Reading Strategy at Avanti Park School
We believe being a reading centric school supports social justice, opens contexts beyond children’s own experience and backgrounds and enables access to the wider curriculum and the world around them. We understand the critical importance of fostering a love of reading, supported by encouraging and positive staff who help our children build their resilience and focus.
- We aim to enable our pupils to read confidently, fluently, accurately and with understanding.
- We aim to employ a full range of reading cues – phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual – to monitor, correct and make sense of their own reading.
- We aim to foster an interest in words and their meanings and to gain an appreciation of books from a variety of genres.
- We aim to enable the children to find books interesting, to read with enjoyment and to evaluate and justify their preferences.
- We aim to develop a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading.
- We aim to develop reading skills in tandem with those of writing, so that they may function in society, as literate adults and readers for life.
- We aim to create reading opportunities across all areas of the curriculum, to make it more meaningful and relevant to the children.
The importance of Vocabulary
We have a vocabulary rich approach woven throughout our curriculum. Early readers are given opportunities to engage with and extend their known vocabulary through whole class reading sessions (Book talk and book walk) and class books. Alongside the wider curriculum, this exposes children to the rich language used by high quality authors – ensuring the development of cultural literacy – exposed to the ‘best of the best’. As children become age-appropriately fluent, they encounter an ever-expanding range of vocabulary during whole class reading sessions, class reads, library/book-bag books and throughout the wider curriculum.
- We teach and learn using a systematic, synthetic phonics approach (Read Write Inc). Our goal is for all children to be reading fluently at an age-appropriate level by the end of Year 2. Many children will achieve this earlier, where their breadth of content is widened. Groups are fluidly set so that teaching is closely matched with children’s phonetic knowledge. This is informed through constant formative assessment alongside half-termly summative assessments.
- Through assessment, staff identify and support children who are at risk of gaps in learning emerging through quality first teaching and, where appropriate, 1:1 sessions are planned and delivered.
- Children who are struggling in lower achieving sets are given ongoing 1:1 sessions, matched precisely to their phonetic knowledge.
- Once children’s phonetic knowledge begins to be mastered, they transition to focusing on enhancing their fluency. This enables them to access, achieve and enjoy the whole-class reading approach throughout Key Stage 2.
The Key Stage 2 National Curriculum for Reading is addressed primarily through a whole-class reading approach wherein carefully selected texts from the basis of each week’s reading lessons. These WCR (Whole Class Reading) lessons consist of 40-minute sessions dedicated to reading and comprehending specifically chosen novels. This fosters a deeper love of reading and is typified by class discussion, debate and modelling of unfamiliar vocabulary along with focusing on specific reading domains when answering a variety of comprehension questions. For the small number of children who do not reach our early reading goal or begin falling behind reading age-appropriate texts fluently, regular class-based fluency intervention occurs.
Hearing a high quality book read aloud is the right of every child in our school. By reading aloud, our children hear the enthusiasm and prosody of an experienced reader, their teacher. They are awakened to a vast array of vocabulary, characters, contexts and plots beyond their own reading. We highly encourage our parents to continue reading aloud to their children whatever their age. To facilitate this, we have invested in our library heavily as well increasing the book stock – ensuring that our pupils develop a love for reading at an early age.
Developing Cultural Literacy
We have designed our reading curriculum to include a spine of significant authors that represent communities and backgrounds from all around the world. Our belief is this assists in developing a love of reading and enables children to open their eyes to authors beyond the most familiar. The texts selected vary in genre to ensure that children read and hear a variety of text types furthermore, we have ensured there is a developing complexity to the novels both in terms of lexile difficulty (age-appropriate fluency) and depth of characters and issues (comprehension).
In order to support social justice as well as help children develop a love of reading, we have carefully selected a range of contexts that children will encounter throughout our reading curriculum, whether that be through class reads or whole-class reading sessions. We believe that by broadening the contexts that our children are exposed to, they will develop aspirations beyond their immediate setting, equip them with understanding and appreciation for the issues in the world around them and enable them to be change makers in the world around them.
During early reading, children are assessed within the Read Write Inc framework. As they transition to building their fluency, our bespoke running records are used to guide teachers on who may need additional support at achieving or maintaining age-appropriate fluency. From Reception to Year 6 we use standardised reading tests. Alongside daily formative assessment, these enable teachers to pinpoint comprehension needs and support required.