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Reading schemes

At Woolston Community Primary School there are a range of different reading schemes throughout the school.  Children are assessed using the Benchmarking scheme and teacher assessment, and allocated reading books using our own book banding system. In this way children access a rich range of the appropriate level of reading material. 

A love of reading at Woolston Community Primary School

Throughout our school from Foundation Stage to Year 6, our children are taught to develop a passion for reading:

Through modelled, shared and guided reading our children are encouraged to become the most confident and enthusiastic readers that they can be.  All children enjoy a daily novel, read by the teacher, as well as regular visits to the local library with their class.  We subscribe to the Cheshire Education Library Service so that we can regularly replenish our class libraries and our topic based books to thoroughly engage children in reading for pleasure and for purpose. To further heighten the status of reading, we have readers of the week featured in celebration assemblies and the newsletter, and children who read 100 times visit the headteacher and choose a book from our own 'book shop' as a reward.

Reading in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

All of our children in foundation stage and key stage 1 take part in a daily phonics session following the Little Wandle revised Letters and Sounds scheme. From the very beginning of foundation stage the children are taught a variety of key skills to help them to become independent readers and to develop their comprehension skills. Alongside developing their ability to hear the phonemes (sounds) within words and to recognise the written graphemes (letter shapes) ,these key skills also include building up a substantial sight vocabulary of ‘tricky’  words.

Reading at school and at home

All children are given a ‘Home/School’ Reading Diary along with their reading books. These enable parents and teachers to communicate and comment upon their child’s progress and efforts with their independent reading. The diaries are signed regularly by both teachers and parents. At Woolston Community Primary School we do not follow any one single reading scheme. We have an extensive number of schemes including both fiction and non-fiction. We make every effort to tailor our home reading books to the needs and interests of the children and their books are changed regularly throughout the week.

When children are learning to read, it is imperative that they practise independent reading with fully decodable books that are matched to their secure phonic knowledge. This will enable them to use the GPCs they know to decode the words and, with practise, develop fluency when reading. It also establishes the habit of using phonics as the route to decoding unknown words, avoiding unreliable guessing strategies. Evidence and experience clearly shows that this is the most effective approach to ensuring almost all children learn to read.  This is why we have carfeully matched books to phonic progression, in foundation stage and key stage 1.  Once secure in their phonics knowledge, children move off fully decodable bookbands and onto 'traditional' bookbands throughout the school, all the way up to Year 6.  In addition to the banded books, children across the school take home a 'reading for pleasure book' which can be read independently or read by an adult.

Reading within each classroom

The children’s reading levels, in both key stage 1 and 2, are regularly assessed by the teaching staff using the ‘Benchmarking scheme’, through regular teacher assessment and termly using NFER reading assessments. All of our reading materials are book banded enabling us to find the appropriate level of challenge for the children. 

In foundation stage and Year 1 (and for some in other year groups) children are given regular opportunities to apply the phonics they have learned to reading fully decodable books.  Reading practice sessions take place  three times a week in small groups with a teacher or trained teaching assistant. Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions are designed to focus on three key reading skills:

• decoding

• prosody – reading with meaning, stress and intonation

• comprehension – understanding the text.

In Year 2 and key stage 2, children engage in whole class and smaller group guided reading sessions each week.  Some children will have additional reading opportunities in groups or individually as required. In upper Key Stage 2, all children access ReadingPlus as an additional resource to support reading fluency, and develop comprehension and vocabulary.

Additional Support in Reading Across the school

We have specific reading materials to encourage reluctant readers including the Rapid Readers Scheme and Stile education resources which target children who are struggling with reading or phonics. Some children receive additional 1-1 reading support on a weekly or daily basis depending upon their individual needs.  Some children may also take part in precision teaching sessions and Little Wandle Rapid Catch Up interventions.


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