We want our children to be motivated and confident readers who read with accuracy and fluency whilst having a strong understanding of what they are reading. We aim to provide pupils with opportunities to build, consolidate and reinforce their Reading skills within a broad and balanced yet purposeful curriculum.
From Nursery through to Year 6 Reading is central to our curriculum to allow pupils to access the full curriculum offer. At all stages, reading attainment is assessed and gaps addressed quickly and effectively for all pupils. Alongside, structured learning opportunities in Reading, we support children in developing an intrinsic interest in reading through access to reading opportunities in our library, reading areas and an ongoing timetable of reading events.
At West Acton, we aim to provide our children with the courage, skills and aptitude to enable them to make a difference in the world. By becoming confident readers and writers , our children will have access to the exciting opportunities available to the young people of the future. We believe it is important to give children access to reading materials from a broad spectrum that includes classics and contemporary texts, some by key British authors and poets through the ages, others from exciting new voices covering different backgrounds and experiences. Non-fiction texts and multi-media texts are an important aspect of our curriculum too, including mixed media approaches using technology. Throughout their learning in English, our pupils have the opportunities to connect, consolidate and reinforce their Reading and Writing skills within a broad and balanced yet purposeful curriculum. A striking feature of West Acton is our diverse community not only in ethnicity but economically and emotionally.
We are very proud of the way our curriculum, especially our English curriculum, reinforces this unique feature of our school whilst developing pupils' understanding and consideration of their own lives and those of others.
The home-school partnership is sustained through homework, workshops for parents/carers and half termly letters going home in advance informing what the following half term’s text and focus will be. Pupils are expected to read daily and practise spellings. Resources are sent home at key points during the year to support this. Monitoring of the completion of these tasks is done through assessing the progress children are making in their learning and if the parents/carers are signing the Reading record book. In addition, we have provided a set of CGP books and spelling book for each child. We also provide access to Espresso, an on-line learning resource full of reading-related activities, film-clips and other useful on-line tools as described earlier.
From Reception to Year 2 pupils are taught to decode words through the daily phonics lessons and as their reading becomes more fluently a greater emphasis turns to reading comprehension skills
Reading Comprehension lessons take place three/four a week for thirty to forty minutes where the teacher works in a more focused way on developing reading comprehension skills – the text may be from the daily English lesson. However, other shorter texts may also be used. Lessons are based around the KS1 & KS2 Reading domains, supporting children’s skills in decoding and understanding different text types in a structured way and through practice. Teachers may hear children read aloud too. The children work in groups for some of these sessions with the teacher supporting different groups throughout the week. The rest of the class will be completing short, useful reading comprehension activities, which should not require marking, such as checking the meaning of new vocabulary, linked to the learning objectives for the lesson.
Reading comprehension strategies are taught in explicit lessons each term during Reading sessions and applied to English and other subjects too. The skills teachers develop are literal, evaluation and inferential : questioning, sequencing, predicting, summarising, skimming and scanning, visualising plus the importance of learning new vocabulary and checking the meaning of words. Pupils complete a reading comprehension test each half term and area heard read for a Salford reading test twice a year to assess their reading and comprehension age.
Reading corners in the classroom
Each classroom has a dedicated reading corner with a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts at different levels. Reading corners also display questions to stimulate thinking about books or to celebrate learning, should be tidy and welcoming spaces and can be looked after by class Reading Monitors. ‘Reading for pleasure’ or ‘free reader’ books are available in each classroom’s book corner. These are for children to read whenever they have the opportunity. These books should stay at school.
Home school reading book and library
Pupils are also given the opportunity to borrow a book from the school library - these are books of their choice and interest which they can take home to enjoy. Each class is timetabled to visit the library once a week. The library is also open after school three days a week so that parents/carers can enjoy reading with the child.
All pupils also receive a ‘reading book’ from a band chosen by the class teacher, based on assessment, this book is to take home and read with the support of an adult. Pupils will be assigned the appropriate level following reading assessments and this will be reviewed weekly by teachers. For each year group or phase, these books will be stored and distributed from a ‘Reading station’. These books are banded according to ‘Book Bands’ and reading levels or beyond; this a ‘free reader’. Parents/Carers are asked to sign the bespoke Reading Record Book, which is full of resources, at least once a week.
The school provides further access to Reading related activities through Espresso; every child can log-on to use at home. Children in KS1 also have access to e-books through ‘Bug Club’ on the school website. Here, teachers will allocate children a particular level at a time; all the books at that level can be accessed to read. There are questions and activities too.
Class teachers will, at different points of the year, read a ‘class novel’ to pupils in their classes as a further opportunity to build the children’s exposure to different kinds of texts. They also use it as an opportunity to develop pupils’ understanding and enjoyment of books.
West Acton subscribes to several high quality online resources for which a login is needed. Logins will be provided by your class teacher and are also available to request here.
Below are details of how each online resource specifically applies to writing.