Reading at Widey Court
It is our aim to ensure that by the end of their primary education, where appropriate, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence in any subject to prepare them for their next steps in secondary education.
The National Curriculum Programmes of Study for reading at Key Stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:
decoding (the reading of words) and comprehension (understanding words and text).
The teaching of reading at Widey Court focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. Phonics is therefore emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school. More information about our chosen phonics scheme can be found under 'Phonics and Early Reading'.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.
All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction, non-fiction and poetry in order to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
We use a variety of books ranging from Oxford Owl and Big Cat Collins to Pearson and Project X. Early readers are given a decodable text to support the teaching in class. Children then use the Accelerated Reader programme to motivate and enthuse them to develop their reading further. Children are given a Star Test to see where their ZPD lies (Zone of Proximal Development). This gives the children the best range of books they need to be reading in order to maximise their progress and ensure books are not too easy or too hard. Children are asked to read the book a few times at home and then once they know it well enough they are able to take a 'quiz' which questions them on the main parts of the book. We aim for children to achieve between 80% and 100% on their quizzes and this in turn increases their 'word count'. Children are given certificates based on the words read (from the books quizzed on) in school.
Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.