Our children are taught reading and comprehension 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. Each year group has a weekly sets lessons where the children work with children of the same ability.
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 reading curriculum targets can be found in the front of every child’s English 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 as well as from formal testing.
Our children benefit from a structured reading session on a daily basis. On day one the children group synonyms taken from the text. This is to improve the vocabulary and help them to learn to understand word meaning. They will then read the text identifying new words they are unable to read or understand. On day two the children will revisit the text and discuss it in greater depth. 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. On the third day the children take part in activity based around the text to engage further with the text and the fourth day the children will be taught the skills to answer questions and attempt to questions based on the extract. 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.
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. 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 The Forest View Academy. 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 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 least 5 times a week at home; they receive their half-termly reading rewards as a recognition for this.
To guide children in the right direction of good quality texts we also provide a Reading Challenge. Children can choose from well-known authors and award winning texts from an age appropriate list. Children are rewarded with certificates when they have read 3 or more of these texts during the academic year.
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 such as phonics or precision teaching. 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. Additional intervention is provided in year 6 in their lead up to their End of Key Stage 2 assessments. The children receive one afternoon a week in booster sets, children potentially working at greater depth receive an additional session per week studying more difficult texts and after school booster sessions are provided for all pupils.
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.
Our academy monitoring schedule is designed to ensue standards are maintained across academies. Formal and informal monitoring (lesson observations/TMVs) incorporate book and planning scrutinises, pupil voice and quality assurance visits.
English subject leaders from all academies meet half-termly to share good practise, 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.
The methods and strategies used to teach reading are having a positive impact on learning. In the 2018 SATs tests, 76% of our children met the expected standard, which was above the national average figure.
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.
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.