Children progress from learning to read, to reading to learn, enabling them to access a curriculum rich in literary works that expands their knowledge of the world. Throughout their school career, children are taught to interrogate texts that are rich in vocabulary, drawing on our Literary heritage. Atwood develops a passion for reading so that scholars begin their secondary schooling as fluent readers above their chronological age, well set up with a life-long love of reading beyond the classroom.
What is our approach to Reading?
Following on from the robust phonics program, children’s reading skills mean they can access an increasing range of texts as they move up the school. The Reading Revolution lesson plan template (year 2-6), exemplifies the reading approach across five days. The five-day plan encompasses the Ark reading KPIs (aligned with National Curriculum). Children aim for mastery of a text and an increasing familiarisation with new vocabulary. Curriculum Maps outline texts for each year group. These include texts to study during RR, Class Books and texts for Literacy.
All classes have dedicated weekly school library sessions, with EYFS and KS1 utilising the Maida Vale library twice a term. School subscribes to the Reading Roadmap supplied by Islington Library Services. This scheme has dedicated titles for years 3 and 4, and years 5 and 6. This scheme is designed to expand children’s repertoire of authors, titles and genres.
- ‘Secret Strings’ encourage children to make inter- and intra- links between stories and topics.
- Author visits and theme days serve to instill a love of reading, and to brings books ‘alive’.
- Frequent, dedicated independent reading time
Our approach to Reading, as well as Literacy and Humanities, is complemented by texts rich in vocabulary often drawing on our literacy heritage. To foster a love of reading, carefully chosen texts both inspire and ignite sparks of interest to find out more. These texts, set out in our Book Spine, are explored in our timetabled Reading lessons, Literacy lessons or shared as Class Books.
What does our approach to Reading look like in the classroom?
- Daily timetabled Reading lessons following the five-day plan.
- Deeper understanding of the text is evident (across the week) due to deliberate planning designed to ‘dig beneath the surface’ culminating in debating a philosophical question linked to the ‘bigger picture’
- Confident use of new language and ideas enable children to debate issues that permeate the text at a deeper level.
- Books show progress with a focus on ideas and content, rather than perfect presentation.
- Teachers plan ‘challenge’ tasks at each stage of the lesson, designed to stretch and challenge all
- Carefully planned and sequenced questioning (which all children answer in their books) provides insights into knowledge acquisition.
- Teacher-led discussions support children’s understanding of the text – dissecting answers and addressing misconceptions.
- Forensic analysis of summative data provides insights into gaps in knowledge, and informs future planning of questioning and ‘Do Nows’.
- Children show evidence of implementing learning from reading lessons, in their writing lessons.
How do we measure success in Reading?
- Outcomes at KS2 show over 10 percentage points above National at EXS and GDS for two consecutive years, also comfortably above Westminster average.
- Children enthused about the texts they are studying and are keen to progress through the book.
- Children have a love of reading and read widely.
- Children can increasingly draw on their knowledge to broaden their understanding of the world around them.
Parents often ask for book recommendations for reading at home with their children. Given the frequency of new publications, our librarian has recommended these two websites:
The Book Trust create a list of 100 recommended books every year as well as suggested books for specific age groups.
The School Reading List is regualarly updated and goes further than just age related titles. They included Books of the Month, Award winning books etc.