At Goldenhill, we believe that the teaching of reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them; a platform that allows our children to see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our reading curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading. We cultivate the behaviours that they will need to be discerning readers as they read frequently and widely using self-regulation strategies and discuss what they read. This curriculum is delivered through synthetic phonics, a linked approach to shared and guided reading, home reading, reading across the curriculum, regular opportunities for independent reading and hearing quality texts read aloud every day. All of these are essential components as they offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers.
It is important that children are motivated to read at home regularly; when their reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading. Therefore, the link between children’s motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal. Furthermore, we know that reading pleasure is beneficial not only for not only reading outcomes, but for wider learning enjoyment and mental wellbeing. Thus, we work hard to foster a love of independent reading and build communities of engaged readers. We understand the significance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills so we endeavour to build a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to have the confidence to support their children with reading at home.
Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum. We are committed to promoting a love for reading and not only giving children opportunities to read in English lessons, but in the wider curriculum too.
Implementation (Early Reading and Phonics)
Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will ever learn. It underpins everything else, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We also want your child to develop a real love of reading and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
At Goldenhill Primary Academy, we follow the Letters and Sounds principles and practice of high quality phonics. The six phases of the Letters and Sounds document provides a structure for the teachers to follow and plan children’s progression. The teachers carefully adapt their planning to meet the needs of the children within their class. The teacher’s individual assessments will inform the rate at which the children are able to progress through the phrases and adapt their pace accordingly.
It is expected that Nursery will introduce Phase 1 phonics through small focused groups and activities. This includes learning to make different sounds and developing listening skill. When appropriate, the practitioners will then introduce the initial sounds and may begin to teach digraphs. In the Reception Class we will revise all letter sounds and learn new digraphs and trigraphs. At this stage the children are also becoming more confident with segmenting and blending sounds to read whole words. In the Reception class children are also taught words with 4 and 5 sounds in them and alternate ways to read and write different sounds. This continues into Year 1 and 2 as appropriate and children learn to read and write a range of graphemes and alternate graphemes. Along side this the children are taught the ‘tricky words’ – high frequency words which do not follow the regular phonetic pattern.
honic sessions take place daily for 15 - 20 minutes and there are also enhanced phonic activities within the indoor and outdoor environment available for the children to explore independently throughout the day – (in the Nursery and Reception classes.) Phonics provision is also supplemented by a wide range of speaking and listening, English, spelling and grammar activities.
Children’s progress in phonics is continually reviewed through periodic phonic assessments and evidence from their reading and writing. Through these, teachers identify the graphemes that need to be addressed which then informs groupings. In June, the national Phonics Screening Check is undertaken to confirm that the children have learned to decode to an age appropriate standard and determines what level of provision they will require the following year. In Key Stage One, regular assessment of the children’s decoding and comprehension is undertaken through PM Benchmarking.
A simplified version of the progression statements is also used for assessing children’s reading. Reading judgements are secured through the triangulation of test data, evidence from the pupil and the curriculum. Our test data comes from PIRA, SATs, Benchmarking and Accelerate Reader (AR test outcomes and the termly Star Reader tests). Finally, evidence from the curriculum is gathered from their reading journals, English books and Reading Squads session notes.
Implementation - Reading for pleasure and Home Reading
Our school and class libraries allow children to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of books. They are stocked with an attractive range of fiction and non-fiction to support every ability and reading choice and encompass the latest reading trends and classic texts that should be part of every child’s primary school experience- building the children’s cultural capital. To promote parental engagement in home reading we invite parents/grandparents to a reading breakfast, where they can share stories together before school. We also provide parental workshops which are designed to facilitate engagement between parents, the school and their children’s reading. They begin with messages about the importance of reading for pleasure which is followed by informal parent/children reading time supported by teachers where necessary. Unfortunately, not all of the children in our school have an environment at home in which they are able to read. Therefore, we run reading clubs which provide a safe space for children to read. In addition, we address book poverty by giving out free books to identified children and arranging ‘Book Swaps’. In addition, we celebrate reading together throughout the year by taking part in both school based, local and national reading initiatives including the Read for Good Readathon, National Poetry Day, World Book Day, author visits, book swaps and extreme reading challenges.
In KS1, children are ‘Benchmarked’ and their home reading book is colour banded to match their reading level. From Y3, all children who are working at ‘Gold’ or above will move on to the Accelerated Reader programme. These children will take a Star Reading Test which will give them a ZPD which enables the children to select home reading books at an appropriate level. Once children have completed their reading book, they take an Accelerated Reader reading practice quiz on that text to ensure that they are comprehending their independent reading. The results of these tests, along with the teacher’s judgement, help us to decide whether the child is ready to move on to more challenging texts. It is through this that we ensure progression in the children’s home reading.
In order to promote home reading further, all children in KS1 are encouraged to read a minimum of 4 times PW at home. Each time a child reads at home they move their name on the interactive display and children who reach the end of the display by the half term, wins a prize. In KS2, children are encouraged to build their ‘word count’ and move up the ‘word count’ wall. Each time the children reach the next step on the wall, they earn raffle tickets to win books and vouchers. Once children reach the Millionaires Club, they win a Kindle and join the Wall of Fame.
Reading Reward System
At Goldenhill, we believe that 'Reading' is the gateway to a child’s future. Like anything, reading takes time and practise but without the skill of being able to read fluently, children will struggle in accessing the rest of the Curriculum. They may be a budding Historian, with a love and thirst for knowledge about the past, but without the skill of being able to read fluently, children will find it difficult to reach their potential. At Goldenhill Primary Academy, our amazing teachers teach and support children to read fluently, understand and discuss what they have read and are incredibly passionate about instilling a love for reading in children, no matter their age, gender or background. We are always looking for new ways to revitalise rewards around reading at home and below is our school reward systems for reading.
Children are expected to read at home and have their diary signed by an adult an average of 4 times per week (minimum). Each time that children read at home, it will be recorded on children’s personal ‘Aiming High’ record sheet. For example, in an 8 week term (4 times per week) the target will be to read at home 32 times. Children who reach the target of 32 by the last day of the half term will be presented with a prize and a certificate in the merit assembly. Throughout the half term, children who are working hard towards their target will be rewarded with stickers and texts home. Each week in Reception, there will be a ‘Reading Champion’, who will get to wear a ‘Reading Champion’ badge for the week. This will be someone who has been showing great enthusiasm, hard work and resilience.
Children are expected to read at home and have their diary signed by an adult an average of 4 times per week (minimum). Each time that children read at home, they will move their personal hot air balloon on the interactive classroom display to the corresponding cloud. The target ‘cloud’ for each half term will be different depending on the amount of days in the half term. For example, in an 8 week term (4 times per week) the target cloud will be ‘32’. Children who reach the target cloud by the last day of the half term will be presented with a prize and a certificate in the merit assembly. Once children are halfway to the ‘target’ cloud, a motivational text will be sent home and children will win a small treat from the class teacher.
Children are expected to read at home and have their diary signed by an adult an average of 4 times per week (minimum). This will be monitored by class teachers overseeing the amount of quizzes taken and passed / words read using the Accelerated Reader Programme. Each class will have a ‘Word Count Wall’ displaying the overall amount of words read by each child. This is calculated using the Accelerated Reader Programme each time children pass a quiz. Each time children hit a new milestone on the reading wall e.g. ‘10,000 words read’ they will win a reading raffle ticket. Each time a raffle ticket is awarded, children will place in KS2 raffle box and at the end of a half term, a name will be drawn and voucher won.
Highest Word Readers
Each half term, children in each class from Y3 – Y6 with the highest word count (based on passing Accelerated Reader quizzes) will be presented with a certificate and a £5 book voucher in the Merit Assembly. In Reception, Y1 & Y2 the child who has read the most times will be presented with a certificate and a £5 book voucher in the Merit Assembly.
The Millionaire’s Club is aimed at, but is not limed to, children in Y5 and Y6. Children who, throughout the academic year, reach 1,000000 words will be presented with a Millionaires Club Badge, appear on the Millionaire’s Club ‘Wall of Fame’ and will be awarded with a certificate and a Kindle.
At Goldenhill, one Reading Ambassador from each class is chosen each term. Reading Ambassadors are chosen for their love of reading, their effort and resilience when it comes to reading and their willingness to share their passion and enthusiasm with others to promote reading throughout the school. Reading ambassadors will be presented with a special badge.
Here are just a few roles of a Reading Ambassador: