Communication, Language and Literacy
The Importance of Reading
Becoming a fluent reader enables children to access all areas of the curriculum. It opens doors for them and gives them real joy.
Teaching children to read confidently for information and for pleasure is the most important thing that we do as a Federation.
Find out what our Executive Head, Gareth Elswood, has to say about reading by watching the clip above.
Mrs Losada is our Federation Reading Assistant Headteacher across the Federation.
EVERYONE IS A READER.
EVERYONE WANTS TO READ.
EVERYONE CAN READ.
Our Curriculum Intent
As a Federation, we believe that developing a love of reading is the key to the success of our children. We actively encourage all children to read a wide variety of materials for pleasure and our aim is for our pupils to become readers for life. This enjoyment of reading is shared by all our staff, and reading opportunities are promoted through all curriculum subjects.
We take the teaching of reading seriously and have the common aim of ensuring children become active, critical readers and to promote reading for enjoyment for all.
Our Approach to Reading; Curriculum Intention
The National Curriculum for English states that, ‘Reading widely and often opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious minds.’
A wide ‘diet’ of reading is provided for our children in our Federation, including whole class, guided reading, shared reading and individual reading. We consider storytelling and the sharing of stories to be the keystone to develop the enjoyment of reading as well as modelling fluent reading and comprehension skills. We therefore plan in a shared reading experience each day from Nursery right up to Year 6.
As a Federation, we have designed an exciting, sequential, creative curriculum that is driven by high quality texts and builds knowledge, understanding and skills to prepare our children for life beyond their Primary education. Our reading curriculum is the conerstone of our creative curriculum. We have purposefully chosen a range of texts that link to our curriculum and unique context to ensure than our children become active critical readers.
Each half term, the children are exposed to a wealth of texts that link to all areas of the thematic curriculum and underlying themes for that half term. We have ensured that the texts our children study include a range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and songs. When choosing literature to share in the classroom we ensure that we expose children to a range of culturally diverse texts and authors that reflect their cultures and experiences. Our Reading Spine can be found at the bottom of the page which shows the link texts that would be used in our whole class reading sessions.
Click on the link below to view or reading curriculum
Our Approach to Whole Class Reading Teaching
As a Federation, we have implemented a whole class approach to reading from Year 2 upwards for 1 hour each day. Adopting a whole class reading approach allows all children to access high quality texts and be taught how to comprehend above their word reading ‘level’. It is expected that all of our children will develop good levels of comprehension. Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge ( vocabulary and grammar) and knowledge of the world.
We believe that the best way to develop comprehension skills is 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. Through this approach we aim to ensure that all our children become analytical readers, have an awareness of authorial intent and can justify and explain their own opinions about the text.
With the new National Curriculum split into three key areas: Reading for Pleasure, Vocabulary Development and Oral Comprehension, a whole class approach to reading will enable children to develop their skills within each of these. All children will be given the opportunity to read aloud, listen to a text read by a teacher or peer and develop their ability to be able to discuss what they have heard in a constructive way. Unfamiliar vocabulary will be explored and explained within a familiar context, ensuring a breadth and depth to their reading.
When working with the children on comprehension strategies, we use the skills below to structure the questions that we may ask them. These are also the areas which we assess them in.
Teaching of Phonics
The systematic teaching of phonics provides the building blocks for word reading and is therefore prioritised and well-resourced. We intend to ensure that all children are fluent decoders by the end of Key Stage One. We believe the art of reading should be treasured by all so we make sure that no child is left behind on their phonics learning journey. Daily and precise systematic synthetic phonics is taught through small, interactive and engaging sessions; which allows a positive learning culture for all children to thrive.
Our children are taught to read with the use of systematic synthetic phonics (Read,Write Inc.) in EYFS and KS1. The teaching of phonics is an integral part of the school day where children have the opportunity to work in small focus groups depending on their attainment.
At school, we encourage your child to read a range of books and talk about the books they read. We encourage our children read their home reading books everyday and these are discussed and changed regularly by the class teacher and Teaching Assistant.
Because reading is a priority in our school, we dedicate every afternoon to hearing children read on a 1 to 1 basis with one of our Teaching Assistants. Children will be moved up through the stages when their teacher feels that they are fluent with the words within that stage and they are confident that the child is making meaning from the text. Ask your child’s class teacher or our reading Assistant Headteacher, Mrs Losada, for more information about our reading books.
Below is a list of comments that the children or the adults can write/discuss around their home reading book and and the bottom of the page is the parent workshop carried out by Mrs Losada.
Each term, every class from Reception - Year 6 visits our local library in Longsight. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children to develop and nurture a love of reading from an early age.
On each visit to the library, children may borrow one book for the half term. When each child has finished their book, they can swap with a friend. This enables the children to have a mini version of the library within their classroom too!
Celebrating Reading Events
As a Federation, we want our children to leave us with a thirst for knowledge and a love of literature and reading. We place a large focus on reading for enjoyment, and children throughout the school regularly participate in a variety of engaging and inspiring reading activities both in and outside of school.
What better way to encourage reading for pleasure in our school than by having a top-quality author to motivate our students about the joy of reading? Every term we have an author visit, or take our children to the theatre to see the book come to life.
This year alone we have had a visit from the most famous and talented children's author, Frank Cotrell- Boyce and the comic creator Kev Sutherland. As well as this, the whole of our KS2 children had the opportunity to visit the Lowry Theatre to watch the performance 'Billionaire Boy' by David Walliams and Michael Rosen even paid us a visit!
Celebrating National events like world poetry day and World book day are always on our events calendar. We just love books!
Karl Nova's visit to St John's
In his award winning debut book Rhythm and Poetry, the beauty of rap lyricism and Hip Hop influenced poetry is displayed with wit, humour and positivity. His approach is to meet young people where they are and engage them with the style and attitude they are familiar with while keeping his content wholesome, inspirational but still very real.
Karl Nova came to visit the children on 20th November 2020 to inspire them with poetry workshops.
Author Visit - Onjali Q Rauf's visit to St John's
Onjali Q. Rauf is the best selling author of The Bay at the Back of the Class, a touching but funny book about a young refugee boy, Ahmet, and the friendships he builds at his new school.
Onjali's latast book The Star Outside My Window, about a 10 year old boy, Aniyah, who finds herself living in forster care after her mother disappears.
Onjali visited St John's on 10th January 2020 to talk to the children about her work as an activist helping refugees and how this has inspired her writing.