Swalecliffe Community Primary School is passionate about reading! We value reading as a lifelong skill andare dedicated in our aim to ensure that our children become readers for life who read for pleasure. We encourage every opportunity to read, continually developing reading skills and vocabulary whilst fostering alove of books. Reading permeates our day: from the moment our pupils come through the door as part of Early Morning Work, through story time, class assemblies, library time, quality texts in connected learning,time in the classroom book area, visits to the school libraries as well as during Book Talk and guided reading sessions. We believe that reading is key to success and take a holistic approach to reading at our school. By the time children leave Swalecliffe Community Primary School, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.
From the earliest stages, we believe in building the vital foundations for our children with the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics. At our school, we follow the Twinkl SSP. From Year R, the children are taught discrete phonics every day with their class teacher with smaller groups for those who need more support. We closely measure progress with teachers drawing upon observations and continuous assessments to ensure children are stretched and challenged, as well as identifying children who may need additional support. Additionally, teachers carry out our individual phonics assessments formally according to the Twinkl scheme to ensure that the children are ready for the Year 1 Phonics Screening. Children who do not pass the screening in Year 1 have focused interventions in Year 2 and staff continue to use the Twinkl Phonics assessments with these pupils. Further up the school, phonics continues for those who still need additional help through the Twinkl Phonics Codebreaker sessions as well as continued teaching that is needed. Toe-by-Toe is also used with skilled teaching assistants on a 1:1 basis for some of our children.
The teaching of other reading skills such as retrieval and inference is taught through Book Talk across the school with additional guided reading in the Infants. In these sessions, and with all texts used in class, stories, poems and non-fiction are chosen to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. We incorporate use of quality texts across all subjects at our school. Pupils enjoy reading and listening to a wide range of texts. Our teacher reading group is essential to staff in finding out about new releases. At Swalecliffe
Community Primary School, we have two separate libraries: one in the infants and one in the juniors which offer a wide variety of texts for a range of genres. During these weekly sessions, the children select a book to share at home, read for pleasure or to use to help with homework in addition to their ‘banded’ individual reader which they change as and when needed. There is a lunchtime library club for every year group once a week in addition to this.
We aim to ensure that children read a broad range of materials. Individual readers are accurately grouped according to phonics progression within the Twinkl SSP, age and National Curriculum expectations into coloured bands. These coloured bands have smaller structured steps within reading levels which really help to develop a child’s reading skills. For more fluent readers, we have carefully selected ‘real’ books as the children become more fluent readers in order that the children experience a wide range of genre, interests and author.
To ensure good communication between school and home about children’s reading, each child has areading record which should be taken home every evening and returned every
morning. Teachers will write comments in these books and where a child reads as part of a group during Book Talk or in a focus guided reading group, the teacher will stamp the child’s reading record. Every child will read with an adult at least once a week either individually or during Book Talk. In KS1,where early reading skills are being developed, this is considerably more. Toe-by Toe, Stride Ahead andother focused reading group work will also be recorded in these books for parents. The English Team also offer workshops for parents in phonics and supporting their children to read at home. We also offer before school sessions where parents can visit the Infant Library with their child. Families also receive atermly reading newsletter.
We aim to create a culture that nurtures a love of reading for pleasure which includes enrichment opportunities like the celebration of World Book Day, author visits, the Bedtime stories event in Year R and CACoT (our coastal schools alliance) events for our PP children. It is our aim that staff are skilled in subject knowledge and their teaching of phonics and reading skills, consequently CPD is provided termly in English as well as individual CPD where required.