Reading at Grampound with Creed

Reading at Grampound with Creed


Grampound with Creed is a reading school. We are relentless in ensuring that we give children the best start in life that we can, and are aware of the role that reading plays in this start. Reading is an essential skill in accessing not just primary, but secondary education, as well as for lifelong learning.  Across all year groups, children and teachers alike share their love of reading in all areas of the school. We are dedicated to helping children to love reading, both in their early years of reading, but also for the rest of their lives. As a staff, we are aware that ‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success’ (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2002) and that reading ‘Encourages imagination, empathy and mindfulness of others (Kidd & Costano, 2013). As a school, we are very aware of current pressures on children, especially in light of the Covid Pandemic, we encourage children to read, as we are aware of the positive impact this can have on mental health. ‘Reading encourages imagination, empathy and mindfulness of others (Kidd & Costano, 2013)


How Reading Is Taught


In our school, we teach the 5 essential components of reading readers need in order to become fluent and assured in their reading. These are as follows:


Phonics (The process of mapping sounds (phonemes) into written letters (graphemes)


Phonemic Awareness (The ability to hear, identify and manipulate individual units of sound (phonemes)


Vocabulary (Teaching children to understand the words on the page)


Fluency (Enabling the reader to scan quickly the gap between what a word says, and what is means)


Comprehension (Understanding and explaining what is written)


We teach phonics using Read Write Inc in EYFS and KS1. This gives us a systematic, rigorous and cohesive approach to phonics, which ensures that all children become readers as soon as possible. Children are streamed across EYFS and Year 1 in order that we make the most efficient use of our staff. Our RWI sessions allow children to build their phonemic awareness as well as their decoding skills in order that they make progress in line with National Curriculum Expectations. When children have completed RWI, they move onto whole class reading sessions where we focus on teaching the National Curriculum using VIPERS skills.


Reading is supported by the use of Accelerated Reader. Children are assessed based on their comprehension skills on a half-termly basis by completing a ‘Star Test’ which then gives their individual reading range.  This range gives children the opportunity to choose a book that interests them that will also continue to support them in their reading progress.  Pupils take reading books home from the classroom and library to practise some of the skills they are learning in school. These books are banded according to comprehension level and when children are confident with their knowledge of the book they take a ‘reading quiz’ online about what they have read which gives them instant feedback on their success.  If children are consistently succeeding in these quizzes then they are encouraged to read books that are higher within their range and if they continue to succeed, they are able to take another ‘star test’ to give them a new reading range.



Prioritising Reading Across the School


In our school, we have dedicated reading area in each classroom. Children are free to fill these areas with books from the library that they have chosen in line with their ZPD for Accelerated Reader, as well as their own books they read for pleasure. Reading displays are used to promote reading, and to share our love of reading both in classrooms and in the library. Our school library reflects our dedication to reading. It stocks a range of high quality texts including fiction and non-fiction, poetry and picture books.


In classes, we teach planned reading sessions every day, whether this be Read Write Inc. or a Guided Reading lesson to develop our knowledge of the VIPERS skills. We also have storytime in class where teachers share either a book from our reading spine, or a book they love and want to share. Each year, we celebrate our love of reading on World Book Day.


At Grampound, we encourage reading at home through our Reading Karate Scheme, and this is celebrated in our reading assembly each Friday, when books bands are handed out, as well as certificates for AR reader. Our reading ambassadors also share stories and poems they love at these assemblies. We also encourage reading at home with our Scholastic Book Fair, which also raises money enabling us to update and replenish our library stock.


Each class has a bookworm to remind us of the stories we have enjoyed over the year. We use our reading spine to decide on stories we like to read as well as recommendations from friends and teachers. Sometimes teachers just read the first few chapters of a book to whet children’s appetite. There is no written homework set in school anymore, in order that children can focus on a dedicated reading time. We expect our children to read 5 times per week at home or in wraparound school care. Children are rewarded for their reading by the Reading Karate Scheme. In class, children are read to daily from the class reader linked to half-termly topics as well as other quality texts in order to promote reading across the curriculum.


Promoting a love of reading


We ensure that classes have a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books in their classrooms for children to access, which are regularly updated and replenished by the children, based on what they would like to read, and on their Accelerated Reader ZPD. Children receive a delivery of books from Reading Rocks each half term, and share these books in class. KS1 choose a reading-for-pleasure book from their library to share at home as well as their RWI satchel book. We encourage our families to read together as well as hearing their children read, in order that the children can see their adults as readers too. Our KS2 reading ambassadors make book recommendations to their peers as do teachers to children and peer-to -peer recommendations are made within the class. Opportunities are given for quiet, independent reading during the school day to enable children to engage with their chosen book as well as time to share books and read 1:1 with an adult.


We have developed a school reading spine based on Doug Lemov’s five Plagues of Reading, and Pie Corbett’s Reading spine, which is used to ensure high quality choice of literature. This has been shared with parents at home in order to promote reading out of school time too. We are working to ensure that we have copies of all of the books on our book spine in the school library. Our staff model reading in class throughout the day and each class has a dedicated area to share their teachers’ favourite books. We are lucky to have received grant money to raise money for satchel books, as well as improvements to our library.   


Good or better progress in reading


At Grampound with Creed, we are aware that ability to read underpins their ability to access the whole curriculum. With this in mind, children are assessed on a half termly basis in both RWI and AR. Children who are struggling to make the expected progress are then offered a targeted intervention program consisting of extra RWI sessions, 1-1 reading sessions or boosted support in reading lessons. This assessment is reviewed and amended as necessary. We use class and SEN trackers to monitor progress of children’s reading. Verbal feedback is given on a daily basis in guided reading sessions so children are aware of their progress in reading. Children working on the RWI scheme are given books to take home that match the sounds they are learning, and further up the school, children select their school reading book in line with their AR reading range in order that we ensure they are selecting books at the correct level. In guided reading lessons, children are exposed to a range of text types to support their developing reading skills


Reading books matching sounds that they can read


To ensure that children are able to practice the sounds that they are learning in phonics, they are given book bag books which match the sounds they are learning in class. These books are part of the Read Write Inc scheme, and these books are sent home for a week in order that the children have time to practise reading and rereading the text, embedding their phonic knowledge and using their decoding skills, as well as developing their fluency. They also take home a library book they have chosen to share with families. This book may be a fiction, non-fiction or poetry book according to their own interests, and is shared with parents to develop their child’s interest in reading for pleasure. When parents record their reading with children, it counts towards the school Reading Karate scheme, which promotes reading at home.


When do we start teaching phonics?


We start teaching phonics as soon as the children enter the school. Nursery children do not attend formal phonics lessons but are exposed to set 1 sounds from the time they start in the school. Reception children start phonics lessons in their first week at school. Teachers regularly assess the children and they are grouped by ability from October half term. Phonics is taught at the same time across the school to allow fluidity across groups.

In the Reception year, we expect children to have RWI Set 1 sounds covered by end of term 1, Set 1&2 by end of the year. Our more able children will have moved onto some Set 3 sounds by this time. By the end of Y1, all phonemes should have been taught. Children who are in need of extra support with phonics and reading receive this from teachers and HLTA staff who are trained and experienced in RWI delivery..


How do we ensure children catch up?


Half-termly formal assessments and ongoing informal small group assessments give clear indications when children are falling behind. If this is the case, then those children are given extra support from teachers and HLTAs in order to catch up.

New children are assessed on entry and are allocated the appropriate group to best support their needs and given the input to catch up to the best of their ability. We ensure that our poorest readers are given the tools to make the best progress they can. In many cases this includes encouraging parents to read with them at home. Children identified as being in the bottom 20% of their year group are heard read on a daily basis to boost their progress



Staff trained as reading experts


Our school Reading Spine was introduced across the school linked to Pie Corbett and Doug Lemov’s 5 plagues of reading, as well as other sources (STEM, books for topics) and RWI training was given to all staff (both KS1 and 2) in September and October 2020. Our reading lead works with other staff across the MAT to ensure we keep up to date with developments of teaching reading. In KS2, guided reading planning builds on skills developed in RWI to ensure children continue to make good progress.