At Hartsholme Academy, we strongly believe in fostering a love of reading from a very early age. We prioritise early reading as soon as the children join us in Foundation Stage and reading continues to be prioritised all the way through to Year 6.
We follow the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme and begin the teaching of this in Nursery through Phase One. We continue to use this approach throughout school until we are confident children can read fluently. All children accessing the RWI programme have a decodable ‘Book Bag Book’ which they take home. These books mirror their Phonics learning of that week and are tailored to childrens’ specific learning needs and abilities.
Once children no longer need explicit Phonics teaching, we continue to build on fluency, while focussing on the teaching of reading comprehension through the ‘Reading Explorers’ whole-class guided reading approach. This is implemented from Year 2 and used through to Year 6. Children are exposed to a range of text types and follow the same five-day cycle approach each week, focussing on prediction, retrieval and vocabulary followed by targeted comprehension question practice based on the needs of the children. At this stage, children will have a book banded or ‘free reader’ book which they can enjoy at home.
Where children are not meeting age-related expectations, we implement immediate intervention so that children can ‘keep up’ not ‘catch up’. Additionally, regular communication occurs between school and families to ensure they feel confident in supporting their child(ren) with reading at home.
No child is left behind at Hartsholme Academy, therefore we ensure all of the necessary steps are in place to ensure that they leave as confident and fluent readers, who are well equipped and prepared for their next phase of education; they will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or ability.
We strive to provide a reading-rich curriculum, which exposes pupils to a plethora of genres and text types. We ensure we are successful in doing this by making links to texts across all areas of the curriculum. In turn, pupils will become familiar with and enjoy studying, reading and listening to a variety of texts. This will develop their vocabulary, reading and language comprehension, support them in meeting or exceeding age related expectations, while continuing to develop a love for reading as they move through school.
At Hartsholme Academy, we like to celebrate reading in a number of different ways…
In March we launched our reading bookmarks. When our pupils show that they have gone ‘above and beyond’ with their reading, whether that be extra practise, great progress or merely articulating their passion for reading, they can earn themselves a sticker. A full bookmark can then be exchanged for a gold token to be spent in our Emporium!
Reader of the Week
Every week during our celebration assembly, one child is awarded with the Reader of the Week award. This is one child from the entire school who has been recognised and nominated for showing excellent commitment to reading. The lucky winner receives a letter home to their family celebrating their success, as well as a £10 Amazon Voucher.
From Early Years to Year 6, we love to read and share our favourite texts. Our English curriculum is centred around quality texts that excite and engage the children, often opening their eyes to new experiences. We also love our ‘Class read’ at the end of each day, whether that be a traditional tale, adventure story or newspaper article! All around school, we love to celebrate and share all of the fantastic reading that we are doing!
Not only do we prioritise and encourage reading in school, but at home too! Our team love absolutely nothing more than hearing about the reading our pupils have done at home, whether that be reading to an adult, a younger sibling, reading in a peculiar place or writing a book review of their latest read!
Children have the opportunity to change their home reading books on a regular basis. Where children are still accessing our Phonics programme, they will take a Read Write Inc, ‘Book Bag Book’ home, which links directly to their Phonics understanding and the text they have studied that week.
We are very lucky to have a number of parent volunteers who read with our children on a weekly basis! The pupils at Hartsholme love the opportunity to read with an adult and are keen to share their passion and successes wherever possible! Our reading volunteers receive training prior to starting and work closely with class teachers in order to further support reading. If this is an opportunity you think you would like to be involved in, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
Read Write Inc. Phonics
We start teaching reading through the RWI Phonics programme from Early Years and continue to use this as the children progress through school. In order to support your child with their Phonics at home, here are some videos that may be useful:
Once children no longer require Phonics teaching, they move onto Guided Reading lessons. Each year group gets to read a wide range of texts from fiction, non-fiction, poetry and much more. Each week we build our comprehension and fluency by: exploring vocabulary; reading and re-reading the text; answering questions based around the text; inference and deduction; reviewing and editing our answers and completing further ‘extension’ tasks to secure our understanding.