Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum and is given the highest priority in order to ensure that all pupils, regardless of background, succeed in reading. At Bank End Primary Academy, we are passionate that every child in our school will become a competent, confident reader with an authentic love of reading. Our reading curriculum is based on extensive research, particularly the work of Ruth Miskin (Read, Write Inc) and the work of Christopher Such. Pedagogy has been developed in order to enable children to become expert readers as they move through school and into adulthood, thus providing them with improved life chances.
At Bank End Primary Academy, our children will be taught to:
- understand and apply their knowledge of phonics and spelling patterns using this to decode words with accuracy;
- build a bank of sight words to enable fluent reading;
- become fluent, confident and expressive readers who have both the skill and the will to read effectively;
- understand what they read showing a solid understanding that text carries meaning;
- compare, contrast and comment on texts read;
- understand the etymology of words and their meanings, developing a rich and varied vocabulary;
- understand the layout of texts and how to navigate different genres and text types;
- demonstrate understanding of what they have read through answering a range of different question types;
- read for information across the wider curriculum;
- read for pleasure responding to a wide range of different types of literature.
Our reading curriculum is planned to promote the cultural capital of all our children. We enhance our curriculum, especially for the most disadvantaged, by providing access to a diverse range of texts including those which promote different socio-economic backgrounds, relationships, family circumstances, disabilities, religions and cultures, and periods of history. Opportunities are planned for pupils to experience and take part in theatre productions and have guest authors and poets into school.
Reading at Bank End Primary Academy is taught through a systematic process that is centred around children becoming life-long readers.
Phonics from the Start
Our children begin learning the skills for early reading from the very moment they walk through our door. In Nursery, our children are immersed in a language-rich environment, along with pre-phonic activities, in readiness for accessing the Read, Write, Inc Programme in during their first and second term. This is used alongside a carefully designed environment that allows children to explore their interests in reading and phonics and provides them with many different opportunities to practice, re-visit and consolidate their ever-growing phonic skills and knowledge.
There are seven aspects taught in pre phonics lessons
- Environmental Sounds
- Instrumental Sounds
- Body Percussion
- Rhythm and Rhyme
- Voice Sounds
- Blending and Segmenting
All the aspects are taught through group times and total immersion in a rich language environment. We aim to do this by providing an immersive nursery experience inclusive of lots of rhymes, singing time, rhyming stories, clapping rhythms, musical instruments taught through play at every opportunity. Informal ways to explore letters: e.g. sounds of the week, phonics awareness through modelling writing, or sounding out words.
We also use short discrete group times to model a variety of activities with all 7 aspects taught during the week and use carefully chosen books every day to over learn rhyming words and voice sounds. We encourage children to join in, especially with the repetitive parts to build confidence and learn.
Decoding: Moving on with Phonics
All children start formal phonics teaching and learning in Nursery in their third term of being in Nursery using the Read, Write, Inc programme. All our staff are highly trained to deliver this. It is taught daily, systematically both through whole class teaching and discrete groups.
It is important that the teaching of reading is matched to the teaching of phonics. As such, all children have a banded reading book that matches the sounds they have learnt, or are learning, in their phonics lessons.
Strategies and Aims for Early Years and Key Stage 1