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Welcome to our Reading page

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Reading at St Stephen's

Our Reading curriculum is shaped to provide children with the skills to read fluently, confidently and with good understanding as well as facilitate a love for reading.  It develops children’s understanding of vocabulary and the techniques authors use to show meaning, build atmosphere and communicate with clarity.

Through reading and well-chosen literature, children have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.

Teaching reading in a way that is more aligned with research allows us to spend more time appreciating stories, more time unpicking the intricacies of language choices and more time learning about the world through fascinating information texts.  We aim to select valuable texts and then facilitate children interacting with them in a way that will open their minds and broaden their horizons.

Our focus follows; decoding, prosody and comprehension, the same practise used within the EYFS and Year1 phonics teaching.  In following this structure, we can ensure that all children are progressing.

In practising a shared reading experience, children are given the best opportunity to deepen their understanding of a text and develop their reading skills.  Not only does this give them greater sense of collective security in their exposure to challenging texts, but they also have more frequent chance to engage in meaningful discussions as part of a group.

Implementation - we do this by:

• Following the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised scheme for phonics.  Thereby ensuring consistency across all phonics teaching.

• Following the St Stephen’s Long Term Reading Plan, which enables the progression of knowledge and skills in developing fluent readers.

• Providing opportunities to read aloud and to share books, becoming immersed in language and hearing and experiencing a wide range and depth of vocabulary.

• Supporting and signposting parents and children to our ‘Recommended Reads’ list.  This acts as a reading spine to ensure variety and quality of texts read.

• Ensuring children in EYFS and Year 1 take home decodable books matched to their phonic word knowledge.  The books that go home are the same books used in class that week to give children further opportunity to deepen their understanding of familiar texts read.

• Assessing children regularly to ensure progression (in both reading fluency and comprehension).

• Using assessments to identify children who need interventions and whether this is decoding, prosidy (fluency) or comprehension skills.

• Encouraging children to read at home on a daily basis and be read to.

• Using a reading record book to communicate between home and school.

• We use reading VIPERS to analyse and unpick books using a variety of questions.  Vipers use the content domains set out in the National Curriculum.

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We use Accelerated Reader in KS2.  A computer programme that aims to foster independent reading.  The programme supports teachers to track and monitor children’s independent reading and diagnostic tools show where ‘catch-up’ is needed.  This enables our children to progress.  The children themselves are also empowered to track their own reading record and to select books appropriate and recommended to them.

• Delivering, whole class guided reading across the school for 30 minutes each day after lunch.  All children take part in this process ensuring everyone is exposed to high-quality texts, discussion.

• Daily vocabulary pre-teaching so that children’s understanding of texts is greater.

•Each class will have priority readers and these children have a time during the day to pre-read the whole class guided reading text to unpick complicated phonic patterns, prosody, vocabulary understanding and comprehension through talk.

Reading - long Term Knowledge Progression

Please click the image opposite to open our reading long term knowledge progression map in a new window.

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Our Reading Pathway

Please click on the flowchart image opposite to open our reading pathway flowchart in a new window. 

The flowchart explains our reading process and how we teach reading dailly.

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Impact - assessment of reading

• Little Wandle Phonic assessment carried out each half term.

• Y1-6 NFER reading assessments will be used in the autumn, spring and summer.

• Reading fluency is assessed using Collins Reading Fluency book.

• STAR reading assessment on Accelerated Reader Year 2 onwards.

• Teachers monitor Accelerated Reader engagement and scores.

Reading VIPERS

Reading with the Reading VIPERS at St Stephen’s

There are many elements to reading. In the early stages of learning, the children are taught to work out unknown words using phonics. We also teach the wider skills laid out in the National Curriculum through using the Acronym VIPERS during our daily, whole class guided reading sessions.

These are 6 key areas, which we feel the children need to know, understand and use in order to improve their comprehension of rich, high-quality texts. Alongside the acronym, there are characters to represent each skill and within each skill, there are question stems that develop the type of thinking and responses required.

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How to help at home?

Reading regularly to an adult at home is an essential part of reading progress. It enables children to access the wider curriculum with more confidence. By working together and building upon the skills we teach at school, the children will develop a greater confidence; a wider understanding of complex vocabulary; a greater fluency and most importantly a love of reading.

 As parents, we often stop reading with our children once they have learnt to decode; however, as you can see, reading is so much more than decoding and we are often asked, “What can we do to support our children?”

In response to this and as a support, we thought it might be useful to have these questions nearby, so that you can ask similar types of questions to the types we might be asking in school.

Help us to help your children instil a love of life-long and life-wide reading.

KS1 Reading Viper question stems

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Please click on the above image to open in a new window.

KS2 Reading Viper question stems

KS2 Viper reading stems image

Please click on the above image to open in a new window.

KS1 reading activities

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KS2 reading activities

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