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Reading Beyond Phonics

Here at New Silksworth Academy we believe that reading for pleasure should be a fundamental part of childhood and lifelong learning whatever the child’s ability, background or culture. We believe that every one of our children deserves a rich curriculum which encourages extensive reading of, and exposure to, a wide range of texts. This in turn will make a huge contribution to pupils’ educational achievement. All staff will endeavour to foster a love of reading and make links to planning for reading for pleasure across the whole curriculum to ensure we are an outstanding reading school.
Reading is a multi -strategy approach to understanding the written word. It is not simply the decoding of black marks on the page but involves the ability to read with understanding a wide range of different texts, including fiction, non-fiction, real world texts such as labels, captions, lists and environmental print. Pupils should access newspapers, comics and e-books. Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and therefore the teaching of reading is given a high priority by all staff. Success in reading has a direct effect on progress in all areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s self-esteem, confidence and motivation.
The National Curriculum 2014 for English at Key Stages 1 and 2 places reading for pleasure at the heart of the English curriculum. Alongside the expectation that every school teaches children to read well, schools will be expected to develop a love of reading in every child.

It is our aim to develop enthusiastic and confident readers who can understand a wide range of texts. Children will read for interest, information and most of all, pleasure.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure pupils at New Silksworth Academy:
•    Develop the ability to read aloud fluently and with expression;
•    Develop the ability to read for meaning;
•    Develop the skills required for the critical reading of texts;
•    Read a wide range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction materials;
•    Are taught strategies for reading including:

Phonic (sounding the letters and blending them together);
Visual (whole word recognition and analogy with known words);
Contextual (use of picture and background knowledge);
Grammatical (which words make sense);

•    Can listen attentively;
•    Gain awareness of the close links between reading and writing activities.


Shared Reading
In shared reading the teacher’s role is to make overt what good readers do. During shared reading the children access a text which may be challenging to them individually. Reading skills and strategies are clearly modelled, and discussion help children to develop a deeper understanding of the text. Shared reading has a specific focus and all children are included in discussions by use of differentiated questions.
Shared reading take place within the English lesson and also through the reading of information texts related to other curriculum areas. Class novels are also used to demonstrate reading expectations.
Across school, children are taught reading skills and strategies in a weekly, whole class reading lesson that use high quality class novels as a stimulus. These novels are linked to year group themes where possible and introduce the children to a wide range of authors and genres. Years 5 and 6 also add a dedicated weekly comprehension session that allows the older children to develop the specific skills required to answer the styles of questions that they will encounter in the end of KS2 SATs test.


Reciprocal Reading
Reciprocal Reading is a powerful strategy to developing comprehension skills. Here at New Silksworth Academy, this strategy is used as an intervention for those children who are considered to need a boost to their learning in this area. Key staff have been trained by FFT providers on behalf of the DfE and are timetabled to deliver Reciprocal Reading sessions to small groups of children.
In a Reciprocal Reading session the children are taught the key roles:
•    The Leader (usually the adult who facilitates the session). 
•    The Clarifier
•    The Questioner
•    The Summariser
•    The Predictor

The children work through these skills in this order after independently reading a section/paragraph. Through the discussion that follows, the adult assess how the children are able to work though these skills and begin to ascertain who has understood what they have read by their responses.


Independent Reading
Children need to be given the opportunity and encouragement to read independently in order to build confidence, stamina and fluency, as well as develop their experience of a range of books and authors. There are timetabled opportunities for pupils to read.

Children in KS2 are encouraged to take home a book from the school library. This will be in addition to the ‘levelled’ book which they are reading. Pupils making their own choice of texts are an important part of developing independence. Selecting texts motivates readers and helps children to develop and discuss their reading preferences.
Across all year groups, children are given an appropriately pitched reading book to take home. Children’s individual reading will be monitored and supported by staff. 
Reading should not be seen as just a ‘school activity’. Wider family involvement supports reading and ensures children have access to reading materials at home. Every effort is made to involve parents in the teaching of reading process.


E Reading/Use of technology
New Silksworth Academy uses Little Wandle Letters and Sounds as its Phonics Scheme. All children in Key Stage 1 have decodable books matched to the Phase they are working at and have access to these book in the form of eBooks too. This allows the children to practise at home as well as at school.
We use Reading Plus resource in KS2 (and Year 2 when they are ready) to encourage and motivate readers who enjoy reading using technology. Following an initial assessment on the programme, books are allocated according to the ability of the child and they are used for pupils to practise reading at home and in school. Each class is timetabled to allow 3x 30-minute Reading Plus sessions per week in school time in order to maximise potential progress. 
Pupils use the internet to carry out research on a regular basis in a range of subjects using laptops and I pads.


Hearing Books Read Aloud
This builds enthusiasm and enjoyment. It influences independent reading and tunes children in to book language. Teachers of all age groups read aloud to their class on a regular basis. Teachers read aloud to ensure literary language is accessible and to provide a model of expressive reading. This is also an opportunity to model reading for sheer pleasure.


Children Reading Aloud
This is modelled during reading and hearing books read aloud. Children have the opportunity to read aloud to a variety of audiences, including their own age group, younger children and class assemblies.


Reading Environment
Classrooms and all school areas provide a print rich environment. Reading displays form a part of that environment – library corners, favourite books, book reviews, book of the week, author displays and collections of books on a similar theme help to develop enthusiasm.


The School Libraries
At New Silksworth Academy we value the school library. We have two libraries across the academies; one in each Key Stage. The library in KS1 has ‘Author of the Month’ displays and this is mirrored in a prominent display in the main KS2 corridor. These are primarily to introduce the children to a wider range of authors and genre and encourage the children to broaden their reading repertoire. We have a team of pupil Reading Ambassadors who have training in how to listen to children read; how to support those who struggle with specific words and how to question the children to develop comprehension skills. 
Our Ambassadors also help the English Lead in the school to develop a love of reading for pleasure: they distribute awards; record short stories for other children to listen to at home or school and help deliver initiatives that promote a love of Reading.