At St. Andrew's, our principled approach to the teaching and learning of reading is underpinned by our intent to support children's growth as:
You can find out more below about how we have developed and are continuing to develop our curriculum and reading culture at St. Andrew's to support our children's growth in these ways.
Our Reading Spines:
Each year group as a 'Reading Spine': a core repertoire of 'books in common' forming the shared reading history that children will leave each year group with.
Our bespoke non-fiction curriculum collections:
Working with literacy experts at Just Imagine Story Centre, we are curating a bespoke collection of non-fiction texts for each geography, history and science topic in each year group, which form part of our whole-class reading spines.
A strong start in early reading is crucial to children’s development into fluent, avid readers. Indeed, our intent is that this programme will enable the vast majority of our children to be confidently decoding unknown vocabulary and developing reading fluency with age-appropriate texts by the end of Key Stage One. Selection and implementation of Read Write Inc. Phonics – a rigorous, systematic scheme to support the teaching of early reading and writing – is underpinned by an unwavering belief that every child can – and must – learn to read. Adoption of this scheme was based upon previous staff knowledge of the scheme and the impact it had had in previous settings. We feel it is a particularly good fit for our school community as its five underlying principles, ‘The 5 Ps’, closely mirror the principles at the heart of our approach to the teaching of reading in the schools within our Trust:
We firmly believe that the greater the passion, the greater the progress! All of our Read Write Inc. Phonics group leaders have undertaken comprehensive training and their passion, energy and dedication to ensure rapid progress for our children on their journeys as early readers is evident. Read Write Inc. Phonics sessions are fast-paced and lively yet rigorous; the children are actively involved throughout the session and positivity and praise are key. Children work together in partners, taking it in turns as the ‘partner teacher’ and praising each other. Small group sizes of no more than ten children maximise participation and support.
Assessments are carried out approximately every six weeks by our Read Write Inc. Phonics Reading Lead, which enables sustained rapid progress. The children are grouped according to their developing phonic knowledge and any children falling behind the programme’s pace are quickly identified, allowing targeted support. We recognise that every child has a different journey as a developing reader, with different rates and patterns of progress, and the Read Write Inc. Fresh Start Phonics programme has been adopted, when needed, for Key Stage 2 for children needing continued support to develop their phonic knowledge, automaticity and fluency.
Although we are continuously reviewing our implementation of Read Write Inc. Phonics, our Phonics Screening Check results are consistently above the national average and demonstrate its impact.