At Woodvale, our vision is 'Everyone Thriving' and our reading curriculum aims to foster our 3 curriculum drivers: oracy, cultural richness, and social intelligence. At the heart of our approach is a belief that reading is truly a tool for life, and it is through books and our language-rich classrooms that we teach the essential reading skills that our children will need to thrive in their own lives. We want our children to read a wide range of texts, gain knowledge of the wider world and apply their skills to the wider curriculum.
Developing oracy is a fundamental driver in our curriculum. Within phonics lessons children are taught to articulate individual phonemes correctly and clearly. They are taught to blend these phonemes to read words correctly and as their knowledge progresses to read words and sentences fluently. Through reading lessons, students engage in purposeful discussions, making predictions, inferences and deductions, articulating their opinions clearly and justifying their answers using information both from the text and their background knowledge of the wider world. Talk is encouraged, practised, refined and improved. Our children are expected to speak and read aloud with accuracy, clear projection and appropriate intonation to engage and entertain their audience. Our lessons encourage dialogue, with children articulating their ideas and listening to the ideas of others. The books chosen for reading lessons enable rich discussions and opportunities for children to widen their vocabulary. By using a growing vocabulary and explaining their thinking, children develop confidence in expressing themselves, honing their communication skills, and fostering a strong foundation for lifelong learning.
Diversity is another of our curriculum drivers. We believe that through reading a diverse range of literature children will develop their understanding of a range of lived experiences nationally, internationally and across different time periods. Through the reading curriculum children will have the opportunity to study a range of authors and texts: modern, historical, from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. Giving children the opportunity to read and discuss a range of perspectives will foster inclusivity and respect for cultural diversity.
Developing social intelligence is a key aspect of our reading curriculum. Children will study non-fiction texts allowing them to develop their understanding of the world and, where appropriate, the context of fiction texts they read. The range of narrative and poetry texts gives children opportunity to develop empathy for characters in the books they read. Children are supported to discuss big concepts within their reading, discussion and written work such as the ideas of friendship, belonging and acceptance. They are engaged in co-operative group learning tasks including group discussions. Through these activities children develop essential social skills such as respecting diverse viewpoints and sharing their ideas.
We use Talk for Reading as a comprehensive framework around which we immerse children in books and teach them the key reading skills we know they need to become confident readers. To achieve this, from Nursery to Year 6, children experience a range of diverse characters, settings and themes through carefully chosen texts.
Progression of skills
The long-term progression of reading skills learned, both within and across year groups, is set out in our whole school ‘Progression of Skills’ document.
Our reading curriculum ensures all National Curriculum skills are taught. We use the Reading VIPERS acronym in KS2 (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence/Summarise) to help teach each reading domain explicitly and repetitively to ensure our children understand, and are therefore able to apply, each of these.
Individual reading books
At Woodvale Primary Academy we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Early Years and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school. Once children have completed the phonic programme the access a book well matched to their reding ability from the 'Collins Big Cat' range of texts.
In Key Stage 2, our children are assessed using our Accelerated Reader programme using an online ‘STAR Reading’ test. These tests are used to track their reading progress. Pupils then read a book from their appropriate reading level from our well-resourced KS2 Library before taking an online quiz about that book; this is designed to assess their comprehension of the text and inferential meanings within it.
Reading and the wider curriculum
To support children's learning and provide further opportunity, reading is incorporated into foundation subjects. We provide book boxes to support learning in these subjects and our children are encouraged to read and investigate these texts to further deepen their knowledge and understanding.
We will know that the intent of our reading curriculum is successful through:-
- Children developing a love of reading
- Children confidently read a wide range of texts with appropriate pronunciation, fluency and expression
- Children appreciating the purpose and value of books and story-telling
- Children gaining knowledge of the world
- Children applying their reading skills to the wider curriculum
'It's good when our teacher reads us a book - then we can read it ourselves.' - Reception
'I just love reading. I've made a big improvement in my phonics. It's so much fun to read stories so you can learn new things'. - Year 1.
'Reading is good because you learn things and gain knowledge from books. It gets exciting when you turn the pages of a new book' Year 2.
'I love learning new words. It's not just new words but new things about the world. We get to read all the book, all by ourselves. - Year 3.
'We learn about different things in our reading, such as the country and the food where the story is set. It helps our understanding. Talk for Reading helps us to understand how to be a writer and lets us show how we feel' - Year 4.
'Reading gives you messages and life stories, like being confident and supporting your friends. They will benefit you as you get older' - Year 5.
'Everyone is enthusiastic in reading lessons, having lots of conversations about the book. It gives me more ideas' - Year 6.