Subject Leaders: Terri Ellis and Nicola Onyett

“Reading is an exercise in empathy, an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.” – Malorie Blackman.

“A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.” – Neil Gaiman

Our vision for reading

At Allanson Street Primary School, reading is at the heart of our curriculum. We aim to instil a love of reading in all our pupils. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that children not only read for pleasure but use books as a channel through which they are given the opportunity to make connections, expand knowledge and collect language. We believe that reading will also allow children to escape their own world and become swept up in the imagined experiences of the characters – a chance to visit the whole world by stepping into a book.

Why is reading important?

At Allanson Street, we acknowledge that reading is an essential life skill and thus prioritise it as such. However, we also see the wider benefits of reading such as its potential for developing positive mental health and improving memory and focus.

Reading is also a vehicle through which children can explore the curriculum and the world around them as well as allowing them to delve into the deepest depths of their own curiosity and wonder.

The impact of a positive reading culture allows our children to experience the true value of the spoken and written word, both within the classroom and the wider community. Our curriculum aims to create enthusiastic readers that are able to showcase their skills across the curriculum, taking risks and developing their ability to navigate their own independent learning journey.

Reading enables children to acquire a richer vocabulary, develop their communication skills and gain a deeper understanding of their world. We ensure that all our children experience the joy that comes from reading a beautiful book regardless of their word reading ability by exposing them to a world of rich vocabulary and high-quality texts from Early Years to Year six.

What will our children learn and why?

At Allanson Street, we aim to have all children reading widely, fluently, and confidently regardless of their background, starting point or the obstacles that they may encounter. We are committed to developing a reading for pleasure culture throughout the school and aim to instil a life-long love of reading. To develop this culture, children will be taught two key reading skills:

Word reading – the ability to decode words- will be taught through the use of the synthetic phonics scheme ‘ReadWriteInc.’ Children will be bench marked to assess which level of books they should be reading and to ensure that they progress appropriately. Please see the Phonics page of our website for further information.

We are very fortunate to have designated reading leaders to work with children who need extra support. These members of staff work with individual pupils and give advice to other staff to ensure these children receive high quality interventions.

Comprehension – Children’s comprehension skills are taught through high quality discussions with teachers and teaching assistants, individual and group reading times and whole class reading activities. We have moved towards a whole class reading approach and, through this, have found that children have become motivated to read and discuss more challenging texts. Working with The Three Saints Academy Trust, we have adapted our reading approaches to incorporate SHINE principles to instil a love of reading. The “Are You Really Reading?” programme supports in the delivery of inspiring high quality reading lessons to equip pupils with the skills to read for meaning. The aim is to ensure children understand what they are reading so that they appreciate the richness of the text and can make sense of it in a way that is engaging and enjoyable through the use of emojis, hashtags and other innovative comprehension strategies.

Celebrations such as World Book Day are used to invite authors into school and promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books.

Our principle aims, alongside the delivery of the Early Years Framework and National Curriculum, are to:

· Put reading at the heart of the curriculum, where children love to read, and can talk positively about their reading experiences.

· Inspire pupils to develop a ‘lifelong love of reading’

· Ensure that pupils develop fluency and confidence

· Provide pupils with the ability to understand what they have read and use that information for a given purpose.

· Relish challenges that reading can bring through our ‘aspire’ curriculum.

· Work effectively with parents / carers to ensure they understand the importance of reading.

The documents below give you more information about the texts and genres that your child will be covering. Please note that this document should be read in conjunction with our curriculum overviews as the order of the units may change throughout the year.

How will our reading curriculum make a difference for our children?

The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning, the development of a love of reading and transferrable skills across the wider curriculum. As a team, we are aware of the differing groups of learners and vulnerable children in classes, and consequently, teachers plan and adapt learning, to suit the specific needs of each child. We recognise that each child has their own starting points to ensure they can celebrate their own individual achievements.

We aim that by the end of KS2, all of our children will have made considerable progress from their starting points in EYFS. With the implementation of Read Write Inc being established and taught consistently, our children become more confident, fluent readers who comprehend the importance of reading for pleasure along with reading for information and knowledge.

As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular reading standards and skills taught in Read Write Inc, Fresh Start and guided/ whole class reading sessions are transferred into other subjects. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for reading and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.