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 strive 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 lifelong love of literature so that throughout their lives children can use the literary world as a means of escapism, relaxation and pure enjoyment.
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.
At Oak Tree Primary we believe that:
Language comprehension and composition develop by pupils listening to and talking about stories and other literature, by talking and discussion throughout the curriculum, and (especially while they are learning to read) by learning poetry and songs. We use books as a stimulus in our Literacy lessons and include a lot of discussion and DEAL in our units of work. In addition to this, Y2 and KS2 use high quality texts in their Whole class reading sessions and the whole school have a range of high quality, diverse home time readers.
Decoding and encoding can be taught through a systematic synthetic phonics programme. We use the Little Wandle Program throughout EYFS and Year 1. In Year 2 it is used for those children who are not yet confident encoding and are not fluent readers.
Once pupils can read, their language comprehension is driven by the amount they read – their ‘reading miles’ – as well as the books and other texts they continue to hear read to them, and opportunities to listen and speak We encourage children to read broadly and reward them through our 100 book Challenge scheme. Teachers are encouraged to instigate ‘book talk’ with children they see with a book which is not part of our scheme.
Spelling is more difficult than word reading and so we continue to teach spelling systematically in Year 2 and Key Stage 2. In Year 2 we use the Rising Stars program and in KS2 we use Emile. Spelling teaching follows the rules in the appendix of the National Curriculum and is supported by weekly spelling tests.
Older pupils, in primary, who continue to struggle with decoding also need to be taught through a systematic synthetic phonics programme and we use Little Wandle intervention and catch up sessions to facilitate this.
Pupils with identified SEND, who struggle to decode and read words ‘at a glance’ are likely to derive most benefit from direct reading instruction that focuses on systematic synthetic phonics. All children are exposed to our Phonics program, Little Wandle, across EYFS and Year 1, however those who require extra support continue to have lessons and interventions teaching them reading skills through systematic synthetic phonics through Year 2 and across KS2.
Listening to, thinking deeply about and discussing a wide range of texts, including literature, develops pupils’ love of reading and enhances their vocabulary. We use a broad and varied range of texts across the school. This includes ‘classics’, texts from other cultures, nonfiction texts and graphic novels. Texts are chosen for their link to our thematic curriculum, rich vocabulary and themes addressed. Children are also exposed to a wide variety of Poetry, including modern and from long established poets.
Reading widely, both in school and in their own time, establishes pupils as readers. We encourage this through our diverse range of books on offer in reading corners, home time readers, books used as stimuli in Literacy sessions, Whole class reading books and 100 book challenge. We also have virtual and on site visits from authors, a book fair and celebrate books in assemblies where possible.