How we teach and support reading at Galliard Primary School.
Developing fluent and motivated readers is a priority for our school. We recognise that being able to read underpins all other learning. We know that many of our children do not speak English fluently when they start school and we ensure that this is not a barrier to their learning. While children quickly learn to decode words they often struggle with the understanding of vocabulary and comprehension of texts. In all lessons children are able to practice reading texts and instructions and are exposed to a wide range of different kinds of books and writing. Teachers work in their classes with small groups in order to ‘close the gap’ in attainment between those pupils who have the least opportunities to develop their reading skills and their peers.
The teaching of reading at Galliard starts in nursery where adults share books with the children each day to develop their enjoyment of reading, speaking and listening skills and their understanding of the different stories, songs and poems. They are also encouraged to take a library book home to share with their families. In the summer term the children start learning their sounds through the Letters and Sounds programme.
As the children move into their reception classes this approach continues. There are structured daily phonics lessons (Letters and Sounds) for all the children in the class, building on the skills developed in their previous setting. Children also take books to read at home with their parents/carers. These books are organised to match the order of sounds that they have been taught in class so that it reinforces their learning.
In Year One daily phonics lessons continue and booster sessions are held for children who are at risk of not meeting nationally expected levels. A specialist Reading Recovery teacher works with the lowest achieving children on an intensive programme. In addition, a programme called Daily Supported Reading is followed four times each week. Through this programme all children in Year 1 are placed into small groups and read books at an appropriate level to an adult. Regular assessments ensure that there is fluid movement between the groups so that children are fully supported and stretched to achieve their full potential. In the summer term children undertake the National Phonics Screening Check. All children continue to take books to read at home from our structured reading scheme. In addition they are able to take home a book of their choice from the School Library.
In Year 2 all children read weekly in a small guided group with their teacher. In addition there are booster sessions for children based on the Year One Daily Supported Reading programme and also groups to enhance reading comprehension. Any children who did not meet the expectations of the National Phonics Screening Check in Year 1 are given further help and are assessed again at the end of the year.
In Years 3 to 6 children take part in daily extended reading lessons, four times a week, based on a reading approach called Destination Reader. The main focus of the approach is teaching the key reading strategies which support comprehension and the learning behaviours which support dialogue, through shared quality texts. We also aim to foster a lifelong love of reading by encouraging our children to read as much and as often as possible. Children in KS2 who may struggle to access age-related texts will attend a ten week intervention called Readingwise to accelerate their decoding and comprehension skills.
Children continue to take books home to read in KS2 and are asked to complete a short writing task for homework based on the reading strategy studied that week. They are also encouraged to take part in national and regional competitions to boost their enjoyment and achievement in reading.
There are a number of volunteers working in our school who are trained by the charity Beanstalk. They regularly read with targeted children using their own toolboxes of attractive and motivating books. In addition, fluent Year 6 readers are Reading Buddies to less confident readers lower down the school. This is a much valued responsibility post and one that Year 6 pupils aspire to as they work on their own reading.
The school has a Reading Manager who coordinates monitors and evaluates all the different reading programmes. She also ensures that books and resources for the teaching of reading are purchased through the school budget and through the fund raising efforts of the active Parents’ Association, Friends of Galliard. Reading for pleasure and to raise standards is a core focus for everyone at Galliard Primary School.