We are a reading school. At Starcross Primary School, we are determined that all children will be successful and fluent readers, regardless of need or barriers. We recognise that literacy is a fundamental human right and a doorway for future success, not just academically, but also for wellbeing in later life. We teach children key skills and ensure appropriate progression, as outlined in the Statutory Framework for the EYFS and the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2, and with reference to the 2023 Reading Framework.
Children at Starcross develop as confident, fluent, critical and ambitious readers, who display a desire to read through our whole school commitment to the Reading for Pleasure (RfP) agenda. We have recently won a whole-school (Preschool – Year 6) national award for our work on RfP.
We know that the will to read influences the skill, allowing for enhanced comprehension and greater access to other curriculum areas. The high-quality books we select for our children are challenging, but also accessible and relevant; promoting respect, equality, diversity, empathy and inclusion. Children also enjoy selecting their own books to read for skill and pleasure, which positively impacts on their fluency and personal love of reading. Pupils’ voices will be listened to in decisions about reading in our school as we recognise that RfP must be learner led, informal, social and include texts that are personally tempting to them. We recognise that ‘old and gold’ books have a place in every classroom, but we are also committed to providing ‘new and bold’ books to every year group, as we never underestimate the value of new and current literature.
Our progressive reading curriculum is delivered through the accredited Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics programme, guided and whole class reading lessons based around the VIPERS reading skills, productive home-school relationships with parents, reading across the curriculum, daily independent reading and rich texts which are read aloud daily.
We believe that every child has the right to see their unique realities reflected in the books they read, and this is represented in our selected texts, which place equal value on all cultures and backgrounds.
We track and assess every child and provide tailored interventions to support any child who is falling behind. We also stretch and differentiate appropriately, using our results from regular phonics assessments, NFER tests, practice SATs papers, Accelerated Reader STAR tests, as well as Phonics Screening Test results and SATs data to meet and challenge individual needs. Disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND are thoughtfully considered by all staff, enabling us to close attainment gaps and foster a love of reading for every child.
Whole-class Reading Lessons
Whole-class reading lessons are taught using the VIPERS reading skills. Every lesson will begin with work on vocabulary so that the children have the tools to access the text.
Teachers use a variety of high-quality texts (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and others) that are drawn from a range of quality-assured sources. The texts are carefully matched to the children’s need, and are chosen to represent our diverse society.
In reading lessons, children read in different ways: choral reading, paired reading, echo reading, as well as hearing the teacher model how to read for understanding and with expression.
Teachers assess children’s comprehension skills in lessons through written work and discussion.
Useful links to support reading at home
www.arbookfind.co.uk this website lets you check if there is an Accelerated Reader quiz for a certain book and what level it is.
www.booktrust.org.uk the Book Trust website is full of great ideas of books to read, tips on reading aloud to children, and lots of ideas for how to engage children’s interest in reading.
Early Years and Key Stage 1 – Phonics
At Starcross we are passionate that all children become accurate, fluent, readers, who choose to read for pleasure. We know that reading is the key to learning; once a child has learned to read, they can read to learn.
Across our Trust we use Read Write Inc. as a Phonics scheme. Our teachers are fully trained and supported to be experts in the teaching of reading and understand the importance of both dimensions of the simple view of reading: language comprehension and word reading.
We make use the RWI ‘bookbag’ books that match the phonics the children are learning in school each week. This book resource provides a varied choice of writing styles, genres and artwork styles at every level, enabling the children to become confident readers.
We also use the school’s library service, to offer children a wide range of colourful and diverse story books which can be chosen and taken home to read for pleasure with their families.
Useful resources for Early Years and KS1
Have a look on RUTH MISKIN TRAINING website for more information and helpful videos for parents: www.ruthmiskin.com/parentsandcarers/
Pronunciation guidance video | YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkXcabDUg7Q
Why read to your child? www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjHqJQ8sxs4
10 things to think about when you read to your child. www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHMl70ZmxIQ