There is no ‘wrong’ way to teach a child to read, as such; but like nearly everything we learn, it is best approached in lots of ways at once if we want to create the ‘reading writer and the writing reader’ – which we want all our children to be.
At Churchill Primary School, we value reading as a key life skill and strive to embed a culture of reading into the core of what we do. We are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers, through high quality teaching and learning ensuring that they achieve the skills, knowledge and understanding required and develop their confidence to engage in a love of literature. From the early stages of school life through the primary years, there is a clear progression, initially starting the reading learning journey with Unlocking Letters and Sounds, a systematic phonics approach to reading, with decodable books matched to the scheme. The fully decodable texts then open up a new world and give our pupils the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places, meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures. Reading and quality literature is implicitly interwoven into our curriculum through the use of key texts to expose our pupils to different genres and authors. At the end of the primary phase, we aim to ensure that all our pupils leave Churchill as confident, fluent and accurate readers, whilst making links and continually building on their existing knowledge of reading. Through a commitment to develop resilience and responsibility, our pupils also strive to become successful speakers and writers, feeling safe to make marvellous mistakes. Therefore, we know that they are academically prepared for life beyond primary school in the twenty first century.
Enjoyment- reading for pleasure
From the very youngest to the oldest pupils, Churchill creates a culture where books are valued, treasured and loved. By explicitly creating an environment where reading for pleasure is prioritised, we aim to develop a generation who have the independence, stamina and desire to devour books and be excited about literature.
In order to love books, all pupils need the skills to access text automatically and fluently. At Churchill, we provide a systematic and rigorous approach to teaching decoding and word recognition skills from the start of the reading journey in reception. The teaching of fluency skills goes well beyond phonics and word recognition as adults continue to explicitly teach children to become fluent readers through 1-1 individual teaching and structured small group and class guided reading sessions.
To be fluent readers, pupils are explicitly taught to comprehend their reading and so need to be secure in all the elements. Through using a wide range of quality texts and teacher modelling, adults at Churchill are skilful in teaching these elements and providing pupil practise of reading skills.
Our intent focuses on equipping all pupils with the reading skills they need to master the curriculum. The following tables show the key skills for the end of Year 2 and end of Year 6.
draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts.
identify / explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts, such as characters, events, titles and information.
identify and explain the sequence of events in texts.
make inferences from the text.
predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far.
Word meanings- Give / explain the meaning of words in context.
Fact retrieval- Retrieve and record information / identify key details from fiction and non-fiction.
Summarising- Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph.
Inferences- Make inferences from the text / explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text.
Predictions- Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.
Structure- Identify / explain how information / narrative content is related and contributes to the meaning as a whole.
Language- Identify / explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases.
Comparisons- Make comparisons within the text.
To provide high quality texts for more able years 5 and 6 readers, a collection of ‘Challenging Reads’ are available. These books are linked to Accelerated Reader.
Reading at home
Parents receive a laminated bookmark at the beginning of every academic year, which provides them with a list of questions that can be asked to support pupils with their reading. Other useful reading resources for parents are signposted on the school website.
Impact of high quality teaching and learning
It is important that both the whole school and classroom environments support the teaching and learning of reading. We strive to give pupils a stimulating environment, where reading materials and displays are presented in an attractive and inviting way. Books are used to enhance displays and to provide reference points for deeper learning.
Teachers use the long-term planning based on the requirements of the National Curriculum The objectives for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions, word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading) To view the National Curriculum reading objectives for years 1 – 6, please click
At Churchill, online resources are used to support the delivery of reading eg. Deepening Understanding, TWINKL, Oxford Owl, ebooks, Nessy.
Assessment takes place at three connected levels: short-term, medium-term and long-term. These assessments are used to inform teaching in a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessment. (For further details on assessment, recording and reporting, please see Assessment policy)
As part of the ongoing teaching and learning process, teachers assess pupil’s understanding through a range of Assessment for Learning strategies. Daily annotations may be recorded, which inform the teaching and learning of reading. These are based on observation, questioning, informal testing and the marking and evaluation of work. Appropriate written and verbal feedback given to pupils will inform future planning and teaching. Pupils are taught to assess and evaluate their own understanding by recognising successes, learning from their mistakes and identifying areas for improvement. (See Feedback and Marking policy for further details.)
For the academic year 2020-21, at the end of term 1, pupils in Years 1 - 6 will complete a PIRA paper to assess understanding and knowledge of the previous year’s reading objectives. Results are plotted on a graph identifying individual key strengths and weaknesses in comprehension, inference, language structure and punctuation. This information helps to inform teacher planning and the organisation and implementation of individual or group support so that children can ‘catch up’ on specific reading areas. At the end of the term 2, 4 and 6, pupils complete PIRA Assessments for their current year. This information is used to track attainment and progress.
Pupil Progress Meetings
The amount of progress made and percentages of those children on track to reach end of year targets is analysed and discussed at termly data meetings. Progress from Key Stage 1 will also be closely monitored in Key Stage 2 classes and compared with Fischer Family Trust (FFT) targets.
Please also see our school policies on