Our children are taught to read in ability groups within their class. Any child who has achieved year group expectations in class is then given the opportunity to work on these objectives in greater depth.
Planning for the Curriculum
National curriculum objectives are placed in our long term planning, to ensure there is adequate coverage throughout the year. Content is determined by the National Curriculum, and by our gap analysis, based on half termly summative assessments. We incorporate daily “Closing the Gap” teaching (based on formative assessments). Individual curriculum targets can be found in the front of every child’s Guided Reading book, and these are monitored by the children and teacher. Targets are signed off when there is sufficient evidence. Evidence is gathered via observation, marking and feedback, from evidence in “Assessment for Learning” books as well as from formal testing.
Our children benefit from a structured Guided Reading session on a daily basis, which includes 1 session led by the class teacher, where children discuss in depth a book or piece of text that they have read previously, and children answer related questions using evidence from the text. This session also provides invaluable evidence towards individualised reading targets linked directly to year group objectives for the vast majority of children. However, if children have not understood sufficiently, with the majority meeting year group expectations within that session, then the learning will continue into the following weeks session. The following 4 sessions in the week include a phonics/spelling focus, a comprehension exercise led by the teaching assistant, and an independent ‘follow on’ activity from the teacher-led session. Children are also given additional opportunities to improve handwriting and presentation in books.
In Years 4 and 5, an additional reading session of 30 minutes per day is also timetabled as part of the Accelerated Reading Programme that we are participating in this year. This enables children to independently test their understanding of books they read.
Years 3 and 6 also benefit from a weekly ‘Buddy Reading’ system where each child in Year 6 is partnered with a child in Year 3 and they meet once a week to read to each other and discuss the text they are sharing.
As the National Curriculum states, “Spoken Language underpins the development of reading and writing”, therefore it is deeply embedded in how we teach at Forest View. Children are challenged through the quality of questioning across all subject areas. There is strong emphasis on children being able to “elaborate and explain”, “reason and convince” so that they use a rich variety of words.
Reading skills are used in other areas of the curriculum at Forest View. Applying in this way encourages learning at greater depth. For example, during science and geography topics, children are required to research key topics and explain their findings. In P.E. we encourage children to discuss the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet, much of our work in D.T. incorporates being able to read and explain. During theme weeks such as, “Enterprise Week” children speak with local businesses, negotiating deals and making sales pitches. Cross-curricular reading is displayed in school through World Book Day displays, Book Fair adverts, Library promotion, transition work with Maun Infants.
Our aims in all of the Reading and Spoken Language we teach in school are to: improve fluency (speed and accuracy), encourage reasoning (through elaborating and explaining) and to be confident and competent in spoken language and Reading skills.
We teach by firstly allowing children access to a wealth of quality texts and giving them opportunities to read for pleasure. Resources are provided in each classroom to facilitate a love for books and children are encouraged to read and discuss books at home. Children are rewarded if they read at least 3 times a week at home; they receive their half-termly reading reward.
Differentiation can be seen in all reading sessions, and children have the opportunity to move through “Must, Should, Could,” targets daily. Children are not moved on to new content until they are secure in what they are learning. The “Should” target always reflects what children “Should” be doing based on age related expectations, while the Could target will provide opportunity to learn the same objective at greater depth. Therefore, if a child has achieved “Should” objective, they may begin the following session on “Could” target.
Interventions are provided for children during school time. Fixed interventions are carried out with a specific group of children, following a pre- designed programme. Flexible interventions aim to ensure progress for any children who have not understood an element of reading being taught that day/ week. The aim is to ensure at least good progress is made. After school booster sessions are provided for year six children, to prepare them for their SATs tests in May.
The methods and strategies used to teach Reading are having a positive impact on learning. In the 2016 SATs tests, 81% of our children met the expected standard, which was well above the national average figure.
Reading and Spoken Language at Forest View is constantly evolving, as we face the challenges of new assessment procedures, national tests and the new curriculum. This year we will be working as part of the Adastra Partnership and the Forge Trust.
Please click on and off the Drop Down Bars to view all detail on the different categories of teaching methods with regard to Reading and the Spoken Language.