At Millfields, the teaching of reading is a top priority for our curriculum. We believe that reading is integral to a child’s education. It helps our pupils to understand and appreciate the world around them, see beyond what they know, share in cultural experiences and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves. Our curriculum strives to foster a lifelong love of reading and inspire the next generation. We give our children the very best start they can have - balancing learning to read with enjoyment of books and other texts.
We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading. Using the National Curriculum for English we created end points for each year group to ensure coverage and the progressive development of skills.
Early reading is supported through the systematic teaching of phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme. Regular training ensures that staff are equipped to teach with the expertise and skills required to promote excellent progress, as well as a love of reading. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified.
We recognise that systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader, namely comprehension. Reading comprehension is developed through a combination of modelled, shared, guided, individual and independent reading, where teachers use a range of high quality texts and focused skill teaching. Children read and enjoy high quality fiction and non-fiction texts, including, but not limited to, those outlined in the Millfields Literary Spine. Where possible these are linked to topics across the curriculum. In these sessions children develop their key reading skills of decoding, Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising (VIPERS). They also continue to develop their reading fluency skills and broaden their vocabulary.
Our younger pupils in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 regularly read as individuals with an adult in a 1-2-1 session. This allows adults to attend to the needs of the individual child. Some children in Key Stage 2 will also continue to have this support, the focus being on the lowest 20%. Small group intervention reading sessions in Key Stage 2 will also be used to allow decoding, comprehension and inference skills to develop. We have a range of intervention books that can be used to support children’s reading journey, these include Jelly and Bean, Dandelion launchers and Project X.
All classes enjoy a daily class story, for pleasure, to excite and engage the children. Staff use the texts outlined in the Millfields Literary Spine for their year group and regularly promote new publications and award winning books. Children and staff are actively encouraged to share their reading recommendations.
Reading at home is encouraged and promoted through individual and class incentives. Children in Foundation Stage and Year 1 take home a book matched directly to their current phonics level; they also choose an additional book to share with their family at home. Following this, children work through our school reading scheme – these are levelled books which match the child’s current reading ability. The reading schemes used include: Collins Big Cats, Dandelion readers, Songbirds, Phonics Bug and National Geographic texts. All children have a reading scheme and a reading for pleasure book.
We encourage all parents to take the time to hear their children read and talk about the books with them. Reading and sharing stories at home is one of the most important ways that parents can help their child to succeed. By showing children that reading is both important and enjoyable, this has a positive impact on the attitudes and beliefs and will instil in children the love of reading,
As a school we promote and support reading through a range of reading initiatives:
All of our classes enjoy weekly visits to our school library
Children take part in organising and developing their classroom reading area and an annual competition ensures that efforts are recognised
Poppy, our pets as therapy dog, makes weekly visits to our school to hear children read in small groups
Our year six pupils enjoy supporting our Foundation Stage children with their reading on a weekly basis
A team of pupils work with the reading lead to produce termly copies of ‘The Millfields Reading News’
Elected librarians work alongside the reading lead
A team of parent volunteers help to run our school library
A range of book clubs are run every term
Kindles support the teaching of reading
Special reading events are planned to celebrate World Book Day. Children are engaged in a host of reading activities.
We regularly host Scholastic Book Fairs where books are promoted and children are encouraged to buy books to read at home
By the time our pupils leave us as Year 6 readers, we aspire that they are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. A love of books and a passion for reading cannot be easily measured. Imprinting an early love of reading that will blossom throughout their lives; that is what we hope to achieve.
Reading Leader - Mrs Rachel Smith
Deputy Reading Leader - Mrs Rhiannon Macdonald
Reading Link Governor - Mrs Katie Moore