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Didsbury CE School

Didsbury CE School

English reading



Reading Intent statement.

Why do we teach reading?

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  Dr Seuss.

At Didsbury CE, it is our intent that the most important gift that we can give to our children is the power to read. We  are a reading community and we provide an ambitious reading curriculum that gives children the opportunity to enjoy and engage with books from a wide range of authors and genres. Through reading, we give children a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Literature especially plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables to pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. The skill of reading helps pupils to participate fully as members of society. 

 A curriculum for life for all

Reading is given the highest priority at Didsbury CE. We have the expectation that every child has the opportunity to learn to read to their highest potential and enjoy and experience the pleasure, excitement and adventure that engaging with books brings. Reading for pleasure is a high priority at Didsbury CE and a daily ‘read aloud’ story time is embedded in our school day in every class.

Through our reading curriculum we aim to teach the following attitudes: curiosity and interest in the world around us, independence, critical appraisal, pleasure and thoughtfulness, confidence, perseverance and respect for other views and cultures. We believe that reading is a right, not an option and that it is at the heart of learning.

Our reading curriculum is designed to raise our aspiration through learning about amazing people in the books that we read and being inspired by the people that write them. We aim to celebrate diversity through reading about a wide range of people, places, cultures and beliefs to broaden our horizons and learn about the world’s rich tapestry. We also aim to build, develop and improve our use of vocabulary through immersing ourselves in books, whilst purposefully studying their words and messages.

We aim to enable all children, whatever their background, to develop articulacy in their responses to what they read and teach them to appreciate deeper meanings within texts.

We promote health and well-being through connecting with a book as a way of developing our feeling of wellness. Finally, we strive to make all our school community passionate, lifelong and vociferous life-long readers.

Curriculum end points

The reading curriculum is designed with clear key skills for the end of each year and ultimately each key stage. The reading curriculum that is taught in each year group is designed to build to those end points.  There is a list of key skills that are designed for each year group to achieve by the end of that year which are detailed in the Didsbury CE  Key Assessment Skills.

Curriculum planning and sequencing

What does the reading curriculum look like at Didsbury CE?

Reading is promoted throughout our curriculum which is based on high quality texts as well as celebrations such as World Book Day. We have a well-stocked school library and children have a weekly time-tabled session there.

We teach reading through a variety of approaches such as whole class shared reading, guided groups and individual reading. Reading is a key priority at Didsbury CE and as such, reading opportunities are planned into all subjects and all learning.

Our classroom environments are designed with books clearly organised and readily available for children to select. We aim to have the best of children’s literature both classic, current, diverse, entertaining and challenging. We understand the importance of exposing our pupils to the very best stories and books. In our classrooms there is a culture of discussing, debating, enthusing and sharing what we are reading. 

A broad and balanced curriculum.

In the Early Year’s classroom, there are comfortable book areas with books selected relating to the half- termly topic. In addition to this, there are books in many of the learning areas and also in the outdoor areas. Children in EYFS take home a bedtime book weekly from the school library.

In KS1, there is a well-stocked reading area and also topic and author boxes.

In KS2, there is a reading area within the classroom with a careful selection of recommended books to read before you leave that year group. Furthermore, children are encouraged to read a book a week of their choice based on a variety of criteria and earn book credits. The reading challenge is differentiated to allow children of all abilities to participate including children with SEN. This is designed to promote a love of reading and develop the reading habit. 

The reading curriculum is interwoven into the curriculum and links where possible with the Foundation subjects.

What is our approach to teaching reading?

Early Years - at the start of pupils’ learning journey, we use high quality texts that are wrapped up in excitement, joy and adventure that only sharing stories can bring. We aim to ‘hook’ children into the joy of books right from the start.

Letters and Sounds:

Children at Didsbury CE follow the Letters and Sounds approach to phonics. There is a vision of progress that is set out for nursery and reception, and children are monitored and assessed to ensure they stay on track. Additional support is offered to children who are not on track.

In nursery, children also begin to learn the sounds that the individual letters make by using the Jolly Phonics songs.

In reception, children use phonics first reading books using a variety of reading schemes, such as Rigby Star, BBC Active and Floppy’s phonics. They are taught in small guided reading groups in line with their phonic development.

In years 1 and 2, children continue with small guided groups and read daily using the carousel approach. Children continue with a phonics first approach but this is then broadened to include a range of reading strategies. 

In years 3-6, children continue through the book bands and then they become free readers and select books from a variety of sources. Reading in KS2 is taught through a mixture of guided/shared reading and whole class comprehension.

Reflecting the local context

We have strong links with the local library in Didsbury and children have visits there. Librarians also visit our school to share stories with the younger children. In addition, children are also encouraged to participate in the summer reading challenge held during the summer holiday and we have been very successful in this in recent years.

High academic ambition

Throughout the reading curriculum there is an expectation of high academic standards and children at Didsbury CE enjoy developing their reading and comprehension skills to a high standard. From the earliest days of reading, children are encouraged to read with fluency, intonation, phasing and expression. The design of the curriculum enables children to read confidently across the curriculum not just in English lessons. Pupil premium is used to ensure that all children have access to high quality texts and support to develop reading skills if needed. For SEN, our reading curriculum and resources are adapted so that all children have the opportunity to receive their full educational entitlement. Our reading curriculum is designed  so that all may be challenged to fulfil their potential.



Implementation – how we teach what we teach

At Didsbury CE reading in EYFS is taught through the Reading early learning goal.  Children have the opportunity to read through daily shared and guided reading sessions as well as participating in reading activities in the workshop areas both indoors and out.

In Key Stage 1, children participate in daily reading activities through guided and shared reading and activities on the reading carousel.

In Key Stage 2 children continue with guided reading in year 3 and move to focussed, whole class comprehension work in years 4-6. Some children will continue with guided reading activities if this is beneficial to them. All KS2 children continue to get opportunities for independent and shared reading through daily literacy activities.

 In EYFS, children take home a weekly bedtime book. In years 1-3 children follow the book banding system and take books home weekly that are closely correlated to  their guided reading band. In years 4-6 as children become more confident readers, they can choose from a range of texts in the classroom. All children from Nursery to Year 6 have a weekly library session and can select books from a varied collection.

Impact – how we measure what we teach

The impact of this reading curriculum is that children will be literate, their lives will be enriched and they will be inspired to further explore the world of books and the creative and informative opportunities that this offers. The children’s learning journey in reading is assessed each half term  using the current assessment framework and reported on formally to parents at the end of each academic year.  The progress of each child will be tracked throughout their time at Didsbury CE Primary.