The Literacy curriculum has been divided into two key subjects: Reading and Writing.
The information below outlines how these subjects are taught across EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Reading: Intent, Implementation and Impact
At Wistaston Academy, we aim for all children to love and appreciate a wide range of reading genres because we know that reading fuels imagination, provides escapism and builds knowledge. We understand that children must first learn to read, so that they can read to learn. We provide a solid foundation in early literacy to equip children with the skills for reading. By the time children leave WA, their communication and language skills will far surpass national expectations. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Our children read and listen to a variety of high-quality texts: for enjoyment; to develop their understanding; to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. The reading curriculum has been designed to be ambitious and meet the needs of all pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND. We recognise the impact that reading has on developing children’s word hoard and their ability to write imaginatively and purposefully; as well as developing self-esteem and giving them fundamental life skills, thus enabling our children to have fulfilling and rewarding futures.
We have designed the reading curriculum at WA with the intent that our pupils will:
- Be excited by reading and develop a lifelong passion for it.
- Learn through the five cornerstones of reading: the ability to hear sounds in words, the ability to decode and segment, build fluency, develop vocabulary, and to comprehend what they have read. These skills are taught explicitly.
- Use reading as a tool to learn across the curriculum
- Question to form their own opinions and interpretations
- Develop empathy
- Read texts which develop pupils’ knowledge and understanding of diversity, inclusion and tolerance to help children learn about different cultures and experiences
The curriculum is led and overseen by reading leads, who are supported by the literacy pod and the Senior Leadership Team, to work alongside class teachers and teaching assistants to plan and deliver sequenced, high-quality lessons. By continually monitoring and evaluating lessons, progress and attainment, they ensure the teaching of reading is effective, exciting and continually improving. In reading lessons we follow the Talk for Reading approach.
The curriculum at WA is implemented through:
- Lessons that promote a love of reading across the curriculum
- Creating environments which promote reading.
- Lessons which comprise of well-planned, exciting and coherent sequences of lessons tailored specifically for our children.
- A wide variety of enrichment opportunities e.g. World Book Day, author visits, reading buddies, sponsored reads, parent reading mornings, mystery readers, weekly visits to the local library etc.
- A number of units which create cross-curricular links and that draw upon and reinforce knowledge learnt in other subjects.
- Regular feedback from teachers which not only addresses misconceptions but also deepens, challenges and supports learning.
- The use of regular formative and summative assessment to track progress and identify gaps in children’s reading skills to inform future learning.
- The use of clear and progressive plans that challenge and support children accordingly.
- A rigorous approach to decoding any word effectively.
- Regular opportunities for children to listen to others read (both adults and peers), read independently and be listened to.
- A strong focus on the explicit teaching of vocabulary to broaden children’s language and their understanding of it.
- Effective questioning that probes and deepens children’s understanding of what they have read, from word level to whole text.
- Giving opportunities to respond to texts, express preferences and opinions and demonstrate their understanding.
- Response activities such as drama or writing in role as a character may be used to build a close relationship between the reader and the text.
- A whole school drive to develop language across all subjects and interactions.
- Staff ensuring fluency, phrasing and intonation are modelledto maintain interest and add to the meaning of the text.
The curriculum is implemented differently across the Key Stages to reflect the needs of the children:
- In EYFS, opportunities for reading occur daily throughout the continuous provision in real and meaningful ways. For example, fiction and non-fiction books are embedded across all areas of the environment alongside props and teacher modelling to help bring literature to life. There is also the use of interactive displays and useful print and support images throughout the environment. In addition to this, we foster a love of reading in children through play-based active learning, small group work and interventions that develop their understanding, speaking and listening skills. Children's love for nursery rhymes, stories and poetry is fostered to develop a desire to engage in reading activities independently. To complement this, the English curriculum is also taught through a story telling programme which uses both oral stories and helicopter stories to build the children’s storytelling knowledge and vocabulary in an active and engaging way, reflecting on familiar stories that they have learnt throughout the school year. Once nursery children have secured pre-literacy skills such as oral blending and rhyming, we engage them in short, lively phonics lessons following the Read Write Inc programme.
- In KS1, the English curriculum is taught through Literacy lessons and topic-based learning. We are committed to teaching rigorous reading and writing lessons with fidelity and passion. Early reading teachers and TAs receive regular coaching to ensure that all reading activities are taught to a high standard. Teachers follow a sequenced plan where each reading activity builds upon the one before. The daily speed sounds lesson allows teachers to carefully plan for gaps in children’s knowledge of sounds and support their ability to decode words using a range of strategies. Teachers follow a detailed plan that incorporates a range of reading activities suited to their group’s challenge level. Much emphasis is placed on developing children’s vocabulary and comprehension for both individual words taught and language introduced in the context of their storybook. Through the process of regular assessments, we ensure that children are being taught at their personal level and they progress through the programme at an appropriate pace. Children are organised into progress groups and only read texts that are matched to the sounds they know well. We are quick to identify children making slower progress and assign reading tutors to hotlist these children on a one to one basis to help them keep up with their peers. To build fluency and involve parents, children take home the book (fiction and non-fiction texts) that they have read with their teacher as well as a second text for them to share with others. In addition, parents are encouraged to access the library at set times after school with their children.
- In year 2 and KS2, reading lessons follow the Talk for Reading approach. Lessons follow three phases: the introduction phase, the investigation phase and the independent understanding phase. By the end of the introduction phase, the children have a basic understanding of the text and can read it. It has been reread several times, initial responses logged and core vocabulary considered. The teacher models fluent reading. Understanding may be at a basic level, though deeper thinking may have begun. The investigation phase is where the class begin to ‘dig deep’ into the core focus for the unit, exploring the text’s core purpose. They may well have to use a strategic approach to clarify meaning. Response activities such as drama or writing in role as a character may be used to build a close relationship between the reader and the text. The unit ends with summarising the main ideas, information, viewpoints, events or themes and evaluation. By the end of this phase, the children can all read the text confidently and fluently with understanding. In this final phase, the students demonstrate understanding independently, by answering in depth questions and/or completing a comprehension activity.
- During reading lessons, children are actively engaged and happy. A range of texts is taught throughout each half-term, with links to literacy and the wider curriculum. Each week, one half hour session is used to allow the children to silently read, visit the library and quiz on their book. During this time, children’s reading is listened to on a one-to-one basis with their own text. Feedback is then provided orally. Children also read with adults during assembly time. This is timetabled to ensure that all groups of children are supported with their reading needs, whether that be fluency or comprehension.
- Reading is monitored on a termly basis using star reader on Accelerated Reader, as well as formal, summative assessments. This informs us of the progress made and suggests books that they can read independently. The vast majority of children from Year 3 upwards are able to read books (suitable for their age range) independently. Any children who do not make sufficient progress receive high quality interventions.
- All classes have a timetabled daily slot where adults read aloud to children for pleasure. Texts chosen reflect the children’s interest and the level at which that they are working at. Not only does this enthuse children’s love of books, it also provides teachers with opportunities to build children’s word hoard.
- Children will be enthusiastic about and enjoy reading lessons.
- Children will develop a sound and coherent understanding of how to read and the benefits of reading (enjoyment and to learn)
- Children will become increasingly critical and analytical within their thinking, making informed and balanced judgements based upon their knowledge of the past.
- Children will develop enquiry skills to pursue their own interests and further questions within a topic.
- Over their time at Wistaston Academy, children will have encountered a wide range of texts with many enrichment activities such as author visits and World Book Day.
- Children will make connections between what they have previously learned and what they are currently learning which will embed knowledge in their long-term memory.
- Disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND achieve the best possible outcomes in reading.
- Children at WA flourish, and by the time they leave, will have the skills, knowledge and attitude that will allow them embrace the next stage in their education.
- Across all subjects, reading is promoted widely.
- All children will make at least good progress in reading and a large proportion will make accelerated progress. Attainment will be above national expectations at the end of the key stage.