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Oak Tree Primary School




At Oak Tree 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. Additional phonics intervention and catch up sessions are used in KS1 and 2 where required. 


Guided Reading in KS1 - In Year 1 we teach Guided reading using the Little Wandle scheme (linked to our Phonics lessons). We focus on the development of fluent reading and reading for meaning, but also teach the other key reading skills, including: prediction, summarising, retrieval, inference, vocabulary and sequencing. 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. We use the ‘reading dog’ icons to identify the key areas of reading being taught explicitly during the session, but do not limit a session to only covering this area. 

Within a week, all children will have 3 guided reading sessions. 

- The first session is reading with the class teacher. During this session the children read the text for the first time and discuss it (book talk). 

- The second session is reading with a TA, During this session the children read the text again, working on their fluency. They then discuss it in more detail (book talk) to develop their understanding of the meaning of what they have read. 

- The third session is a final read of the book with a TA (focussing on fluency). The children then complete an activity linked to the book, covering some of the content domains. They are supported by a TA, who can guide them and model how to carry out this style of task.


In Year 2, children are streamed. The lowest group, who still need to develop their phonics and require decodable books, follow the Year 1 approach of 3 guided reading sessions. In their fourth session for the week they access Lexia intervention to continue developing their reading skills. The other 2 groups access whole class reading, using books matched to their reading ability. This follows the same approach used by KS2, working across 4 days. 


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. We use the ‘reading dog’ icons to identify the key areas of reading being taught explicitly during the session, but do not limit a session to only covering this area. 

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. Whole class reading texts at KS2 are linked to the thematic curriculum and include books from a range of cultures, classics and non-fiction. Books are also used in Literacy as a stimulus for the genre being taught. Again, these and include books from a range of cultures, classics and non-fiction. Our reading offer has been developed in conjunction with several literacy consultants, staff and the pupils to ensure it is bespoke to our school. 


Comprehension is a key skill and specific sessions are used in Year 6 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. We have recently extended our book banding scheme to have 30 levels, ensuring children have books matched to support their reading for longer. The new books we have added to supplement our stock are about a broad range of subject and are engaging for the children, with many children commenting how much they are enjoying them. Parents are encouraged to ask their children questions about the text they are sharing at home and a reading ruler, with questions specific to each age group and covering all areas of reading (with the reading dogs logos).

Each child has a reading record, in which they record the books they have read. These records differ depending on year group. In the centre of this record there are some really helpful tips on questions parents may like to ask, as well as spelling and phonics hints and age appropriate spellings to learn. 


Parent readers - We have a group of parent volunteers who read with children across the school. These parents have had training on successful questioning to help the children in developing their reading skills. 


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, 100 and 250 books read, raising the profile of reading across the school.

Reading corners - Reading corners have been developed to contain an interesting, age appropriate, diverse range of high quality texts selected to promote diversity and instil a love of reading. Children are involved in selecting books to be bought for their book corner, helping it feel more meaningful to them. Books are chosen to represent all children in the class and include books which can be used as ‘a window’ and ‘a mirror’. Books are organised into groups (by author, theme, fiction / non fiction, etc)  making reading corners easy for the children to navigate so they can find a book which may be of interest to them (based on their previous favourites). 


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. The school receives book tokens as a result of the money made and we use these to buy recently released diverse books to add to our class and school libraries, keeping reading fresh and interesting for the children. 


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.

EAL reading interventions - Our school demographic has changed over the past 5 or so years. We now have a much higher percentage of children who speak English as an additional language (EAL). To support these children in developing their reading skills, we have worked alongside EDS (Ethnic diversity service) to plan and prepare a reading intervention to be used with these children. 2 of our TA’s have been trained to deliver this. This intervention teaches the children the key skills of readers, supporting them to then use these skills together to become more natural readers. These interventions use a range of texts and extracts, as well as reading cards from the PM scheme, which are matched to their reading book bands (from PM assessments). 


Lexia - Children who are not reading at age related expectations have access to Lexia (a computer based reading program). This is done as an intervention during the school day, but these children also have access to Lexia at home and are invited to join Lexia club as an additional time to work on these reading and comprehension skills in a fun way. 


Library - The Oak Tree library is a lovely calm place in school where children can relax and enjoy a book. Our library has been recently re-organised. Books are alphabetised and sorted into fiction and non-fiction. During book weeks and other special weeks during the year we have a ‘come and read’ event, where members of SLT are based in the library during lunch time and share some of their favourite stories with the children. We are currently looking at developing the library further, including more book sharing times, classes visiting more frequently to choose books for their reading corners and a book club who meets regularly to share and discuss high quality texts. In addition to the books in our school library we also have ‘Mrs Slater’s diverse lending library’. This area is filled with books which cover the 9 protected characteristics. Children are able to borrow books from here and we encourage them to share reviews or tell Mrs Slater about books they have especially enjoyed. These books are regularly updated and added to, keeping the stock fresh and interesting for the children.


Bilingual lending library - Our school demographic has changed over the past 5 or so years. We now have a much higher percentage of children who speak English as an additional language (EAL). To ensure these children can also enjoy a story at home with parents, we have developed a bilingual lending library. This contains books in the top 10 languages spoken in school (including Cantonese, Polish, Ukrainian, Hindi, Arabic, Japanese and Maratha). Teachers can signpost families to these books or choose a book with the child for them to share at home with their family. These books are regularly updated and added to, keeping the stock fresh and interesting for the children. 


Assemblies - Books are regularly shared in assemblies. These can either be to support learning, such as the British values, learning styles, traditional tales, stories linked to religious events, texts about famous people, collective worship or simply stories for pleasure. During book week there are whole school assemblies which include book recommendations, quizzes and games. During the week, several costume parade assemblies are held to celebrate the children’s costumes and favourite books and prizes are awarded. 


Author Visits - Across the year we have visits (both in person and virtual) from authors. These have included more well known authors, such as Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen and Joseph Coelho and more local authors. Children have been able to listen to their stories, ask questions, join in  activities and find out more about how to write a story from them. There has also often been an element of the session focussed on illustration, which the children have enjoyed too! This year we have signed up to ‘Authorfy’. This is a subscription which gives us unlimited access to thousands of author videos, book extracts and classroom resources. New content is added every week, including authors talking about their ideas and inspirations, writing challenges, chapter readings, author of the week videos and more.

Shared Class Reading - We make sure there are opportunities for children to read with peers from a different year group. N-R, N-Y6, R-Y6, Y1-Y4, Y2-Y5, Y3-Y6. Children enjoy either listening to their older partner read, or supporting their younger partner. This develops some lovely friendships, which can then be seen on the playground, through our playground squad. 


Read for Good - Read for Good is an initiative we run to encourage reading at home, but also support children in hospitals, raising money for this charity to provide them with books. This not only links to reading, but also our PSHE curriculum and understanding of charity and doing good to support others. Last year we raised over £500. 


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


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