We want our children to be fluent and confident readers with a love of books and reading.
We know that reading is an essential skill which enables children to access the whole of the National Curriculum. The competences involved in decoding and comprehension are vital to a child’s education, aiding them in understanding and enjoying the curriculum, as well as providing the children with a proficiency in Reading which will carry them into adult life.
At Chalfont St Giles Village School reading is interwoven into all aspects of school life, from Literacy lessons, through our environment, to questioning sources in Topic, to reasoning in Maths. A rich reading environment provides children with the vocabulary to express themselves verbally, as well as a wealth of experiences and models to use in their own writing.
‘We inhale reading, we exhale writing.’
We enable pupils to:
Reading is prioritised in our school as we believe that becoming a fluent, skilled and attentive reader is essential to the learning of all children.
This starts at the earliest stages, before children encounter a book for the first time, partly driven by the quality of the speaking they experience from the adults around them which expands their vocabulary. When children enter our nursery we focus on high quality speaking and listening interactions and experiences. We follow the systematic synthetic phonics programme Bug Club beginning at phase 1.
Throughout the school, sharing quality text is a priority. Each year group has a curated list of high quality books and poems that are used to support learning across the curriculum and shared to enhance the children’s love of books.
We use the Power of Reading books for our Literacy lessons. This provides an excellent opportunity to engage the children in quality texts and reading. We also use this as a spring board into further developing skills such as speaking and listening, comprehension, writing skills and broadening their vocabulary.
Through planned story time adults provide a high quality model to the children. Demonstrating key skills and asking questions to engage and motivate the children.
We have a planned phonics lessons at a set time every day in the timetable for each year group in EYFS and KS1. These are used to systematically teach phonics in a consistent manner across the school. In KS2 children who need continued support with phonics receive this planned intervention using the same systematic approach and resources.
We have daily planned guided reading sessions with selected books for each group of children to enhance their skills and teach key aspects of reading. We recognise that the reading needs and expectation is different as children move up the school, and this is reflected in the planning and structure of the guided reading sessions.
Carefully selected texts, both non- fiction and fiction are accessible to children across the setting, related to the areas of learning and to enhance provision. For example, to support scientific investigation, books about insects may be found in the investigation/ science area; opportunities to engage in play writing and reading through relevant literature linked to topics or role play areas. Texts are changed regularly as children’s interests change as well as the focus for learning.
All classes have book corners which promote authors and quality texts with a selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books.
We have a good number of volunteers from the parent group and the community who come and practise reading with the identified children each week. This ensures that all children, regardless of their starting points, receive additional quality reading experiences.
Through a thoughtfully prepared assembly plan and events across the year we use books to provide inspiration and encourage deep thinking and questioning.
We celebrate great reading each week in our awards assembly which highlights to children the importance we place on reading. We visit our local library at regular intervals throughout the year, as well as hosting a book fair to engage and excite the children about opportunities for reading in the community around them. In school, we have year six reading buddies who listen to younger children read, and support them in their confidence and reading skills. We hold cross school reading sessions when the children visit the infant and junior school and share their books. We also run a library club and have a visiting reading dog who selected children read to.
Guided reading sessions are held daily in KS1 and KS2. In Reception we begin guided reading sessions when it is appropriate to meet the needs in the year group. During these sessions children will be taught reading in a small group with a trained adult or will access a variety of reading based tasks independently. Whilst reading with the adult children access sets of banded books from our scheme which enable us to focus on key skills. The children also access sets of ‘real’ books which are selected to develop the taught skills further and deepen their love and enjoyment of books.
Each guided reading session is carefully structured in order to meet the needs of the small group. Texts are selected to provide success and challenge at the reading comprehension level of the children. The foci of each session provides a clear context for learning and the skill is modelled and explained by the Class Teacher to build the core skills required. Children are given opportunities to practise these skills during their guided reading session. Teachers give feedback to the children on the skills they are practising, which is also communicated to parents via the reading records, so parents are aware of the skills being taught and can continue working on the skill with their child at home.
Targets for guided reading are assigned using the end of year expectation grids. Progress through the targets is monitored by class teacher and recorded.
Throughout Reception and Keystage 1, the focus is using phonics to decode, enabling children to become more independent and when ready we focus on widening each child’s independent reading experiences and deepening their understanding of the text. All children are taught explicit phonics and reading skills, using core questions to develop key aspects of their learning.
Throughout key stage two, the focus moves more towards developing a deeper understanding of the texts children read. All children are taught explicit reading comprehension skills, using VIPERS (Vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summarise) as key focus areas through which all questioning is based.
In lower key stage two, this is cultivated through different skills sessions in class, and regular reading in small groups with the class teacher. These skills sessions are adapted dependent on the needs of the class and are flexible and regularly revised.
In upper key stage two, larger group guided reading promotes oracy and reasoning skills, with a focus on answering, explaining and evidencing your understanding. Children read chapter books and have daily opportunities to express their understanding through questioning and explicit tasks.
This consistent approach and language across the school aids the children in developing a clear understanding of what they are being asked, as well as the core skills that are needed to be a successful reader.
To ensure all children make progress towards their reading goals from Nursery to year six, we have created an environment that encourages reading for pleasure and supports reading within school. We do this by providing:
All children are expected to read at home daily and are provided with a reading record and reading book which is suitable for their reading ability. Parents/carers record what the child has read and can state how they got on. Teachers and LSAs will record in the reading record after guided reading or 1:1 sessions to share the skill that was focused on.
Children in KS2 are encouraged to record a summary of what they have read, ideally daily, in their reading records. It is essential that children continue to read aloud to adults at home.
The Reading and Phonics Leads run workshops for parents to guide them in how to support their child’s reading and phonic knowledge.
In order to engage children with reading we aim to provide them with positive reading experiences. In the early stages, reading books are numbered according to the phonetic content and matched to the child’s phonic knowledge. Once phase 5 is secure the child will progress to colour coded book bands.
At the Infant School, to supplement the choice of books for our fluent readers, we also have a range of ‘Real readers’, to stretch children within a band. These books require less use of phonics and more use of other reading strategies and they further encourage reading for pleasure.
At the Junior School we continue to support children’s reading progression with colour banded books up to free reader level. Teachers will question children to ensure they have a thorough comprehension of the book before they progress to the next reading band. It is important to note that although many children are confident decoders at KS2, they still require development of their comprehension skills to be proficient readers. We have a range of colour banded books to challenge the children, as well as a fully stocked library at both sites where children can borrow additional books. Each class has the use of the library for both class story telling sessions and for selecting books to take home.
Reading is at the core of our curriculum and children are provided the opportunities to become life-long readers and value the importance of reading in their everyday lives. Through the innate approach to reading taken at our school, children read wide and often which supports them in their understanding of concepts across the curriculum. The vast majority of children enter Key Stage Two as an independent reader, ready to be exposed to a rich menu of books on offer. The environment is adorned with high quality texts in classrooms, on corridors and in the library.
Pupil voice and monitoring by the curriculum leader measures children’s enjoyment and pleasure for reading. As a result of the reading provision on place, children have a developed ability to use their phonic knowledge at their stage of development to decode and blend successfully, leading to fluency and accuracy in their reading. Through the approach taken, children are developing their comprehension skills by revisiting skills through lessons, which enables them to know more, remember more and achieve well in reading in summative and National statutory assessments.
Formal, summative assessments are carried out at the end of EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 in line with National Curriculum assessment requirements.
Parents are provided with annual written reports in line with the DfE statutory requirements to ensure that all parents are not only well informed of progress, including strengths and areas for development, but also to enable them to be partners in their child’s education. Parents’ evenings are held twice throughout the academic year and an open evening is held in the Summer Term.