Reading Curriculum Statement
Reading is a key life skill and is the bedrock for learning new knowledge. It enables and empowers our children in becoming independent learners and broadening their experiences beyond that of their immediate surroundings.
Here at Nicol Mere, we are dedicated to supporting our children in gaining a love and enjoyment of reading; leading to become lifelong readers. This commitment of learning allows our children to acquire new knowledge and develop their understanding of language: helping them to build upon what they already know.
Our children are immersed in a range of broad and rich experiences of non-fiction and fiction by a range of authors from around the world as well as modern and classical poetry by a range of poets. These extensive reading experiences provide our children with the chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually through carefully chosen text.
Phonics: Early Reading
The Letters and Sounds programme is used to support the teaching of phonics. In reception and year 1, all children participate in daily phonics sessions delivered in small groups. During these lessons, speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to the children’s developing needs are taught.
We draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure our children are stretched and challenged. Children are identified early if they may need additional support. Different phases are worked through: learning and developing phonological knowledge and understanding. The opportunity to apply their growing knowledge in daily guided reading sessions is continued at home through carefully chosen home reading books.
Once children have successfully completed all the phases in the Letters and Sounds Programme (Year 2), they take part in a daily, thirty minute ‘Big Read’. During this lesson, children are taught the on-going reading strands from the National Curriculum as well as this, the ‘Big Read’ is used as an opportunity to teach and develop children’s comprehension skills:
This hierarchical sequence of skills is visited and built upon in each unit of work.
Skills in Italics are those taught in KS1.
As children move through the year and through the school, they will experience texts of increasing difficulty to practise and to apply their comprehension skills.
Reading within English Lessons
Reading and Writing are intrinsically linked, because of this, our English curriculum follows a clear sequence. Teachers use a range of challenging and stimulating texts which exemplify key features of a genre and writing elements that are expected in children’s writing at each stage.
Throughout their time at Nicol Mere, children will be immersed and will experience a range of genres covering non-fiction, modern and classical poetry and fiction by a range of poets and authors from around the world. These genres will build as they move throughout the school, so that by the end of Year 6, the children are equipped with the knowledge and experiences of genres to allow them to select books for purpose independently.
Teachers carefully plan for the on-going reading objectives from the National Curriculum for their stage as well as applying comprehension skills to gain meaning from the text.
Reading within other Curriculum Lessons
Children will practise, use and apply their reading skills regularly in other curriculum lessons as a way of acquiring new knowledge and developing subject specific skills. Where appropriate, teachers will use texts linked to other curriculum areas to enhance and deepen learning in a meaningful context.
Children have access to a range of quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books suitable for their stage in reading:
Children and parents are encouraged to read regularly at home, changing books when necessary. We use home reading records and diaries to track reading activities. Teachers assess pupils regularly to ensure they are accessing a suitable book at the correct level.
Reading is given high priority at Nicol Mere. We offer a range of workshops for parents including Phonics and Early Reading, Developing Comprehension and End of Key Stage Requirements. Parents are encouraged to contact the teacher if further support and guidance is needed.
Catch Ups and Interventions
Throughout the academic year, children are identified to receive additional support with their reading. Interventions which include, additional phonics, daily reading and comprehension practice are carefully planned for and monitored by the teacher.
Children receive many opportunities to celebrate and to encourage a love of reading outside of the curriculum. These include Theatre Trips, World Book Day celebrations, author/poet visits, theatre companies and Interschool Challenges.