Our vision for reading at Weston is for every single child to leave us at the end of Year 6 as a confident, proficient reader. They will have read and experienced an extensive and varied range of literature and have the foundations for a lifelong love of reading.

Phonics and Early Reading at Weston

We use the Read, Write Inc programme to teach early reading and phonics in our Reception and Year 1 classes and some children in Year 2. All the children are regularly assessed and grouped according to their current level of phonics knowledge and skill. These groups are fluid and children will move groups throughout the year. Sessions take place daily and are taught by staff trained specifically in the programme.  If you would like more information about the programme, please click here.

We also use a bespoke catch-up approach for children in Key Stage 2 who have gaps in their phonics knowledge.

Children in Reception and Year 1 bring home corresponding Read, Write Inc books per week which are closely matched to their current phonics knowledge and as such should be fully decodable. These are supplemented by other books for children to share with an adult or older sibling. These books aren't always fully decodable for your child but will allow them to develop their other reading skills, such as sight recognition and the use of cues like pictures, grammar and context. The expectation is not for the child to read this book on their own, but to share it. We believe strongly that children develop a love of reading through experiencing success when reading at home and having regular quality story time with a wide range of books. 

The best way to help your child achieve well in reading, and indeed across the curriculum, is to hear them read, share and discuss a variety of reading materials as often as you can. We urge you to strive for five times a week. This is to develop and embed those good reading habits that will help them to be successful in school and beyond. Throughout school, high quality books and other reading resources in the classrooms, along with special events such as author visits, help to inspire and motivate children to read.

At the end of Year 1, all our children take a national test in phonics. Our children excel in this and our results are consistently above the national average. This is because we believe that every child can learn to read and we quickly identify and effectively support any child who is at risk of not quickly developing this vital skill.

If you have any questions about reading in our school or your child’s reading progress, please don’t hesitate to speak to your child’s teacher.

What Reading looks like at Weston

All of the staff at Weston share a drive and determination for every child to find success at reading and to fulfil our vision for reading. Here are some of the approaches we take to ensuring that reading is at the heart of our curriculum.

  • High quality first teaching, underpinned by effective training, policy and curriculum. As well as phonics, we explicitly identify and teach different comprehension skills through whole class and small group approaches. Ask us about our totally 'pawsome' reading gang!
  • All staff access high-quality training for reading
  • Our English curriculum is driven by 'vehicle texts' - challenging and engaging literature that both excites and reaffirms our high-expectations for reading
  • Our classrooms and other learning environments are language rich - from ambitious and subject-specific vocabulary from across the curriculum to labels for everyday items written with sound buttons, to constantly reinforce the use of decoding skills
  • The children have access to excellent texts - we invest in the latest fiction for our class libraries, provide access to newspapers and magazines and make excellent use of our subscription to the Education Library Service by providing the children with lots of books related to their learning across the curriculum
  • Our Learning Ambassadors have been trained as phonics teaching assistants and have opportunities to support the learning our our youngest children
  • We have reading buddies in every class - a chance for the children to read out loud to a friend and practise their skills in school regularly
  • Our effective assessment systems help us to identify children who are at risk of falling behind with their reading and we adjust our approach to help them to catch up quickly, commonly through daily additional reading. 
  • Our displays in classrooms and around school promote books, reading skills and a love of reading
  • We celebrate reading success and reading-related effort in many ways
  • We engage parents in our approaches to reading and regularly incorporate reading into our school-home communication to ensure that the whole community embrace a shared desire to ensure that every child reads every day in order to become proficient readers
  • Our wonderful Key Stage Two library is an inviting environment for children to pull of a comfy chair or cushion in and read for the sake of reading. There are book themes every half term and a shelves containing books from previous topics from every class so that children can revisit and deepen their learning
  • The children's reading records and our class records provide an excellent record of reading and enable staff to guide children's reading choices to ensure that their reading diet is appropriately challenging, varied and enjoyable.
  • Every class is read to every day
  • Every child from Reception to Year 6 has access to an online banded reading scheme, Bug Club. Teachers allocate ability-appropriate books to children and the bands go up to a secondary school reading age. While older and accomplished readers often read their own choices, many enjoy the challenging chapter books on Bug Club. While the children read Bug Club books on a laptop or tablet, they are asked comprehension questions. Answering questions earns the children 'coins' to spend in their virtual Bug Club world. As such, the books develop the children's comprehension as well as their fluency, even when they are reading at home.

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