Our overall intention is to nurture and develop our six qualities of learning which enable all children to shine…for life! We nurture and encourage creative, kind and resilient learners who are reflective, inquisitive and determined in all they do. Our intention is for learners at St Levan to know more and remember more in all subjects by reading with enjoyment, accuracy and comprehension. Reading is of fundamental importance and underpins all other areas of learning. Once children can read, the door to learning is open.
To think like readers, learners at St Levan focus on our three subject specific characteristics which are:
o I read widely because I love it
o I can ask and answer different questions because I understand what I read
o I read with accuracy and fluency
These three characteristics are woven throughout our Reading curriculum and are built upon as children progress through the school. This ensures that children acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, couched in concepts and language with which they have already become familiar. As children move through the focus shifts from accuracy, taught through systematic synthetic phonics using Read Write Inc (see below), to comprehension whereby children engage deeply with a class text over the course of a term. Promoting a love of reading for pleasure is a priority from the moment children start school to the moment they leave; we aim for every child to leave St Levan, a reader.
We provide an engaging, characterful and balanced curriculum for all.
Our inclusive curriculum is carefully planned to allow for progress for all pupils in our two mixed age classes. We recognise the challenges of teaching a progression within a subject to a mixed age class and, having undertaken our own research and consulted subject specialists and organisations, developed our own pedagogy and created what we believe is the best fit for our setting. With a commitment to the removal of barriers to learning and participation, we offer high quality teaching and appropriate differentiation to meet the needs of all. Using our rolling programme (see our Curriculum Offer page), we teach Reading through termly topics, using high quality texts some of which link to the topic and some which do not. Our approach to teaching reading is based on DERIC, whereby pupils learn to read by:
D: Decoding words
E: Explaining new vocabulary
R: Retrieving information
I: Interpreting information
C: Choice (thinking about the choices made by the author/director/artist)
Based on the work of Miss Wilson Says:
… We have adapted our approach to reading with DERIC to incorporate other elements, some of which are drawn from VIPERS:
Therefore, as well as DERIC, we also believe children need to learn how to PRESS:
P: Predict what might happen from information stated and implied
R: Read for pleasure
E: Engage with a wide range of texts
S: Sequence the key events in a text
S: Summarise the main ideas in a text
These ten elements form the basis of our Reading Progression:
Read Write Inc
As soon as they start school, Reception pupils start to learn the sounds in words through our approach to teaching phonics, Read Write Inc. This teaches children to decode words. These are the sounds they learn:
Watch this video to learn how to say the sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkXcabDUg7Q
Daily speed sounds lessons help pupils to master the sounds and practise blending these sounds into words to allow them to read with accuracy. Children progress from reading ditties (a number of short sentences) to longer texts as their reading fluency and confidence develops.
By the time pupils are ready to move to Puffins class at the end of Year Two, they should no longer need Read Write Inc lessons to support them in their reading. However, the principles of Read Write Inc continue throughout the school and, where appropriate, Read Write Inc is still used to help pupils requiring extra support with their reading. Regular assessments are used to identify children falling behind at the earliest opportunity so that swift intervention can be put in place.
Working closely with parents, pupils on the Read Write Inc scheme take home a phonetically decodable book to share. They will have read this book several times in school with their class teacher and friends before sharing it at home. This book sits alongside others children choose from the class library or storybook box. Please find below, further information for parents about how Read Write Inc works in practice in the Choughs classroom:
We interconnect learning opportunities with an enriched environment to promote a love of learning and the outdoors.
We read everywhere!
We ensure children are supported within a kind and caring community which enables them to progress and flourish.
‘I like that you learn lots of new words when you read.’ – Year 2 pupil
‘It’s really good for people who don’t know those sounds.’ – Reception pupil
‘I like reading because you can learn lots and lots of new words.’ – Year 1 pupil
‘It’s hard work. It’s worth it!’ – Year 1 pupil
‘I like listening to The London Eye Mystery because it’s at an exciting bit. Miss Finch does really interesting voices.’ – Year 4 pupil
‘I like reading because it can take you to other places when your life isn’t that fun.’ – Year 6 pupil
‘I like reading because it is fun.’ – Year 3 pupil
‘I like reading because you can go on adventures and explore the book. You can imagine the pictures.’ – Year 4 pupil
‘There’s so many books to choose from when you finish one.’ – Year 3 pupil
‘I like to read because it’s really fun and it’s even more fun when you get to know the characters.’ – Year 2 pupil
‘I like reading because it’s easy and fun. I used to be on pink books but now I’m reading orange. It makes me feel good!’ – Year 2 pupil
‘I really enjoy reading and do it in my spare time. Sometimes I really like Isadora Moon.’ – Year 3 pupil
‘I think that reading is good for your imagination.’ – Year 3 pupil
‘I like reading because I like to escape to different worlds and talk about what I think about it.’ – Year 6 pupil
‘Reading is fun at St Levan because you can express your mind and have a good time reading. You can relax and visit different worlds.’ Year 6 pupil
‘I like reading because it lets my imagination flow!’ – Year 6 pupil
‘I like reading because it gives you the chance to jump into a book, explore new worlds and have an experience of a lifetime.’ – Year 6 pupil
As a school community, we are currently working on developing our own reading spine of books across both classes. With the help of pupils, parents and staff we will establish a list of what we think are the very best children’s literature has to offer: the books children must read before the leave St Levan School.
So far, we have put a lot of thought into selecting approximately 30 core storybooks for pupils in Choughs class. These make up our story box, which comprises classic titles, new authors, repetitive and rhyming stories; something for everyone! Each day, we read one of these texts in school. There are multiple copies of each book and children can choose to take one of these home to read with parents and family members. We have bought these books with a view to developing children’s language and comprehension skills.
Our next steps as a school include developing a similar resource for Puffins class and ensuring that we have a broad range of texts including non-fiction and poetry alongside our favourite stories. Obviously, selecting the very best books is something which requires careful consideration and time. This process has been ongoing for several years! Thank you for your patience and help in developing this list.
Here’s a flavour of what we have so far:
At St Levan, we use assessment in three different ways across all subjects.
Assessment for learning (AfL)
This assessment is formative, ongoing and informs classroom practice and future planning. Through careful observation, listening and questioning, teachers glean what learners know and can do and plan next steps accordingly. For example, in Reading, if a number of children in Year One are finding it difficult to read the same word in their story (e.g. ‘guess) during a Read Write Inc lesson, the teacher may stop the whole group to quickly recap this word.
Assessment as learning (AaL)
This assessment is about how pupils self-regulate their own learning and develop metacognitive skills. Through structured peer and self-assessment activities, pupils understand their own needs as a learner and reflect on their own next steps. By taking ownership of their own learning, this can help pupils to know more and remember more. For example, in Reading, pupils in KS2 may self-assess against their WALTs and WILFs and highlight what they can do. In KS1, pupils read to each other daily and use informal peer-assessment to support each other with the text.
Pupils also learn to gauge the difficulty of the books they choose to read themselves by using the 'Five Finger Rule' which is explicitly taught to pupils when they are ready so that they can take more ownership of selecting their own reading material. You can find out more about the Five Finger Rule here: https://readingeggs.co.uk/articles/2017/04/07/just-right-books/
Assessment of learning (AoL)
This assessment is summative and is used to measure pupil progress throughout the year.
Statutory Reading assessments include:
Year One Phonics Screening Check (PSC)
In June, pupils in Year One complete the PSC with a familiar adult. This involves them reading a number of real and pseudo (‘alien’) words using the sounds they have learned in their phonics lessons. This statutory assessment can help to identify pupils in need of additional support. To find out more about the PSC, please read the information below:
As well as these statutory assessments, teachers use a range of other in school assessments in order to measure pupils’ progress and identify next steps in their learning.
In Choughs, these include:
- Half termly Read Write Inc assessments
- Termly reading assessments (pupils in Years One and Two)
- Reading age assessments (at the start and end of each year)
In Puffins, these include:
- Termly reading assessments
- Reading age assessments (at the start and end of each year)
We aim for our children to be resilient, creative and kind individuals who are determined, inquisitive and reflective learners.
Or you can visit this link:
End of Key Stage assessments (SATS)
In May, pupils in Year Two and Year Six complete Reading assessment papers. This involves them reading several short pieces of text and then using their comprehension skills to answer questions about what they have read. To find out more about these assessments, please read the information below: