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Accelerated Reader

A letter from Mrs King

 

Supporting our children to develop a range of skills

 

You will notice that in the sub-title above I have referred to the children as "our" children. We share responsibility for them. You are their first teachers and they learn a lot at home. Support from you in Reading, Writing, Maths and other subjects is vitally important and I would be grateful if you would spare time to support them in a range of ways please.

 

The teaching staff are working very hard to support the children in catching up on the lost teaching and learning during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns. Please play your part too.

 

We are going to review Homework next week and will update you with the decisions made regarding the way forward with this. However you can always support your child in learning to read.

 

Reading! Reading! Reading!

 

I am pleased to inform you that I have invested in a new reading programme called Accelerated Reader. It has been highly recommended to me by other schools.

 

Please find more information about it in the letter attached.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Reading Leaders Miss Tarjanyi and Mrs Dixon for the hard work that they have undertaken to set this up. Please see a letter from them below.  I would also like to thank a team of teachers and teaching assistants who prepared hundreds of books for this.

 

Please take time to:

  • Encourage your child to read to you and discuss the content of the book
  • Join one of Leicester's libraries to borrow books
  • Read to your child
  • Use the Bug Club books online

 

If children read fluently they will be able to access learning in other subjects. Reading also helps to develop their vocabulary and creative writing skills.

 

Please note that you can select the language of your choice on the website's home page and the information will be translated to that language.

 

We need your support with this please.

 

Warm regards

 

H.M. King

 

A letter from Miss Tarjanyi and Mrs Dixon.

 

Dear Parents and Carers

 

We are pleased to inform you that the school has invested in an exciting programme called Accelerated Reader with the aim to further improve your children’s fluency in and enjoyment of reading. The programme is structured on reading level ranges and not on colour bands.

 

Each book has been labelled with a sticker to show the book level range.

 

From today Tuesday 11th January the children from Years 2 to Year 6 will be given a reading book to bring home that ties in with Accelerated Reader. For your information the book levels in Accelerated Reader range from 0.1 to 6.0+.

 

When your child has read a book, they will be given time in school to answer questions about it in a short quiz. This will help them to focus on the content of the book and inform teachers about whether they have understood the book (they will be supported with this if needed).  Your child will earn points for every book they read and every quiz they take. Mrs King also plans to reward them with house points and a prize for a certain number of books read.

 

Please note that the children in the Reception classes and Year 1 will continue to use the current books which are arranged into colour bands e.g. Lilac, pink, red, yellow etc.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Miss J Tarjanyi and Mrs L Dixon

KS2 and KS1 Reading Leads Respectively

 

 

 

                                                                       Intent

At Wolsey House Primary School we believe that our quality pedagogy will develop our children’s love of reading. We consider reading to be the root to learning and aim to inspire, stimulate and challenge our children through creating habits of reading widely and often; thus creating independent, confident and successful learners as well as developing their moral, spiritual and cultural understanding through reading. Alongside allowing them to develop the vocabulary needed to express and articulate themselves confidently. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base for reading, which follows a clear pathway as they advance through their primary school journey. It is vitally important that they read easily, fluently and effortlessly, with good understanding. Our approach to teaching reading provides the opportunity for children to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language. As a result, we ensure a secure basis for reading is embedded to open opportunities for a high quality education in all areas and give our children the tools they need to contribute to their community and the wider society. We also ensure that children develop an understanding and appreciation of the rich and varied literary heritage in England and other countries of the World.

We want every child to leave school as a fluent reader, enabling them to be fully prepared for further academic study and equipped for everyday life. Our aim is for children to leave school at 11 years old having accessed a variety of texts, a range of genres with a passion and curiosity to want to continue their reading journey. ‘It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education…’  (DfE Sept 2013).

 

                                                                 Implementation

Our reading curriculum provides the perfect balance between instruction in cognitive reading processes which develop the children’s technical and comprehension skills and affective experiences which foster a lifelong love of and interest in reading. Reading behaviours are cultivated and children encouraged to be discerning readers through reading frequently and broadly. Self-regulation strategies are taught and children are encouraged to discuss the text and content.

 

Our curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ethnicity, disadvantage, ability, additional learning needs to flourish and achieve their potential.

 

The aims outlined in our Intent are embedded across our reading sessions and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised Reading curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading. We adopt a skills based approach to reading using Dr Wayne Tennent’s structure during regular Reading Comprehension lessons. The structure includes focusing on Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieve and Sequence/Summarise. In our school, our reading curriculum links closely with our writing curriculum. We use a text-based approach which enables us to create opportunities for reading, discussion and opportunities to write during reading lessons. Teachers ensure that reading has cross curricular links and choose texts woven into each year group’s Big Picture, including opportunities to develop vocabulary by reading a variety of texts which include “sticky words”. Each year group follows a year plan to ensure that all aims from the National Curriculum for English are met over the year. The Reading Lead oversees long term plans ensuring they follow a progressive curriculum as children move up through the school.

 

The National Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop a habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading

 

Early Reading and Phonics

During the children’s early reading journey, daily phonics sessions, either once or twice a day, are taught. Phonics is taught through the Knowledge Transfer Centre. This is a project for phonics and reading based on Letters and Sounds developed by Literacy Consultant Ann Smalberger. Children also learn to read and spell tricky words, which are words that do not rely on phonic knowledge. The KTC daily phonic sessions provide the opportunity to learn new sounds and revisit previous learning, practise and apply new skills in structured but engaging ways. Phonics which is also applied throughout the rest of the school to consolidate what has been learnt.

 

Shared Reading and Group Comprehension

We encourage reading for/to:

  • pleasure
  • inform and feed curiosity and interests
  •  address relevant issues for example how to deal with specific emotions
  • give the children experiences (through characters) that they may not have the opportunity to have in real life.

 

Across the school Reading Comprehension sessions are undertaken daily and Shared Reading sessions weekly. Every class in the school undertakes these sessions at the same time each morning.

 

In EYFS a pictorial stimulus is the focus for the development of comprehension skills during Shared and Group Comprehension. Year 1 use a combination of pictorial and short excerpts of text. 

 

In Key Stages One and Two whole class Shared Reading and Group Comprehension sessions balance the teaching of reading between word reading, wider decoding skills, grammar for reading, wider comprehension strategies and response to text with the aim to develop fluent readers who understand what they are reading. During these sessions we use a variety of quality texts to motivate and inspire our children. As a school, we take a reciprocal approach to the teaching of reading. Children’s dialogue, thoughts and opinions are at the forefront of reading sessions, with teachers prompting and guiding the children to justify, elaborate and think deeper. From nursery through to year 6, all key reading comprehension strategies are practised using resources ranging from pictures books to novels, newspaper articles and a wide range of texts and genres. We develop these skills from an early age in order to give children the tools they need to develop in other areas. For example being able to infer how a character in a book feels and have empathy for them is a skill they will inevitably use in a social context. Additionally, comprehension is taught from an early age to avoid the risk of comprehension difficulties arising later on in a child’s learning journey as the language demand of the texts increases. We believe that it is important that children read for meaning and understand the text. A lack of comprehension can create a barrier to educational attainment. Better comprehenders are more likely to be motivated readers.

 

Shared and reading comprehension are taught routinely using a linked approach whereby a key skill focus is modelled by the teacher in shared reading which is then practised by the children in a series of subsequent reading comprehension sessions. In whole class shared reading, an excerpt from a rich, challenging text is used by the teacher to explicitly model the key skill by voicing reader ‘think alouds’. Children are then given the opportunity to apply the skill in pairs, discussing their application of the strategy.

 

In group reading comprehension, the teacher works with a group in on a rota basis. This provides the opportunity to reiterate the taught focus, listen to each child independently read a text at instructional level and assisting them in applying the focus. Oracy is a key element of our comprehension sessions as the children reflect on their progress towards the key objective and respond to a ‘talking point’. This is a statement about the text which the children discuss as a group allowing the teacher to assess the children’s comprehension. Both shared and reading comprehension sessions include a wider strategy check to ensure that children continue to apply the full range of strategies as they read. During the introduction of the text children are given time to clarify some vocabulary and pronouns in context. During both shared and group comprehension sentence stems are frequently used to scaffold the children’s application of the strategy and support the development of their oral skills.

 

Reading Interventions

We have a high-quality pupil profiling system to identify gaps in individual pupils reading and first-class intervention provisions run by highly trained teaching assistants to close the gaps in pupils learning.

 

Inference Training is a 12 week programme which is used across Key Stage 2 with small groups of identified children who are capable and confident word readers but need help with comprehension skills. Each week a new text is given to the children, read and discussed. A set of comprehension activities are completed based on the text which focus on the skills of retrieving information, making inferences, predicting and summarising.  

 

Lexia is used in years 2-6. Lexia is an online programme which children work on via an app. They are assessed and the programme provides them with activities based on areas that have been identified as needing development. These could include phonics/word reading, any area of comprehension or grammar. Lexia is used with a variety of groups ranging between children who are not meeting age related expectations, through to children who are greater depth readers. Lexia provides data on each individual child which is regularly looked at by the staff running the groups and the Reading Lead.

 

CatchUp Literacy is a programme used in KS1 and years 3 and 4. CatchUp Literacy is a structured one-to-one intervention for learners who find reading difficult.

 

Reading for Pleasure

Additionally, we provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities from annual author visits during Author Week to participation in the Our Best Book competition to celebrating World Book Day every year and much more. This ensures that children benefit from access to positive role models from the local and wider locality.

 

There are themed reading areas around the school where children can read for pleasure in a comfortable and fun environment.

 

Impact

As a result of our varied and wide provision in Reading we have a community of enthusiastic readers who enjoy valuable discussions about texts they read both in and out of school. We have fostered a love for and of Reading and the children love to share texts they have enjoyed with staff, peers and with family at home. They are confident in challenging themselves and taking risks with their reading. The phonic score in Year 1 has been on an upward trajectory over the past few years and we aim for this to be  sustained. 

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