Developing confident readers at The Bewbush Academy
At The Bewbush Academy we believe that strong reading and comprehension skills are fundamental to becoming a lifelong learner. Reading is central to all areas of our curriculum driver. Research suggests that reading isn’t just about decoding written language but about bringing meaning to print. At Bewbush we want every child to leave our school with a love of books and the reading tools to help them succeed in their future education.
Our youngest children quickly develop a love of reading through a discrete, daily twenty-minute ‘Talk Through Stories’ session. Talk Through Stories grows children’s spoken vocabulary, drawing on the best of children’s literature. This much-loved session at the end of their day allows children to get to know each story well: the plot, the characters and their actions and motives. They learn vocabulary that they may not hear in everyday conversation but are likely to come across in stories. For example, in ‘I’m in Charge!’ by Jeanne Willis, we focus on the words;
bellowed startled barged sneaked grinned
dreadful stomped refused
Children’s understanding of each word is then developed in the context of their everyday lives.
Read, Write, Inc
From the moment children join our school in Reception, they are taught the 44 sounds and corresponding letter (or letter groups). We use the Read Write Inc phonics programme to ensure children develop their phonic skills in a coherent and systematic way through daily phonics sessions.
As children develop their phonic knowledge, they begin reading a phonically decodable book matched closely to the phonic knowledge they have acquired. Our children develop confidence in applying their phonic knowledge to enable them to become confident readers and writers. Our children love to proudly read these decodable books to their parents and carers at home each day.
We are proud of our success at The Bewbush Academy, with 80% of our children passing the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check- 5% above the national average.
Developing confidence as readers
At The Bewbush Academy we link our reading and literacy texts together so that children are wholly immersed in a high quality text through their reading and literacy lessons. We deliver this through a core set of high quality fiction and non-fiction texts. These texts have been carefully selected so that they often link to the wider curriculum.
Our texts increase in complexity as children progress through the key stages. They not only support children to become fluent and confident readers, but they also immerse children into a range of culturally diverse, inclusive and resistant texts that they may not be exposed to outside of school. Our challenging choice of texts also help develop children's emotional intelligence and wider understanding of the world around them. These texts have been selected to give children exposure to archaic language, non-linear time sequences, stories with complex narrators and symbolic texts.
Teachers plan reading lessons using two key progression documents: The Progression in Comprehension Continuum and The Progression in Word Reading Continuum. Use of these documents ensure that teachers have a strong understanding of national curriculum reading expectations and the core knowledge needed to apply that skill independently during reading. Reading lessons focus on the teaching of a key aspect of word reading or comprehension such as fluency or the effect on the reader.
Accelerated Reader is used from Year 2 and throughout Key Stage 2 to promote, encourage and support the development of reading skills, with an emphasis on comprehension. Evidence shows that children develop reading skills most effectively when they read appropriately challenging books - difficult enough to keep them engaged but not so difficult that they become frustrated. This is their ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (ZPD).
Children are assessed six times a year using Star Assessments. The results provide children with their own personalised ZPD. Class book corners and our school library are both structured to aid the children when making their choices of engaging books within their ZPD.
Daily Reading Practice
Every child in The Bewbush Academy reads during a dedicated session each and every day. Children have free choice over the books they read within their colour book band or AR ZPD. Teachers listen to all of our children read each week, ensuring children are aware of the steps they need to take to continue to be successful or to overcome any challenges they may be facing