At Bywell Junior School we believe that reading is an essential life skill which underpins all areas of the curriculum and our core values. We are committed to providing the children with a literacy rich environment, high quality texts and inspiring learning opportunities which will enable them to gain a lifelong enjoyment of reading, books as well as developing their own personal values.
We encourage our pupils to progress through all the levels of our home/school reading scheme (this includes a wide range of text types – fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, classics etc.). Once the children have progressed through this scheme, we believe the children have the independence to choose appropriate texts that interest them and challenge them as readers, developing their sense of justice and compassion – as well as reading texts that have been recommended to them either by their peers or by an adult.
Evidence shows that children’s ability to read, process and understand texts underpins their ability to access the whole of the curriculum. This confidence and competence when applying these skills will engage our pupils love and thirst for learning and will help them grow as learners who show endurance, compassion, are creative, independent and resilient.
At Bywell we listen to all our children read every week, we encourage them to speak clearly and with fluency. We want them to apply their knowledge of phonics in order to decode unfamiliar words with increasing accuracy and speed. Our pupils are encouraged to read and speak with expression, clarity and confidence – through their reading, when in class, around school in assemblies (when allowed) and to visitors. Through reading our pupils develop a good knowledge of vocabulary and grammar and are constantly invited to ask for the meanings of words they are unsure of.
At Bywell our children are introduced to a range of fiction and non-fiction genres through their English lessons, Reading for Pleasure/Listening for Pleasure lessons and reading comprehension activities. This range of high-quality texts and the work that takes place allows for meaningful, thoughtful class discussions and allows the children to develop a sense of empathy and compassion. It also allows the children the opportunity to use the language structures and vocabulary in their own work.
The children at Bywell have many opportunities to read and discuss texts. Each classroom has a well-stocked library which is periodically restocked with diverse authors, texts that question viewpoints and popular new releases – this is through discussions with members of each class. Children also regularly visit the school library where there is a vast variety of books. Time is dedicated to each part of the week for the children to ’Drop it and read’ and each child is listened to each week. Throughout the year a love of reading is promoted by author visits, librarian visits, World Book Day etc.
- Children are provided with books that match and support their phonics skill and ability .
- Ensure children who are independent readers choose a variety of high-quality texts that are age appropriate and challenging.
- Children will be encouraged to read with greater fluency and be able to use their phonic strategies to decode unknown words as well as ask for the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary.
- Show endurance by reading for more prolonged periods of time and for a range of purposes.
- Use ‘Pupil Voice’ as a way of capturing the children’s views about reading and how it can be developed.
- Children will be invited to read to an adult on a weekly basis, this is a time when expression can be developed, the text can be discussed and meanings of words can be shared. There will also be a time to read independently every day.
- Three times a week, all children will systematically be taught reading comprehension skills.
- Children will have the opportunity to Listen for Pleasure as their class teacher reads a book three times a week.
- Each week the children will have ‘Talk Time’, this is where books are discussed and promoted.
- At different times over the academic year there will be various activities planned to promote reading. (World Book Day, Author visits, assemblies, competitions).
July 2023 Update
- The reading areas in each of the classes have looked super over the year, and have been places that the children have wanted to spend time in. These need to be maintained next year.
- Reading for pleasure at the end of the day has been enjoyed by the majority of the children – It provides a calming way to the end of the day. (evidenced in pupil voice)
- Drop it and read sessions have taken place each week (different times and days) where every member of staff and all the children have participated. The children know exactly what to do when the two-bells ring.
- It has been the strong aim of the staff to listen to all the children read each week. This has been useful in encouraging fluency and expression. Staff have commented on how much they enjoy listening to the children.
- 4 Comprehension lessons have taken place each week in every class. The first two sessions are modeled by the class teacher on the board whilst the second two are completed independently by the children.
- A new ‘Cracking comprehension’ Scheme was purchased.
- Year 6 used ‘Achieve100’ and ‘Achieve 100+’ in their comprehension sessions from Spring term. This helped the children focus on specific areas, for example – authors choice of words.
- Pupil voice provided positive evidence that children enjoyed reading, they liked listening to their teachers read.
- At the new year 3 parents meeting reading was discussed and explained.
- The children at the end of Key Stage 2 have performed better than both Kirklees and National averages at both EXS and GDS.
Next Steps for 2023/24
- Organise/catagorise the class library books, this will ensure that books of an appropriate ability are chosen. (Library books are chosen for pleasure – to be shared with parents). Books to be displayed face on to draw children to them (updated Reading Framework)
- Widen the selection of reading for pleasure books – so that the class can take ownership of the next book to
- be read in class.
- Ensure the new staff are confident in the use of Cracking Comprehension through INSET.
- Ensure all staff are confident in the use of PM Benchmarking. Recap during staff meeting time.
- Support staff to use Reading Records.
- Re-check year group coverage document to show progression through the year groups.
- Implement Fixing Fluency
- Introduce ‘Talk time’ – Where, in the first instance, the teacher models how to talk about books, why they have chosen them etc. This will happen on a weekly basis as recommended in the new Reading Framework.
- Ensure all staff are confident in the use of PM Benchmarking.
- Subject leader to collate data on PM Benchmarking and audit PM benchmarking.
- Review and trial ‘Fixing Fluency’ approach to the teaching of reading and reading comprehension. (6GE/RW in the first instance and will be trialed in three other year groups to ensure positive impact).
- Subject leader to monitor RFP, Cracking Comprehension, 1:1 reading and ‘Talktime’ through learning walks.
- Subject leader/mentor to plan ‘Fixing Fluency’ sessions in year 6 and support the planning of this trial across the other selected classes.
- Subject leader to select appropriate texts for the year group.
- Continue to raise the profile of reading through book fairs, competitions etc.
- Introduce the position of ‘Reading Ambassadors’ to Year 6 children. Children to apply, outline the role which could involve, care of library, reading buddies etc.
- Update progression document for reading.
October 2023 Review
- All staff have changed their reading areas to reflect advice given in the new reading framework.
- The number of books has been reduced (To be rotated at different points in the year)
- Books have been sorted into sections e.g. Short chapter books, graphic novels etc.
- Books have been displayed as forward facing.
- Class novels have been discussed as year groups and a different selection of books have been ordered.
- All staff have been given training on the use of Cracking Comprehension.
- All staff have been reminded/ introduced to our school reading records.
- Talk time has been introduced to each class each week, where (in the first instance) staff talk about books, why they have been chosen, what they may choose next etc.