ excellent creative response to high quality texts. Engaging and aspirational whole school events have been established to encourage all children to become passionate readers e.g. Themed World Book Days; Taking part in the annual Bristol Reading Project.
As part of our growing reading culture, all class rooms will have a high quality book corner which is welcoming, encouraging and engaging. In addition, each class uses time in afternoon sessions as story time, where the class teacher reads a chosen book with their class. In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 it will be a book used to develop their knowledge of vocabulary, their understanding of story narratives and may be linked to parts of their topics. In Key Stage 2, it may be the book that they are using as their writing stimulus.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1.
As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum.
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.