Our aim at Blakehill is to make sure that all children are able to read by the end of KS1 and that ALL of our children foster a love for life-long reading.
We do this by having a systematic, carefully planned and tightly structured approach to the teaching of phonics from EYFS to Year 4. The school's Early Reading Programme implemented in Reception class and followed through to Year 2 provides a highly structured teaching and learning approach to small group guided reading in addition to whole class, guided group and the individual reading strategies used throughout school.
At Blakehill, we want all pupils to acquire a love and enjoyment for reading. We value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key for academic success and to embed this we take a holistic approach. We encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and to develop their comprehension skills. We are passionate about ensuring that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils at Blakehill are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
“The more that you read, the more things that you know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.” – Dr Seuss
At Blakehill, we promote our love and passion for reading across school. Each classroom has an inviting and dedicated reading area where children enjoy a range of age appropriate books and genres.
We have recently installed a new library within school, which is accessed by all classes on a weekly basis. This gives opportunities for children to learn how to use a library and search for different genres and books.
Home reading is celebrated at Blakehill. Children are awarded stickers when they have read at home with a grown up and they use these to progress through our home reading stages.
We hold a big emphasis on buddy reading within school and we believe that children should support and enhance one another’s reading experiences during the school day.
With regards to early reading, the main emphasis is placed on phonics in reception. Phonics is an important daily lesson from reception to Year 3. The school follows the government ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme which develops the children’s ability to hear, discriminate, recognise and write the sounds. Phonics play is used as an additional supplement to enhance the teaching and pupil engagement in phonics sessions.
On entry to reception, children are first exposed to reading through the implementation of phase 1 from letters and sounds. The emphasis is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Home reading books sent home on entry to Blakehill. To further support the teaching of reading, all children are sent home with a picture book to retell stories verbally with a grown up. These are the foundations used to build childrens’ retrieval and inference skills from.
Key Stage One
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school.
Reading is a part of our daily routine in Key Stage 1, this is taught and delivered in many ways including:
- Whole class reading to ensure all pupils are exposed to a variety of texts at an age appropriate level.
- One to one reading (Minimum of once a week per child)
- Rapid phonics intervention to support decoding skills
- Reading into writing skills (prediction, visualise, freeze frame etc)
- Retrieval, Inference and vocabulary questions
- A weekly visit to the school library
- Stories shared on a daily basis in class through dedicated story time.
Key Stage 2
As pupils progress in Key Stage Two, the foundations created for reading in reception and Key Stage One are built upon to develop competent, enthusiastic and thoughtful readers. When our pupils leave Key Stage Two they have a thirst for reading and are able to confidently discuss and recommend books, from a range of authors and genres. They are also able to participate in discussions about texts including evaluating authors’ use of language and the impact this can have on a reader. Our pupils leave Blakehill as these readers due to:
- Whole class reading to ensure all pupils are exposed to a variety of texts at an age appropriate level, and given opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these.
- One to one reading (Minimum of once a week per child)
- Buddy reading across phases
- Precision teaching in Year 6
- A variety of resources are used to support the teaching of reading
- 20:20 intervention to meet the needs of individuals
- Clear teaching of content domains
We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.
The attainment and progress of pupils at Blakehill continue to be significantly above national standards, with a three year average attainment score in reading at the end of KS2 in the highest 20% of all schools.
The proportion of pupils who met the expected standard in phonics in Year One (97%) in 2019, is yet again, significantly above national and in the highest 20% of all schools.
Paul Lomas, an Reading Consultant celebrated and supported our reading ethos by quoting “ The school has an excellent practice in reading and is in a strong position to examine how to make the teaching of reading even better. The school should think about sharing their practice with other institutions. The schools outstanding reading results are a reflection of the interweaving of reading into all aspects of school life.” ( July 2018)
At Blakehill we aim to provide all our children with a passion and enjoyment for reading. We do this by teaching phonics from Reception through to Key Stage One and further if required, then moving on to exploring what texts are about in Guided Reading. These Guided Reading sessions in Key Stage Two allow children to ask and answer questions about characters and settings as well as how an author has built a text.
Throughout school, in addition to regular group Guided Reading sessions, children read with an adult regularly and are given daily independent reading time.
Interventions and Extensions.
We monitor children’s progress carefully and organise additional support for groups for children who are finding reading or writing challenging. Some children may receive 1:1 support to develop their personal skills.