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Oak Tree Primary School

English - Reading

We strive to teach the skills of reading to enable children to become confident, fluent readers who read for a source of relaxation and enjoyment as well as using reading as a tool to deepen their knowledge and explore the wider world.


At Oak Tree Primary reading is not a stand alone subject, but is interwoven throughout our Literacy and wider curriculum lessons. Children use well-chosen class novels, extracts and model texts to improve their reading skills and widen their knowledge and vocabulary. A love of reading is extended beyond English lessons: our teachers love reading to their classes and the children continue reading for pleasure at home. Our Library is accessible to all children and children are excited and inspired by the selection of texts they can choose from.


Simple view of reading

Learning to read consists of developing skills in two critical areas:

  • Reading each word in texts accurately and fluently
  • Comprehending the meaning of texts being read (both listening and reading).

The National Curriculum for Reading


Reading is an integral part of the English curriculum which has an overarching aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.


The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:


- read easily, fluently and with good understanding

- develop the habit of reading widely and often, both for pleasure and information

- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage

- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences 

- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.



Our aim is for reading is for children to not only learn how to read, but also develop a love of reading and books.


We aim to teach the skills of reading to enable children to become confident, fluent readers who use reading as a tool to explore the wider world and further their own learning journey.


We also aim to build a life long love of literature so that throughout their lives children can use the literary world as a means of escapism, relaxation and pure enjoyment.




At Oaktree Primary School our reading curriculum is designed to meet the needs of our pupils ensuring our curriculum intentions are met. We do this through;


· Phonics - we have a clear and consistent approach to the teaching of phonics across the school. ’Little Wandle’ is used to teach phonics in the Early Years and KS1. Little Wandle and Oxford Reading Tree books are used to teach reading through a reading rotation. All Reception and Year 1 children have a daily phonics session in their class. Some children have additional phonics sessions in small groups. Year 2 children have either a phonics session or a spelling and vocabulary focussed session, depending on their area of need. Phonics is assessed termly and in Year 2 children are re-grouped accordingly.


· Guided Reading in KS1 - We teach guided reading, in a reading rotation approach, using books matched to their phonic ability. We use Salford reading test assessments to assess how our children are developing in both reading and comprehension skills. 


· Guided Reading in KS2 - Reading is taught as a  whole class approach, reading the same text. This is done so that all children get to access high-quality texts linked to their topic. Reading is used as a tool to inform and inspire writing.


· Reading Dogs is the approach we use to teach reading across the school. Children are introduced to the dogs; sequencing Suki, prediction Pip, Victor vocabulary, Rex retrieval and inference Iggy. These activities help them develop a range of skills and support them in developing their knowledge and understanding of what they have read.


· Cross-Curricular Reading is encouraged and children are given opportunities to do their own reading/research in their topic work allowing them to see the value of reading to learn and discover.


· Comprehension is a key skill and specific sessions are used to teach test style skills. This is taught separately to guided reading so as not to detract from the love of reading.


· Home Reading is a vital part of our curriculum and children are encouraged to read at home at every night. Children are assessed within the school and take home books matched to their reading ability. Parental involvement is key and when possible they are invited in to share stories with their children. The majority of the books we send home published by Oxford University Press but the children get a good mix of books from the range of series' that they publish.


· Class Novels have been identified for each year group to ensure that during their time in school the children are able to enjoy a wide range of genres. This includes comedies, mysteries and more classical texts as we want the children to hear books that they perhaps wouldn't normally choose themselves. Enjoying a class story is so important to us that this is done before home time each day.


· 100 book challenge is an opportunity for children to read a wide range of books and celebrate their achievements. Children are awarded certificates and badges for 25, 50, 75 and 100 books read, raising the profile of reading across the school.


· Book Week & World Book Day - To inspire and motivate a love of reading, we hold an annual book week to introduce children to new authors; have reading competitions; provide opportunities to share favourite reads with friends and family and to immerse children in a fictional world. Each year we celebrate National World Book Day by dressing up as our favourite character from a book. This is a day to celebrate and share our favourite books and our general love of reading.


· Book Fair - To promote the love of reading we give the children opportunities to buy their own books so that they can start to build their own collection of favourite books at home. We hold a book fair once a year.


· Library - The Oaktree library is a lovely calm place in school where children can go to read a book. Each class also has a book area where children can select books for reading in school. These book nooks have a range of high quality texts selected to promote diversity and instil a love of reading. Children are also involved in selecting books to be bought for their book corner, helping it feel more meaningful to them. 


· Assessment is a vital tool for establishing the progress the children are making and for identifying the next steps in learning. At Oaktree we formally test the children,  from Year 2 to Year 6, each term. However, this is only one part of the picture, we also use our professional judgment when working with the children to assess where they are up to and assign a Teacher Assessment grade.




The impact of our reading curriculum is that the majority of children, in our school, are able to;

- decode words quickly and effectively

- develop a greater understanding of the world around them

- use their knowledge of the world to infer meaning

- enjoy reading for pleasure

- use and understand a wider vocabulary

- find inspiration and ideas for writing improve the structure and organisation of their writing


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