Reading at Whitefriars
At Whitefriars, we believe that our curriculum is strengthened by instilling a love for reading within our pupils. We value the importance of reading to supplement writing, and celebrate our love of reading at every opportunity. Around school, you will find displays which demonstrate the importance of reading- including inspiring reading corners and spaces, children’s favourite books, authors, genres and recommended reads. High quality texts are explored through shared reading and we use each book to create opportunities to develop reading fluency and comprehension with a focus on key reading strategies and skills; develop grammar and punctuation knowledge and understanding to use and apply these across the wider curriculum.
At Whitefriars, we celebrate reading throughout every phase in the academy: we offer phonic sessions for new Early Years parents, half termly reading buddies between year groups and story sharing with the school dog Poppy.
Through topic we have implemented a book-led curriculum across all phases. In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, book fairs and reading events linked with the local library to further enrich our English curriculum and instil a love of reading for all children.
Each week, we spend time enjoying reading for pleasure in our classrooms during a dedicated reading for pleasure time. When we read for pleasure, pupils are able to choose the books they wish to read and enjoy, read the newspapers to learn more about the world around them, choose to read topic books related to our wider curriculum or listen to an adult in the classroom reading aloud.
Reading at Whitefriars:
Sharing books: Whitefriars staff develop children’s love of reading through enthusiastically reading aloud and telling stories and rhymes. Stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction are chosen for reading to develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading. Daily, each class shares a class book/novel modelling expressive reading. Children are encouraged to discuss their thoughts about the story, identify key vocabulary and develop a love of reading.
Phonics teaching: Read Write Inc: We value the importance of phonics as an underpinning tool to enable children at Whitefriars to read and write. The teaching of phonics is an integral part of our curriculum in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. We use a systematic synthetic phonics approach, following the Read Write Inc. programme. Read Write Inc. is carefully structured in order to teach children the phonic knowledge and skills, predominantly blending and segmenting, that they need in order to decode fluently. Children also learn a variety of ‘red’ words by sight, that cannot be phonetically decoded. We start by teaching phonics to children in Reception where children learn how to say the sounds, blend them together to read words and to segment words for spelling. Children continue to develop these skills in further year groups as they work on more complex sounds and read books at their appropriate reading level. We strive to ensure that phonics sessions are engaging and stimulating for all children. All children on the RWI programme are taught phonics every day and all children are assessed regularly so they work with other children at the same level. This allows all children to participate completely in lessons.
Text based curriculum: Our curriculum is planned around a series of carefully chosen, high quality texts. The texts relate to the year group’s wider curriculum and are used to stimulate writing and immerse children in the curriculum. Each teacher, in liaison with their class identifies, discusses and displays new, challenging and interesting vocabulary with the expectation that it will be used by the children.
Destination Reader: In 2020, after visiting schools in Hampshire and Norwich, the school adopted Destination Reader as a consistent approach to teaching reading in KS2. It involves daily sessions incorporating whole class modelling prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Children deepen their understanding of the texts they read through the systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems. The approach encompasses the key principles of effective reading provision and fully meets the requirements of the National Curriculum. It also builds a culture of reading for pleasure and purpose.
Supporting parents/Home Reading: Whitefriars provides information to parents about supporting their child’s learning at home, including detail about the school’s method of teaching reading and how to help their children learn to read. Discovery cafes, parent workshops and guidance from class teachers are all methods that are used to ensure that both phonics and reading are developed in partnership with parents. The school has high expectations of parental support including a clear amount of reading time that parents should be completing each week.
Whitefriars Book Week 2023