Be a reader Be a writer Be a communicator
At St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School, our English Curriculum enables children to develop skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening in a robust, engaging and responsive way. We endeavour to instil a love of reading, writing and language which will last our children a lifetime, allow them to progress in their learning journey and empower them to become confident learners, encourage independence, build self-esteem and acquire a love of learning. The Reading Curriculum that we offer our children allows them to obtain skills and confidence that will enable them to continue to reach their potential once they leave St Mary’s.
At St Mary’s we believe that reading is the cornerstone to success and is a fundamental life skill. The National Curriculum states, ‘All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.’ Throughout their journey at St Mary’s, we believe that every child should have access to an ambitious, engaging, diverse and rewarding English Curriculum. The Reading Curriculum at St Mary’s is taught using a robust, sequenced, language and vocabulary rich, multi-sensory resourced approach. Within this, our Reading Curriculum is built upon quality texts alongside the explicit teaching tasks that develop reading skills which focus on the reading domains within Key Stage 1 and 2. In addition to this, our reading curriculum develops opportunities to develop reading stamina, promote oracy skills, reading aloud and performing, to become conscientious and confident communicators and acquire high level vocabulary. We enable and empower children to explore a range of texts, genres and platforms to find, develop and achieve a love of learning. We endeavour to promote a love of reading for all. Every child has access and opportunity to read and be given the opportunity to read.
EYFS and Key Stage One children receive phonics lessons five times per week following the Ruth Miskin Programme RWi, until they have been assessed as having completed the phonics programme and have demonstrated the fluency required to venture beyond Grey Storybooks. Once secure, children will access whole class reading comprehension during this time, following our Core Literature Spine. Accessing reading comprehension from Year 2, enables all children to be exposed to structured comprehension, providing the opportunity to develop and master the skills required to understand a text. It also allows all children to access the interleaving that takes place between subjects within the wider curriculum and provides all children the opportunity to develop key reading (word reading and comprehension) and writing skills.
Reading is taught through the explicit delivery of reading domains from Year 2 onwards, with Key Stage Two children accessing whole-class reading four times a week. Reading domains are regularly revisited to secure the skill of comprehension and the tools we use to connect a text to full understanding. This is delivered in small steps and sequenced in books using question structure strips, which reduce cognitive load for the child and act as a prompt to remind them of the journey they have been on throughout the lesson. The structure of the lesson consists of exposure to challenging vocabulary; a mixture of reading techniques; explanation; worked example; attempt; apply and challenge.
Reading enables children access to expert authors to enable them to make connections between the authorial style and skill they see as a reader, to how they can develop themselves as writers. As a school we challenge children to first read as a reader, then read as a writer, considering the impact of language choice and the way an author creates a book that impacts on the reader. This enables children to connect all areas of their learning and feel confident in their skills as a reader.
Our Reading Offer
At St Mary’s we want all children to develop a love of reading. This love of reading is encouraged by an ever increasing range of provision such as:
• library use for all classes and all children take a library book home
• whole school reading events and celebrations
• weekly reading assembly
• reading buddy schemes
• Key Stage 2 book club
• class story for pleasure
Reading at Home
At St Mary’s we set ambitious expectations for reading at home. Children take books home and read to others at home but primarily an adult. The children choose their own book matched to their reading age instead of reading bands so it allows children a wider genre of texts, reading books that the child is interested in and creates a fluid experience of reading. Children who do not read regularly are part of our reading tracker groups and read additionally with the teacher or an adult daily.
As a result of our teaching of reading at St Mary’s you will see:
Children who have read and experienced a range of quality literature and vocabulary that is displayed by confident, fluent and articulate readers and speakers. Children display assured comprehension which draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills of our children, which they develop through their experience of high-quality discussions, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. Through discussion and feedback, our children can talk enthusiastically about a range of books, texts, information, authors and vocabulary and speak about how and why they love reading. You will see high quality writing in all aspects of their learning due to the texts, vocabulary and grammar the children have been exposed to. The children at St. Mary’s are able to make links to what they have read and apply it to the world around them and feed a love of knowledge acquisition.