Intent, Implementation and Impact
For we write nothing else to you than what you read and understand and I hope you will understand until the end.
At St. Michael’s, reading lies at the heart of our curriculum. We believe that reading is an essential life skill and it is our intent to empower our children to become lifelong readers by fostering a love of reading through listening to and interacting with a variety of literature, genres and authors.
We aim for children to be absorbed in many opportunities to enjoy and celebrate reading, as this skill enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and outside of the school environment. By enriching children’s experiences through imaginative stories and thought-provoking texts, we aspire to lay the foundations for both academic and personal success. It is our intention to build a community of engaged readers, who understand the importance of reading for meaning, learning and pleasure.
Embedding reading throughout our children’s learning across all areas of the curriculum is how we begin to implement our vision. We both encourage and recognise the importance of reading at home to develop and embed reading skills. Strong links are made between reading and writing and children read and enjoy high quality fiction and non-fiction texts linked to topics across the curriculum, including bible texts. In addition to this, they will also read a combination of books linked to their reading ability, their own choice reading books, which will also include comics, newspapers, graphic novels as well as poetry. Children are also encouraged to read their own writing to a real audience in order to embed the link between reading and writing and give real purpose to their efforts.
In Foundation Stage and KS1, we use the systematic synthetic phonics programme, Read, Write Inc.(RWI) Parents in Year R are given guidance in how to help pronounce the sounds correctly, so they can support their child’s learning at home. There is also a link on our website, should they need a reminder. When the children reach the ‘ditty’ stage, the children are sent home with cards containing pictures and phonemes that match their ability and to help their practice. All children have daily RWI where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current needs.
Years 1-6 also have a high quality, class book read to them by the class teacher, every day. We ensure that children are offered high quality books and texts that reflect the diversity of our modern world. The texts are often linked to a topic about which the children are learning. In addition, we have trained volunteer readers to read with individual children who may need extra practice.
All children read aloud daily during phonics or group/whole class reading and also throughout other subjects. During whole class reading sessions, high quality texts and passages are chosen, appropriate to the expectations of the year group or ability of the children. These are used to develop high quality vocabulary and model the application of word reading and comprehension skills. Furthermore, teachers regularly use a choral and echo method to help improve understanding of texts and frequency. In addition to this, those children who are progressing at a slower pace are given appropriate reading interventions or opportunities at least once a week by a staff member or reading volunteer. In years 2-6 following assessment, children read colour coded texts matched to their reading and comprehension abilities.
From EFYS up to Yr 6, children are given the opportunity to enjoy weekly ‘reading for pleasure’ where they have complete autonomy over what they read and how they read. After each session the children are encouraged to share opinions, swap books and have general discussions about their reading matter with each other, in order to build a community of readers. Visits to book shops are undertaken in order to help the staff feel more confident in their knowledge of the current books available to the age range and interests of their class.
As we believe that reading is the key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of statutory assessments. Teachers have the knowledge and confidence to deliver an exciting, challenging and high -quality reading curriculum with confidence and enthusiasm.
Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles is encouraged. They will confidently talk about books and understand the importance of reading. Children develop their reading accuracy as well as their knowledge and understanding of word meanings and vocabulary.
Above all, children develop a love of reading, showing excitement and interest and inspiring them to be life-long learners.