Our children are taught reading and comprehension in ability sets. Any child who has achieved year group expectations in class is then given the opportunity to work on these objectives in greater depth.
National curriculum objectives are placed on our long term planning curriculum maps, to ensure there is adequate coverage throughout the year. Content is determined by the National Curriculum and by our gap analysis, based on termly summative assessments. We incorporate daily ‘Assessment for Learning’ teaching (based on formative assessments). Whole school reading curriculum targets can be found in the front of every child’s Reading Comprehension book.
Our children benefit from a structured reading session on a daily basis. During stage one the children group synonyms taken from the text. This is to improve the vocabulary and help them to learn to understand new word meaning. They will then read the text identifying new words they are unable to read or understand. They will then look at other areas such as background knowledge they can bring to the text, questions they want to ask, inference and prediction. During stage 2 the children will be taught how to answer one specific type of reading comprehension question based on the text being studied that week. During stage 3 the children then work independently to read the next part of the text/a new piece of text and answer the specific type of questions independently. For the final stage the children review the new text to check their understanding of it, new word meanings and review their answers. The extracts are from a theme based around that term’s topic or extracts from their termly novel study. The extracts consist of fiction, non-fiction, classics, poetry, picture books and music video clips.
Additional reading activities take place in the afternoon. Children are selected by their teacher for a ‘teach to read session’ to improve fluency and word recall. During this time, other children are given the opportunity to read independently to develop reading for pleasure.
Children also enjoy a class story giving the children the opportunity to listen and to discuss a range of books taken from ‘The Forge Book Spine’. This includes: 3 novels, traditional tales, picture books and poetry in each year group.
Year 3 and 6 usually benefit from a weekly ‘Buddy Reading’ system. The children 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 The Forest View Academy. Children are challenged through the quality of questioning across all subject areas. There is a 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 The Forest View Academy. 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. Our annual productions and assemblies also provide the children with lots of opportunities to use spoken language.
Our aim in all of the reading and spoken language we teach in the academy 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 home with a reading raffle and there is a trophy for the class which read the most at home for pleasure. Classrooms now all contain a mini library where the children can choose their books.
Differentiation can be seen in all reading sessions, through our ‘Steps to Success’. Children are not moved on to new content until they are secure in what they are learning. The ‘Steps to Success’ are a means to achieving age related expectations, while a starred step target provides opportunity to learn the same objective at greater depth. Therefore, if a child has achieved the steps in a session, they may begin the following session on the ‘Starred Step’ which allows for applying in a different way.
Our children are taught in reading sets matched to their ability, whilst allowing the opportunity for all to apply learning once it is embedded using the ‘Starred Step’.
Interventions are provided for children during school time. Fixed interventions are carried out with a specific group of children, following a pre-designed programme such as Letters and Sounds phonics or precision teaching. Identified children who need phonics support will work on a 1:1 basis with the Phonics Lead.
In the classroom, teachers will target specific groups identified in termly pupil progress meetings. The aim is to ensure at least good progress is made by all children. Additional intervention is provided in year 6 in their lead up to their End of Key Stage 2 assessments. All staff provide 1:2 reading sessions for identified pupils in year 6.
The expectation is that marking and feedback moves learning on. This will provide next steps for the children, or provide consolidation/questioning asking them to address misconceptions based on the day’s work. Children also receive ongoing verbal feedback during guided group work.
Our academy monitoring schedule is designed to ensure standards are maintained across academies. Formal and informal monitoring (lesson visits/TMVs) incorporate book and planning scrutinises, pupil voice and quality assurance visits.
English subject leaders from all academies meet half-termly to share good practice, develop new initiatives and shape future developments across The Trust. Books are standardised across academies. Children’s achievements against national curriculum objectives are tracked across all academies on, Age Related Expectation Grids. .
Reading and spoken language at The Forest View Academy is constantly evolving, as we face the challenges of new assessment procedures, national tests and the new curriculum. We will continue to work as part of the Forge Trust.