Becoming a Fluent Reader
The context of our school
At Braunstone Frith Primary Academy, it is essential that our approach to teaching reading is accessible to all learners, regardless of background or ability. This is at the forefront of all planning, assessing and monitoring for SLT, reading leaders, teachers and learning assistants in school.
At Braunstone Frith, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. Once children are secure in their phonics and move through the school, we further build on their range of decoding strategies so that they build up good pace and fluency when reading. Children are taught how to confidently tackle any unfamiliar words and what it is that makes them tricky.
At Braunstone Frith, we know Reading is a vital life skill that supports good spelling, writing, and gives our children the best outcomes in secondary education and as adults. By the time children leave us, they can read confidently for purpose as well as reading for pleasure. Due to our belief that teaching every child to read is so important, we have a reading leader for KS2 who drives the reading sessions and Reading for Pleasure programme in our school. This person is skilled at teaching reading, organising author and Book Bus visits to the school. They monitor and support our reading planners, so everyone has the subject knowledge to teach reading with confidence and enthusiasm.
Alongside fluency, comprehension of the text being read is vital. At Braunstone Frith, we teach children the key comprehension reading skills in a systematic, consistent manner through carefully planned whole class shared reading sessions. Children are encouraged to use these key reading skills and what a ‘good reader does’ across the whole curriculum thus conveying that reading is the key to unlocking knowledge in any subject. Shared reading texts are aspirational, chosen from a diverse range of authors and cover a wide variety of genres. Children then have the opportunity to embed these skills working in small guided reading groups with a text at their own level. These sessions allow teachers and learning assistants in class to hear every child read aloud regularly. Assessment for learning is crucial during these sessions and means misconceptions and any gaps can be addressed immediately.
In Years 2 to 6 we provide a balance of independent and shared reading experiences to fully support and encourage all children on their reading journey.
- as a class sharing high-quality stories and poems daily.
- high expectations of oracy when discussing texts and authors.
- shared and guided reading sessions.
- further opportunities for independent reading.
- a range of diverse and inclusive books.
- attention to high-quality tier two vocabulary.
- positive environments that support children’s desire to read and explore books.
- praise and recognition of effort through ‘Reader of the week’ certificates and stickers and book prize draws.
- adults that have a genuine enthusiasm for stories and books of all kinds!
Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read:
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
- We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the keep-up resources – at pace.
- If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 10 minutes and take place at least three times a week.
Reading at school and at home for children in Years 2 to 6:
- In addition to time in class, children using Accelerated Reader are encouraged to take their book home to ensure they share their success with their family. Quizzes are then completed in school to ensure secure levels of comprehension as well as enjoyment of the book.
- Where still appropriate, children in Year 2 to 6 will have a decodable reading practice book that is used regularly with an adult in school.
Additional reading support for vulnerable children or children with SEND:
- Children in Y2 – 6 who are identified as having any phonics gaps receive additional phonics Keep-up sessions and read their reading practice book to an adult daily.
- Children with SEND have accommodations tailored to them so that they are fully supported in their Reading. This can be the use of coloured overlays to bespoke reading stands or additional vocabulary support. These needs would form part of their individual support plan and targets.
Ensuring consistency and pace of progress:
- Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same format, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.
- Shared Reading is taught on a two-weekly cycle.
- Guided reading builds on the same specific reading skill from the Shared sessions and is taught 2-3 times per week.
- Pupil profiling is used where a gap has been identified to pinpoint the intervention they require.
- The KS2 Reading Leader and SLT use the Audit sheets to regularly monitor and observe teaching; they use the summative data from the Reading Tracker to identify children who need additional support and gaps in learning.
Ongoing assessment and interventions for catch-up:
Assessment for learning is used with children in Years 2 to 6 through:
- regular shared and guided reading sessions.
- discussions about the class book.
Summative assessments through:
- The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised placement assessment is also used with any child new to the school to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan and provide appropriate extra teaching.
- appropriate termly PIRA assessments.
- by SLT and scrutinised through the whole school Reading Tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.
- regular PM benchmarking (Reading Recovery).
- regular quizzing for children using Accelerated Reader and half-termly Star Reader reports.
- Children in Year 6 sit a Reading paper as part of their SATs.
By the time children leave our school they will:
- Make good progress.
- Be confident to read for a range of different purposes.
- Have a love for reading and read for enjoyment.
- Be able to discuss personal preferences of authors and genres.