Reading at Wickhambreaux CEPS
As the Jane Austen quotation on the back of the new £10 note says
”I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”
….and so we heartily agree. Wickhambreaux School is a community of readers and we often share what we are currently reading with each other; even the staff have signs up telling others of what they’re reading at the moment. It’s a great way to get a recommendation for that next amazing reading experience!
The teaching of reading is taken very seriously at Wickhambreaux. In both Reception and Years 1&2, all children are taught systematically by using the synthetic phonics programme Letters and Sounds. Once in KS1, all children are regularly benchmarked to check that they are reading books at the appropriate level of challenge for their reading abilities at that particular time. Book stocks within school are organised to ensure they meet the reading needs of the children in all the classes.
Asides from the quality first teaching of reading in each class, whether it is through daily guided reading lessons or more focused small-group reading support sessions, the school also provides following individualised reading programmes.
- The school has been accredited as a Reading Recovery School for over 5 years and has a reading teacher who has been trained and experienced in teaching Reading Recovery for over 10 years. These individualised lessons work from each child’s strengths to help them progress onto learning new skills and strategies to help them increase their reading abilities to catch up with their year group peers. These lessons are usually carried out with children in Year 1, who have found it difficult to make progress in reading and writing after their first year at school.
- Alongside this intensive reading support, the school also offers the Better Reading Partnership (BRP) which is a ‘lighter touch’ version of the Reading Recovery programme approach and is delivered by carefully trained volunteer adults, whilst being managed by the school’s Reading Manager (who is also a qualified and experienced trainer for BRP). This programme is available for all ages of pupils who may just need a boost with their reading skills.
- The School Reading Manager also carries out a range of literacy based assessments with children in KS2 who are finding it difficult to make progress in reading and writing at the same pace as their peers. These assessments help to pinpoint the areas of support that each pupil requires to make better progress and the outcomes are used to design and deliver one to one, individualised literacy lessons to meet each child’s specific needs.
- Some children make excellent progress in using their phonic skills to read different texts, however they can meet difficulties in accessing the message and meaning behind the text they are able to read. The School Reading Manager runs a programme for a small group of pupils at a time, which provides additional structured practice of ‘digging deeper’ into the meaning that one reads. This programme is called Inference Training and does indeed ‘train’ the pupils in skills that help them read more critically and with greater levels of understanding.
- For Y6 children whose reading skills are at an advanced level, a Literature Circle is run, to extend their higher order reading skills further, with teaching more in-line with the KS3 teaching they will receive in Year 7 and beyond. The focus here is upon developing a more critical approach towards the interpretation of a text with an emphasis upon developing one’s opinions and viewpoints that can be justified with textual evidence.
However it’s not all ‘reading skills and strategies’ at Wickhambreaux School! There is a lot of focus upon the joy and pleasure of reading, with regular celebrations and events geared towards the range of fun and enjoyment that can be derived from simply opening up a book. We regularly celebrate Children’s Book Week, World Book Day, National Poetry Day and Special Book Celebration days, as well as numerous occasions throughout the year where texts are discussed, shared, reviewed and highlighted for others to enjoy. We are also keenly aware that reading is the key that can open the doors to many experiences, reflections, viewpoints and explanations, both within school and way beyond.
So we fully uphold Jane Austen’s proclamation that there is no enjoyment like reading!