Reading at Holland Park Primary School

Reading Intent

At Holland Park we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a pleasure for reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors and be able to understand more about the world in which they live, through the knowledge they gain from texts. 

It is our intention to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. We therefore intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to: 

  • Develop knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live;
  • to establish an appreciation and love of reading;
  • to gain knowledge across the curriculum, and 
  •  to develop their comprehension skills. 

We are committed to providing vocabulary rich reading material across the curriculum.

Reading Implementation

The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1. At Holland Park Primary School, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc produced by Ruth Miskin. Our staff teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. 

Classroom Organisation

We teach phonics in group lessons, so that all children have access to teaching which provides an appropriate challenge in relation to age related expectations. Reading and writing skills are taught in whole class lessons, to allow all children access to age related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and learning support assistants target support for learners where necessary to enable all children to achieve at an age-related level where possible. Children working at a level of greater depth are also given opportunities to demonstrate further understanding through extended answers, targeted questioning requiring more reasoned answers and making greater links across and between texts. 

Phonics: Early Years and Key Stage One

Through the delivery of our reading curriculum we ensure a consistent and robust teaching and learning of early reading and phonics in Early Years and KS1, so that pupils are able to read with increased speed and fluency and access the wider curriculum. Pupils are taught in groups, focusing on individual sounds, groups of sounds and common exception words within different ‘sets’. We have an agreed progression for the teaching of new sounds and use the Read Write Inc scheme to support this. Planned additional intervention groups take place to support pupils not working at the age related expected standard. During the Summer term in Year 1, pupils undertake a Phonics Screening Check which assesses their ability to apply what they have learnt. After this, sessions move towards whole class reading lessons that take the same format as Year 2 to 6. Pupils who do not pass their Phonics Screening Check continue to have interventions to support the acquisition of these key skills and are retested in the Summer term in Year 2.

When children have completed the Read, Write, Inc phonics programme, reading is developed during guided reading, using high quality texts and focused skill teaching. Strong links are made between reading and writing. Children read and enjoy high quality fiction and non-fiction texts, which (where possible) are linked to their topics across the curriculum. All children read aloud daily during phonics or during whole class reading session; in addition to this they read at least once more a week with teachers, teaching assistants and reading volunteers; the focus being on the lowest 20%.

In whole class reading sessions, children develop their key reading skills of decoding, Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising (VIPERS). Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills.  

Reading at home is encouraged and promoted through class incentives and parental engagement sessions. Children working on the Read Write Inc. programme take home a ‘book bag book’ matched directly to their current phonics level; they are also encouraged to choose an additional book to share with their family at home. Following this, children work through our school reading scheme – these are levelled books which match the child’s current reading ability. In Early Years, phonic videos are sent home via Tapestry and their weekly newsletter provides additional reading materials for parents to share and read with their children. In Years 1 – 6, all children are provided with reading folders which contain a variety of age-appropriate reading texts. A new text is sent home every fortnight as their ‘lucky listener’ whereby the children are encouraged to read the text to as many family members as possible.

Whole Class Reading Sessions- Key Stage Two

Reading lessons take place three times a week in each year group. These short, 30 minute long, sessions focus on a range of reading skills where pupils are encouraged to develop their vocabulary, consider a range of issues and deeper meanings in texts, develop comprehension skills and enjoyment of books. These skills are continually developed through the wider curriculum. Children are given the opportunity to develop their reading fluency and comprehension skills and all children are given an equal opportunity to succeed against age related expectations. Teachers and teaching assistants provide support through targeted conversations and modelling during these sessions in order to challenge all learners.

Reading Impact

Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum.