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. Reading is given priority across school and is fundamental in providing the foundations for future learning.
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 an accredited scheme for the delivery of phonics- 'Bug Club Phonics'. Bug Club Phonics develops the children’s ability to hear, discriminate, recognise and write the sounds.
On entry to reception, children are first exposed to reading through the implementation of phase 1 phonics. 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 are sent home on entry to Blakehill. Pupils are provided with a picture book to retell stories verbally with a grown up at home. 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.
For pupils in Key Stage 1, home reading books are matched to their phonics ability. Pupils are provided with a Bug Club book matched to the sequence of learning followed for the delivery of Phonics either in whole class teaching or interventions in place for individual pupils.
To support pupils further with their reading, children take part in weekly Smart Reading sessions. This enables pupils to develop and strengthen their decoding and comprehension skills in order for them to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One.
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.
By the time they leave Blakehill our pupils are able to read fluently and accurately 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
- Early Reading strategies , including SMART Reading from EYFS - Year 2
- Systematic teaching and learning of synthetic phonics
- One to one reading (Minimum of once a week per child)
- Buddy reading across phases
- Precision teaching strategies used to target misconceptions
- Teachers and other adults who have the skills and knowledge to deliver high quality lessons
- Quality first teaching
- Senior leaders who acknowledge the importance of Reading
- A variety of resources are used to support the teaching of reading
- Specific reading interventions that provide targeted support to pupils at risk of falling behind ( eg 20:20 Reader, echo reading)
- Clear teaching of content domains in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
- Investment in a range of high quality texts
- Listening to pupil voice
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.
Pupil outcomes at the end of KS2 continue to be consistently and significantly above national standards for pupils achieving the expected standard and at greater depth of the standard in Reading, 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)