English - Reading
‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. ‘Dr Seuss
'One pupil explained how reading 'provokes his imagination’ " Ofsted 0ct 2023
Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at St Paul’s. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers and we believe reading is key for academic success. At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought-provoking texts. Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in the future. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher. We have high expectations of all children, and we encourage children to challenge themselves, persevere and pursue success.
Children hear, share and discuss a range of high-quality texts through our whole class English lessons both in terms of fiction and non-fiction. It is the expectation that all genres are covered (fiction/non-fiction/poetry) across a term in each year group to ensure progression and breadth of coverage.
Whole class guided reading -In addition to the rich texts used in English lessons children have also have daily 30min whole class reading lessons which are about building understanding and comprehension.
Reading skills - St Paul’s uses VIPERS to ensure children are taught the correct skills in order to read and understand. VIPERS- Vocabulary, Inference, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise. These skills are taught through the use of the whole class text as well as in guided reading and with previously unseen texts.
Accelerated reading - In addition to whole class reading children spend 20mins of quiet reading with their accelerated reading book. On completion of their book children complete comprehension and vocabulary questions based on what they have just read.
Reading for enjoyment - Each year group has a class novel for each term (3 novels over the year) read by an adult where intonation, self-correction are modelled and a discussion of relevant information can take place. The reading environment both inside and outside of the classroom is highly important to us. Reading is celebrated regularly by holding whole school events such as book week which includes ‘World Book Day’ where we often invite authors into school. Reading is also celebrated each week at celebration assembly where children are rewarded for their reading efforts. There is also a word millionaire tea party held twice a year for those children who manage to read over a million words. Each year group has their own library along with the main school library where purposeful reading environments are established.
Reading Interventions - Phonics is the main teaching tool in the teaching of early reading where children have joined in year 3 unable to read. Children are taught to decode words and are then taught to understand what they read through carefully planned phonics sessions using "twinkle phonics" to support their needs. Those working below ARE read to an adult daily and take part in interventions such as 'Reading Recovery' daily to aid fluency, understanding and develop vocabulary.
As we believe that reading is key to all learning and by the time children leave St Paul’s, we expect that:
- Children will develop a love of and a thirst for reading.
- Children will be able to decode words and then develop a growing understanding of what they read.
- Children will understand and use the key skills of reading, including VIPERS-
Vocabulary, Inference, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise.
- Children will have a clear understanding of what they have been taught and where their learning will take them next.
- All children will make good progress from their own personal starting points.
- The large majority of children will achieve age related expectations in Reading and St Paul’s will achieve in line with National standards in Reading at the end of KS2.
'Once you learn to read you will be forever free’ Frederick Douglass
Reading is important. Children are taught the skill of reading through guided reading as well as staff giving children the opportunity to read independently, to other and with an adult. At St Paul's, we use Accelerated Reader to support children's independent reading to ensure books are closely matched to their ability.
A Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader
St Paul’s CofE Junior School
Your child will be participating in the Accelerated Reader (AR) program. This guide is designed to answer any questions you may have about AR. If you have additional questions, please contact your child’s teacher or visit the AR website at www.renlearn.com to find out more.
What is Accelerated Reader?
AR is a computer-based program that helps teachers manage and monitor pupils’ individual reading practice. Your child will choose a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. When finished, they will take a short quiz on the computer. Passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood the book.
AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice.
AR is used as part of a comprehensive reading program in place at St Paul’s CofE Junior School. While we continue to teach the skills of reading in class through group novels and texts, the AR books chosen by your child will provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed.
What are the AR Quizzes?
When your child has finished reading a book they will be given time to take a quiz independently on the computer. At St Paul’s CofE Junior School we aim for all quizzes to be taken within 48 hours of finishing a book. Depending on book level the quiz may be 5, 10 or 20 questions long and will take around 5 minutes to complete. The quiz assesses general comprehension of the book and results are calculated and shown to the child instantly.
The number of quizzes continues to grow as new books are added to AR. Your child can take a quiz when:
- they have read a book independently
- a teacher has read a book to them, e.g. class novel
- they have read a book with someone, e.g. parent/classroom assistant/sibling/buddy
Your child can bring in books from home or the local library to read as part of AR if their teacher feels they are suitable. To conduct a simple book search to see if a book is on Accelerated Reader go to www.arbookfind.co.uk
How much will my child read during the school day?
According to research, children who read at least 20 minutes a day with a 90% success rate on AR quizzes see the greatest gains. Therefore, at St Paul’s CofE junior School we aim to set aside at least 20 minutes for reading each school day.
What are STAR Reading Tests?
Every child taking part in AR will complete a STAR reading test at least 4 times a year. It is a twenty minute multiple choice reading assessment completed individually on the computer. Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses so if their response is correct, the difficulty level is increased. If they miss a question or give an incorrect answer, the difficulty level is reduced.
The STAR reading test, along with teacher judgement assists us in identifying a child’s ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) range.
What is a Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)?
After your child takes a STAR reading test the teacher will assess the results and give them a ZPD reading range. The range aims to challenge a child without causing frustration or loss of motivation.
The school has colour coded the AR books (fiction and non-fiction) according to their ZPD number. To ensure children experience success from the outset they begin each year by taking books at the lower end of their ZPD range. Your child will know their range/colour and the books they should be choosing. A ZPD can change throughout the year based on STAR reading tests, professional judgement and quiz results.
How will I know how my child is doing?
Home Connect is a website that links school and home to keep parents informed of their child’s progress in AR.
Simply enter your child’s user name and password (all children should know this) and you will be able to:
- review results on AR quizzes taken in school
- view the number of books read, words read and quizzes passed
- see a virtual bookshelf showing the books your child has read
- sign up (optional) to receive an email every time your child takes a quiz to share the results with you instantly
How can I help?
As with anything, performance improves with practice. We provide lots of opportunities for reading in school, but you can help by providing a culture of reading at home.
Logging on to Home Connect with your child at home is a great way to discuss the books they have read and their overall progress in reading. Encourage your child to read with you and/or discuss what they have read. A child may be able to decode and read the words but may not have understood it, so asking questions about the book is important. Reading with your child, no matter what the age, is an important part of developing good reading skills and a lifelong love of reading.
Progression of Skills
Supporting reading at home
Research has shown that children who are read to at home and who have access to a variety of books are more likely to become a successful reader. Therefore, as a parent, you play a crucial role in supporting your child’s reading development.
Here are a few great ways to do just that!
"Initiatives such as the ‘Millionaires club’ inspire even the most reluctant readers."
Ofsted Oct 2023
At St Paul’s we understand that ‘improving the quality by adding something else’ is what is needed to ensure our pupils receive the very best enrichment opportunities. Therefore, in addition to a Broad and Balanced Curriculum that encompasses a wide range of subjects we look for opportunities to provide additional experiences that develop learning, social, cultural and understanding experiences throughout the year.
Here is an example of some of the experiences we provide at St Paul’s to promote a love of reading: -
- Visiting authors/poets,
- Book fair,
- Literature festival trip,
- Visit to the local Library,
- Word Millionaire tea party,
- Celebrate World Book Day,
- Dressing up as your favourite book character,
- Providing rich and diverse books,
- Reading buddy sessions held twice a term between different year groups,
- Library lunchtime club,
- Reading workshops,
- Reading Competitions,
- Reading a class novel,
- Drop everything and read (DEAR).
Enrichment - Reading