Essential characteristics of Reading
Our intention is that our curriculum will enable us to ‘grow courageous learners’.
Our intention at Sowerby Primary is to ensure an ambitious, equitable reading curriculum that develops independent fluent readers. Our curriculum will enable us to ‘grow courageous learners,’ to have courage to try new things, make mistakes and move out of their comfort zone from time to time in order to grow.
We deliver a knowledge rich curriculum that is ambitious and tailored to meet the needs of all pupils. Pupils acquire skills that can be applied across subjects in an increasingly sophisticated way. We give great consideration to experiences and opportunities to develop the cultural capital they need to succeed in life. In this way we will foster kind, responsible adults of the future.
The reading curriculum is designed with 3 major goals in mind:
- To provide a coherent structured, academic curriculum that leads to fluent and confident readers.
- To provide a rich cultural capital, exposing pupils to a wide range of books and genres that allows them to identify with familiar characters and settings but also introduce them to a wide range of individuals, experiences and cultures.
- To nurture an enjoyment and love of reading that pupils will take forward into their adult life.
In KS1 we use ‘letters and sounds’ programme. In September 2022 we will be using Essential Letters and Sounds validated programme. Children are taught a new GPC and tricky word daily. Teaching happens in class groups and the bottom 20% are supported with an adult and/or different resources to help with cognitive load. Children who are not where they should be receive interventions to close gaps with unknown GPCs and/or with blending.
Phonics lessons follow Revisit, Teach, Practise, Apply and Review.
Our phonics lesson structure document can be read in full here
In KS2, Sowerby Primary Academy’s whole class reading curriculum combines whole class novels and additional texts. The class novel allows pupils to delve deeper into challenging and enjoyable texts, seeing the stories as a whole and understanding how the author developed their characters and themes. Additional texts allow pupils to develop their wider reading diet, being exposed to a wide range of genres: these are chosen to support the class text or topics and bridge gaps in pupils’ cultural understanding.
At Sowerby Primary Academy, we teach and model reading strategies through the reading domains. The domains allow pupils to be self-aware of the skills being taught so they can independently develop and apply these to their own comprehension skills. Fluency is taught through a range of reading strategies such as paired reading, choral reading, independent reading following on from teacher and peer-modelling.
We aim to make learning difficult to resist. Our curriculum is about providing children with excitement for and inspiration to learn. Each classroom has a reading area which is an inviting place for pupils to read. We build learning experiences which excite, inspire and challenge pupils. We celebrate reading through reading assemblies and events such as World Book Day and staff share their love of reading through frequent discussion about their own reading enjoyment. This approach enables a sense of purpose which is deepened by participation, contribution and collaboration from all children.
Year 5/6 pupils do 30 minutes of Reading Plus to aid reading comprehension, ensure broad and rich reading diet and build reading stamina
We recognise the importance of sequenced and spaced learning, retrieval practice and developing links between concepts as the key to making learning 'stick'.
Pupils have a wide breadth of experience of a variety of texts throughout the year group. Pupils will develop a deeper understanding of reading skills across the domains. They will also develop greater fluency and stamina as they move through school.
Pupils will be able to talk positively about the texts they are reading. They will enjoy reading and books.