At Fosse Primary School we value the importance of reading as one of the most important life skills and are dedicated to enabling our children to become life-long readers. From the moment children enter our school, we prepare them in every way to become a passionate reader and allow them to understand why it is such a valuable skill to have. We want our children to become enthused by reading and become part of their learning DNA. We also see reading as something which should always be celebrated and therefore hold regular themed days such as an annual Roald Dahl Day and World Book Day. Assemblies, whole class shared reading, our school library and class novels are other examples of how we support our children by providing every opportunity possible to become an amazing reader. At Fosse, we see reading as something pleasurable and valuable in children’s lives, which we know will always have a positive impact for every child moving forward. If a child can read it opens up a whole world of opportunities.
Phonics is taught through a structured, consistent approach enabling our pupils to develop their phonics knowledge and skills as they progress though the different phonics phases with each phase building on prior knowledge. Children apply this knowledge by reading phonetically decodable books that are read in and outside of school. We ensure that pupils develop phonetic skills that will enable them to become fluent readers.
Children in Foundation and Year 1 have daily phonics sessions. In each session children speak, listen, read and write in order to develop their phonics knowledge. Children are assessed regularly to ensure that they are achieving their potential and to identify any pupils who may need immediate intervention. Skills that children are taught are developed further through shared and guided reading sessions.
At Fosse, our reading curriculum links closely with our writing curriculum; we use a text-based approach that enables us to create opportunities for reading, discussion and writing within English and reading lessons. Children are provided with books that match and support their reading ability. All children have opportunities to develop their reading skills daily and are encouraged to read at home with an adult.
Shared Reading in Years 2-6 is taught using the “comprehension jigsaw” – the jigsaw is not the full range of reading strategies children need to be “good readers” but is a great place to start. The reading strategy selected to teach is specific and matched to the next steps in children’s reading learning. There is a set structure for the lesson, which lasts approximately 20 minutes and is incorporated into an English unit, especially at the start of English units where the children are exploring the text. Only 1 element of the jigsaw is taught in a lesson. There is no hierarchy of these strategies but we focus on those which relate to decoding earlier on in the year (e.g. understand grammar, understand vocabulary) and then move onto more difficult concepts later.
We also use the KTC approach to teaching Guided Reading, which is taught 4 times a week. These sessions are taught in groups of 5 children. We focus on decoding and comprehension reading strategies throughout the sessions. Discussion is a key part of Guided Reading, where children explore new vocabulary, ask and answer questions about the text and are given opportunities to apply their reading strategies.
Reading interventions at Fosse
Better Reading and Writing Partnerships (BRWP)
BRWP is a specialist 1-1 reading intervention designed to target both phonics knowledge development and comprehension strategies.
Lexia is a computer-based reading software programme which works by monitoring the individual performance of children and adapts automatically to their learning needs. The intervention covers a wide range of reading aspects including: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Finding the right starting point for the children in the programme is achieved through a 15 minute assessment task that the children complete independently. From this assessment, the needs of the child are identified and then the software chooses the correct starting point by automatically generating lesson plans and practice worksheets. Lexia is also accessible at home as it is a web-based programme, meaning that children can continue their learning on a computer, iPad, tablet or Android device. Children access Lexia in the classroom 3 times a week for a 30 minute session.
The aim of this intervention is to develop the inferential skills of readers in order to increase their comprehension of the text. This is delivered through conversations therefore also increasing the speaking and listening skills of the children in the group. The intervention happens twice a week with each session lasting 40 minutes (20 minutes teaching, 20 minutes planning). The intervention is carried out in small groups (no more than 4 children at a time).
Accelerated reader, or Star Reader as it is known, is a computer-based programme used exclusively for Years 5 and 6. Within this programme, children read books and then take quizzes on them. Each child has their own log-in and teachers are able to track progress to ensure that children are reading accurately and comprehending adequately.
Writing intent and implement statement.
Our aim at Fosse is for every child within our school to be able to communicate effectively and leave our school being a competent writer. The writing curriculum at Fosse is designed so that our children make links with knowledge in other subject areas. Our pupils are also immersed in a variety of different text types providing them with opportunities to understand the features, audience and purpose of these. The content of each unit of work is designed around the needs of the children and ensures that relevant grammar and spelling are taught alongside. Ultimately, we want our children to understand who their audience is, what the purpose of the writing is and enjoy communicating these with confidence.
At Fosse we use a thematic approach to teaching Writing. This means that each unit of work has a high-quality novel or picture book at its centre, from which all written outcomes originate. The texts selected link to our foundation subjects so that our children can use their skills and knowledge in other subjects to enhance their writing. The texts chosen are appropriate for individual year groups and provide a wide range of audiences and purposes for the written outcomes. The planning process for these units begins by “Boxing it up”: this is an overview of the entire unit. The length of a unit is dependent upon the needs of the children and all units are informed by on-going assessments. The work completed throughout the unit builds up the skills and knowledge that are required to write that particular genre, thereby ensuring progress across a unit of work. This also includes the relevant aspects of grammar knowledge that will be needed and potential spellings from National Curriculum spelling lists. The children are exposed to a WAGOLL (What A Good One Looks Like) at the start of the unit so that they are able to identify what it is they should be working towards. There are also opportunities to develop vocabulary, plan what they want to write as well as editing sessions. This method of working ensures that there is a broad range of genres covered as well as audiences.