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Children begin their journey into reading by developing their speaking and listening skills in early years, learning to enjoy sharing picture books, rhymes and songs. Children follow the school reading scheme, which consists of three different published schemes, with books following the national colour banding system; we work in partnership with parents to foster a love of reading and encourage daily reading in the home, through use of a home school reading record. 

Parental workshops around how to support your children in both phonics and reading are offered to all new Foundation Stage parents before their child starts school. Workshops are offered on a yearly basis from Year One upwards so that parents are aware of how best to support their child in reading development and be made aware of the strategies which we use in school, so that it is a constant learning partnership between home and school.

At St Augustine’s there is a shared expectation that every child will become the best reader that they possibly can. We are proud of our achievements in this area.

In Early Years and Key Stage One we focus daily on decoding through synthetic phonics using The Little Wandle Phonics Programme and have a wide range of phonic games and resources in each year group. We use Collins Big Cat
Phonics for Little Wandle as our decodable readers to support the development of phonic skills. Children take home reading books which reflect the sounds (phoneme/graphemes) which have been taught that week so that they can apply the phonics they have been learning. The strategy of a three times fluency read, working alongside the delivery of Little Wandle Phonics, is the start of each child’s independent reading journey. Alongside this, we also use the whole word approach (tricky words) which focuses on children’s ability to remember some words on sight and use picture clues to decipher what other words may say. Our main reading schemes are Oxford Reading Tree (stages 0-9) and Tree Tops (stages 9-20), Project X and Collins Big Cats. We also use Collins Progress Readers which uses age appropriate subject matter for those children who may be reading at a stage lower than expected for their chronological age. 

Pupils make accelerated progress in reading across school. Pupils enter the Foundation Stage significantly below national expectations and leave KS2 broadly in line with national expectations.

Gaps in attainment and progress in reading are narrowed and underachievement tackled through:

  • Improved quality first teaching of guided and shared reading
  • Early and well-targeted intervention including: 
  • Targeted daily reading
  • All children in Early Years and KS1 take books home weekly and guided reading/talking takes place each week. KS2 children take books home nightly and guided reading takes place each week, either through the use of a class novel or in smaller differentiated groups.
  • Weekly reading homework and the practice of High Frequency Words and spelling supports reading improvements. 
  • Fluency is targeted through the Little Wandle reading and adult modelling
    throughout school. Some children also access interventions in smaller groups
    to improve their fluency.  
  • Reading comprehension activities are planned for each week in each year
    group and comprehension is assessed in shared reading, guided reading, 1:1
    reading and end of term assessments.  
  • Pupils in KS1 have focused comprehension activities which require them to
    read for sense and comprehend what is read in order to complete activities.  
  • KS2 focus on higher order reading skills (they find this hard) such as
    inference, deduction and appreciation of style. We adopted a whole school
    focus in 2017 on teaching children self-help strategies to use for
    independent reading with a deeper level of understanding.
  • Pupils are familiar with a range of text and authors through planned lessons.
  • Pupils generally have positive attitudes to, and enjoy reading as indicated in
    their keenness to read at given times.
  • Teachers, from Foundation stage onwards, understand how to develop
    children’s language - initially through stories, rhymes, songs and the sounds
    of letters: their speaking and listening skills and their vocabulary; the
    knowledge, skills and understanding needed to read and write.
  • Children are taught as a whole class following a class core text, with
    additional groupings for guided reading; they are also heard to read

  • There is an effective balance of whole class, group, pair and individual work,
    along with guided, supported and independent work.

  • Whole class reading is taught through shared reading of a core text.

  • Additional guided reading sessions take place weekly using a mix of real
    books and scheme books from ORT, Treetops, Navigator Rigby/Max,
    Comprehension Express, Literacy Evolve and Pelican.

  • Guided reading may be taught as a whole class and/or as ability groups
    within each class and books are chosen to match the child’s learning level
    and the theme being taught that term. 
  • There is regular formative and informative individual assessment, including assessment of phonic knowledge and skills, which is then applied to helping pupils make progress.  
  • Phonics assessments are completed each half term for pupils in FS to Y2; this is extended to Y3 in the autumn term and beyond when needed for individuals or groups of pupils.
  • Individual reading assessments are completed as and when a child is deemed to be ready to move onto the next level; using a mixture of Assess and Progress and Assertive Mentoring Reading assessments.
  • Written reading assessment tests are also completed at the end of each term using Headstart Comprehension and PIRA tests.

A good range of high-quality books and other resources are being used in
lessons and activities. Titles have been updated within year groups to reflect
the higher levels expected for age related expectations in the 2014 National
Curriculum. These include:

  • Story sacks
  •  Ipads
  • Little Wandle Phonics website
  • Oxford Reading Buddy
  • Stories from the Twinkl website
  • Book areas in each classroom   
  • Books from the school library  
  • Book boxes from the Schools Library Services, both fiction and topic
    themed non-fiction texts.

Storytime occurs in every class every day across school; this is to foster a love of books and promote reading for pleasure. Some children will also require additional support in reading; we do this through a variety of interventions - daily 1:1 reading within class, differentiated focus groups and programmes using resources such as the Hertfordshire Fluency Project materials, Kickstart Reading and Lexia.

Please also take a look at our school library

Oxford Reading Buddy Guide