Reading Curriculum Intent
Through Westgate Academy’s reading curriculum, we strive to ensure that all children leave our school as fluent and confident readers. The ability to read allows children to access so many areas of life and to be part of society. We aim to develop children’s reading so that they read easily, fluently and with a good understanding. This will enable children to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know. There are two dimensions to our curriculum: word reading and comprehension Our teaching is tailored to approach these two different areas. Phonics teaching is provided for those children who still struggle to decode.
A love for reading is promoted to children throughout their time at Westgate and we aim for children to develop the habit of reading widely and often for pleasure and for information. Children are introduced to a variety of books and texts and discussion is used to appreciate and analyse an author’s work. We will follow the National Curriculum in a way that meets the needs of our changing cohorts and our individual children.
Curriculum Content Coverage
Year 3 and Year 4
Year 5 and Year 6
Strategies/Skills/Key subject disciplines
Children are taught skills for:
Alongside the above content, at Westgate Academy, we use the acronym P.C. SLIMER to help children remember certain reading strategies. This also prepares them for assessments as each skill links to one of the content domains. These are particularly addressed through whole class reading lessons where skills are taught and modelled.
Infer with evidence
Children are taught skills to build and improve their reading fluency. They will be taught to recognise the link between words and understanding them. Children will be taught to read with speed, accuracy and with appropriate intonation. Children are taught an explicit fluency skill which has been separated into six key elements. Each element works in partnership with the others to produce a rich and vibrant reading performance:
Children will be taught an explicit fluency skill within their Fluency Focus reading session. They will complete an activity to practise the P skill followed by the opportunity to further practise in a Reading buddy session. Within all reading opportunities, the 6P’s will be referred to and acted upon. At home, parents are encouraged to promote the fluency skills.
Reading Buddies is a time for children to hear one another share a reading book or extract in their class environments. Teachers decide how to partner their class up and encourage a safe and happy environment to share reading together. Children can support one another with their fluency skills and to promote an enjoyment for reading. During this time, teachers can utilise the time to support their Focus Children. Teachers may choose to deliver this session in a variety of ways to suit their class’s needs.
Year 3 Year 4 Year 5 Year 6
Infer with evidence Power
Explain Words Retrieve
At Westgate children read every day in some context. Whole class reading lessons take place at least once a week where there is a clear focus on strategies for reading. Children have time to read independently, as well and in small groups. Where children still need to, they receive phonics intervention and read 1:1 with an adult in school to ensure that they can decode and read fluently.
Classes and Teachers have some flexibility with their own reading sessions but have some non-negotiables to consider and to implement.
At least 3 times a year, a ‘Take One Book’ unit is planned. This is a where a book is used as the stimulus for a unit of work. The whole text or extracts from it are looked at to support writing or grammar.
In addition to this, in order to give children choice and experience of other books, they also have access to our school library where we are lucky to have thousands of books, magazines and we also subscribe to a weekly children’s newspaper – First News. Children have a timetabled library time slot once a week and the library is open every break time for children to enjoy reading.
At least one Book Fair is organised each year with children having a chance to look at new books and buy them. This is advertised to parents who can explore the books on offer over the course of a week.
Author visits are organised regularly and these often coincide with Westgate Book Week/Day when other events are also planned to inspire reading and writing. Authors may work with small groups or may be able to inspire the whole school through an assembly. There is always an assembly which links to World Book Day. Where possible, parents are generally invited in to read with children.
Across the school, we run a Reading Rewards scheme. Depending on the number of times children read at home over the course of a term, they will receive Bronze, Silver or Gold certificates. For those children who read the most, they receive a Platinum certificate and the chance to choose a book to keep from the Reading Rewards Book Box. This will be linked with Accelerator Reader from September 2021.
Each year, Westgate celebrate World Book Day with focused activities completed by all year groups. With a particular book to focus on, the children will experience a variety of activities linked to many curriculum areas to engage and enthuse learners. Children will celebrate a love of reading and where possible, encourage parental involvement.
An enjoyment for reading is promoted by children participating in ‘Get Caught Reading’. Children will be caught reading in school or at home in unusual places with unusual themes. This is celebrated as a whole school at different points in the year to promote reading.
A reading resource that is being introduced September 2021 across the school is Accelerator Reader. Children will have access to an online platform. They will take a ‘Star Reader’ test to gain a reading age and ZPD-Zone of Proximal Development to be able to identify appropriate books that support and challenge pupils. From this assessment, children will access the library books, which will match their ZPD, and take regular ‘Quizzes’ to assess their understanding of the text-checking comprehension understanding and word recognition. Within this resource, rewards can be achieved, personal targets can be set and teachers can assess and track their pupils. Parents will have access to their child’s account and be able to support outside the school.
Where possible, parents are encouraged to support reading events such as Reading Mornings. This is a time pupils and parents can celebrate reading and sharing books together. Themed mornings occur with all year groups participation which highlights the importance and love of reading together.
Reading is promoted across the curriculum and vocabulary is highlighted and discussed which links to the area of study. An explicit vocabulary session is planned into the reading timetable for teachers to introduce new words to widen children’s vocabulary and to encourage new words to be used within their writing where possible. Children identify the spelling, the meaning and the origin of the word and encouraged to apply it within sentences.
Reading follows a weekly timetable that can be adapted for each class depending on class need and time. Lessons will cover 30-40 minutes daily but some activities will feature in different parts of the day (well-being/start of the day) depending on classes.
A standard class timetable focus as follows:
Reading material is often linked, where possible and appropriate, to current learning to widen children’s knowledge and understanding of the topic. Children have exposure to a wide variety of resources through- Nelson Reading books, CPG Reading books, Twinkl based resources, audio books on BBC Schools and teacher’s own made resources.
Children have exposure to quality texts and often experience whole books in classes which encourages and enthuses readers. Alongside this, we are providing opportunities for our more vulnerable children to experience quality texts to shared together which they may not have home experiences of.
Teachers often share a class book with their children. Sometimes this may link to learning they are currently doing, an interest the class share or an author the teacher wants to expose the children to. This is not in the reading timetable, but is encouraged to include in their time with their class to promote reading enjoyment and to provide all children with the opportunity for an adult to read to them.
Opportunities to revisit learning
Children constantly revisit the skills areas of P.C. SLIMER on a termly basis, as well as from year to year. As well as revisiting the 6P’s every short term.
In some sessions, children will focus particularly on predictions, retrieval, inference, language and explaining vocabulary when completing comprehension sessions and class book activities. This embeds ‘PC SLIMER’ sessions in all reading sessions and outcomes.
Children will read different text types within a year (see Writing Curriculum) and will then revisit these in each of their 4 years at Westgate.
Where possible and where it supports learning, children read texts by local authors or about local events.
SMSC AND BRITISH VALUES
Enabling children to understand and engage with the feelings and values embodied in high quality, poetry, fiction and drama.
Developing own and understanding others’ creativity and imagination in writing and reading.
Developing children’s awareness of moral issues in their reading of fiction, journalism, magazines, radio, television and film.
Developing children’s ability to make responsible and reasoned judgements about moral dilemmas in texts they read or write.
Developing an ability to understand, discuss and write about topics where people disagree/have contrasting points of view.
Thinking through the consequences of actions and decisions of characters in their reading or writing.
Developing children’s awareness of social issues in their reading of fiction, journalism, magazines, radio, television and film.
Helping children to understand how language has changed over time, the influences of spoken and written language and social attitudes to language.
Developing children’s ability to share views and opinions with others.
Developing children’s understanding of formality and register in speech, reading and writing for a variety of purposes.
Working successfully as a member of a group in English lessons.
Showing a respect for others’ writing or opinions of texts they have read
Developing confidence and expertise in language, which is an important aspect of social identity.
Developing a sense of personal enrichment through sharing in high quality, poetry, fiction and drama.
Developing use of language appropriate to literature which has significance and meaning in culture.
Understanding and feeling comfortable to discuss and contrast a variety of cultural texts.
Giving children opportunities to discuss and write about different cultures or from the perspective of someone from a different culture.
Showing and understanding of individual liberty by being able to express their opinions through spoken language and writing.
Developing mutual respect for others’ writing or ideas.
Understanding of right and wrong (rule of law) through discussions in reading or leading to writing.
Showing a tolerance of those with other faiths and beliefs through discussions when reading or writing.
Our curriculum aims for high achievement and progress for all children irrespective of their backgrounds and starting points.
Quality of Education
Quality of Education:
Attitudes and Personal Development:
Governors monitor whether the school is complying with its funding agreement and teaching a “broad and balanced curriculum” which includes the requires subjects, through:
SLT will be involved in, or reported back to about, the monitoring conducted by the subject leaders or governors. These monitoring tools help senior leaders assess the impact of the curriculum.
Daily teacher assessment takes place in whole class reading lessons, group reading and one-to-one reading. Teachers will assess understanding through discussions and through written outcomes in reading journals. In most lessons, teachers will be able to have instant opportunities to assess their children.
Children have 3 or 4 Assessment points over the course of the year where children sit an NFER Reading Paper. Based on the outcomes of this reading assessment, children are allocated intervention groups or individual targets to ensure that they continue to make progress.
Accelerator Reading Assessments
Children will take a ‘Star Reader’ test minimum of 4 times a year to assess reading age and ZPD. Children will then quiz weekly to assess comprehension of the books they are reading. Teachers can set targets regularly and monitor children’s progress more readily using this system to ensure children are being supported, challenged and monitored appropriately.
Teachers will be encouraged to monitor ‘On watch’ and ‘Intervention’ children, who need intervention and adult guidance immediately. Teachers can identify what the children need to work on, set personalized targets and need more monitoring than other children. This will enable gaps to be closed and progress to be made. These children will be monitored monthly where possible.
Children will be encouraged to monitor their own progress through the use of the AR platform. Children can monitor how many books have been read, how many words have been read and how their ZPD improves over the course of the year/time at Westgate.