At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we want to foster a love of reading so that every child acquires the knowledge and skills to be able to demonstrate an understanding of what they have read and also show enthusiasm and excitement for it. We believe that reading is an integral part of a child’s development and that it underpins all other learning. Therefore, reading is at the heart of the school curriculum. It is our view that every lesson is an opportunity to teach reading skills.
The English National Curriculum underpins the planning of reading at The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy is supplemented by The Hundred of Hoo Primary Reading Handbook . These ensure a broad and balanced curriculum that is progressive throughout the key stages. The delivery of the curriculum is through the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Year Programme (PYP) where teachers match their current inquiry themes to interesting, diverse, reading materials and class reader books which support our children’s learning.
Our main aim at The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy is to ensure that all children learn the knowledge and skills to read at least age-appropriate books regardless of their background or circumstances. We ensure this by teaching reading lessons which follow a clear progression through EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and phonics lessons that are pitched to a child’s individual needs. Also, our reading progression map is sequentially structured to make clear the endpoints that the learning is building towards and what pupils need to know and be able to do to reach those endpoints. This progression allows us to build a strong community of confident reading children who are able to learn how to change the world through the books and texts they read.
We also believe that a love of reading plays an important part in a child becoming an independent reader. At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we foster this by encouraging children to choose their own reading books which are not only suitable for their reading level but that also interest them. By linking our reading curriculum to the PYP, we allow children to experience a broad range of texts and genres which in turn broadens their vocabulary and supports them in becoming more confident speakers and writers. Consequently, it builds the children’s knowledge across the curriculum and promotes the children’s love of reading as they are able to read widely. Finally, we also ensure that our reading lessons reflect the academy’s local context by addressing typical gaps in the pupils’ knowledge and skills and equip them with the cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, our reading curriculum is designed to give children the opportunity to have exposure to high quality texts, which are slightly above the average reading ability for their age, and which we believe should be the staple diet of all primary-aged children. The reading curriculum also includes a balance of genres, including: fiction, non-fiction, rhymes, raps and poetry. Additionally, we have kept cultural diversity at the forefront of our decision making when selecting books and authors, therefore enabling children exposure to a high-level of cultural capital.
Reading skills are taught in discrete, daily phonics and reading sessions and the knowledge and skills are then implemented across the curriculum thus ensuring that children are applying what they have learnt. All of our phonics and reading lessons are inclusive to ensure that all children, including those with SEND, can access it (including but not limited to the use of the Read and Write toolbar).
The following are strategies we implement to provide children with the best possible chance at learning to read and developing a love of reading:
At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we follow the Phonics International accredited phonics scheme in EYFS and KS1 and, where needed, in KS2. Children are assessed following each unit with targeted support for those identified as in danger of falling behind. This allows progress to be tracked effectively and key areas for development to be fed back to teachers and parents. Children read out loud with an adult frequently from carefully selected books that closely match their phonic knowledge. Phonics International focuses on developing spoken language, reading comprehension and writing which are the key skills children need in becoming proficient readers and writers. Those children who require additional support, and have not passed the phonics check at KS1, will continue on the Phonics International programme at KS2. These children will be in smaller, targeted focus groups and will have additional 1:1 sessions designed to plug their gaps and get them reading accurately and fluently as quickly as possible. This ensures provision and equal opportunities are provided for all children no matter their starting point.
Story time is a valued part of the daily routine at The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy. All children have the opportunity to hear an adult read aloud. This is to allow for high quality discussions about books with their teacher and peers, as well as hearing a good model of fluency, comprehension, intonation and expression. As well as this, key stages also combine to share a story together and discuss this with others from another class. In Reception, parents are also invited in to be a ‘mystery reader’ and share a story they enjoy with the class.
In EYFS, KS1 and KS2, children take part in various whole class reading activities to promote discussion around what they have read. Across the school, we use our reading progression document to deliver our whole class reading with whole class reading activities centred around VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising/Sequencing) to ensure the National Curriculum skills are explicitly taught to develop the children’s comprehension skills. The reading sequence has been well thought-out to increase children’s exposure to high quality texts and give the children a broad and balanced reading curriculum to further promote the love of reading focusing on either: non-fiction, songs, poetry, picture books, short films, fiction from significant authors or traditional children’s literature. Reading, where suitable, is also linked to upcoming writing with pupils looking at texts that they will be writing in the future and analysing the impact of language choices by the author on the reader.
At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we regularly assess reading to ensure children receive any additional support they may need. Throughout the school, reading interventions are put in place to provide extra opportunities for children to develop their reading skills. Children may take part in 1:1 reading sessions where they can share their book with an adult, 1:1 phonics interventions in order to pick up on any sounds they may not know or to develop their blending skills, or they may be part of small group interventions, with children who are all at a similar level, which aim to close the gap.
Across the academy, the library area in the learning lounge promotes the love of reading through the inviting displays, comfortable seating and opportunities for the children to share their favourite books with their peers. We have invested in high quality books from a range of book levels, genres and authors to engage all types of readers. Inside each classroom, there is also a reading area where children can pick books that spark their interest to read in purposeful, independent, free choice reading time during the school week.
At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we believe that reading is an integral skill to learn and we strive to have a partnership between school and home so that this continues seamlessly. Children take home a reading book which matches their current reading level in order to promote progress and consolidate their reading skills. If pupil’s read regularly with an adult, they are also entered into a draw with the opportunity to win a golden token that they can use with their parents to select a boom from the school book vending machine.
Across both Key Stages, where appropriate to a child’s current focus, they are encouraged to read a book more than once in order to develop their pace, fluency and expression. Alongside our parents, we have worked incredibly hard to emphasise the importance of children being praised and celebrated for what they can read rather than pushing them on before they are ready. This has had a huge impact on the way children at The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy view and value reading and our children are always excited to change their reading books. As well as levelled reading books, children also take home a book, which promotes reading for pleasure once a week. These books are chosen solely by the children based on their interests and have inspired our children to widen their book choices.
Subject knowledge of teachers is paramount and we ensure that teachers have expert knowledge of phonics and reading through CPD opportunities. This empowers teachers to check pupils’ understanding effectively and so they can quickly address and correct any misconceptions. We then use comprehension, phonics and reading age assessment to check pupils’ understanding in order to inform teaching and to help pupils embed and use knowledge fluently. Therefore, children embed key concepts in their long-term memory and can apply them fluently.
At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we create a positive reading culture and shape children’s confidence, enthusiasm and love for reading. Children will coherently and enthusiastically discuss their learning and the books they have read and also offer opinions and recommendations to adults and their peers. We have high expectations that all children reach at least the age-related expectation at the end of each year and ensure that those with gaps in their knowledge receive appropriate targeted support to progress towards this. As pupils progress through the school, they will build on their knowledge and skills from previous years and in doing so will know more, remember more and be able to do more thus achieving good outcomes for themselves. Our reading curriculum is intended to ensure that all pupils, including those that are disadvantaged and pupils with SEND, have acquired the knowledge and cultural capital that they need to succeed in life and are academically prepared for life beyond primary school. We give children of The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy the gift of reading and, in doing so, a pass to all that school and life beyond education has to offer. Consistently, reading outcomes at KS2 are above the national average.
The purpose of the writing curriculum at The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy is to ensure that children develop a love of writing and are encouraged to experiment with language for impact on the reader. This is achieved through weaving the National Curriculum for writing through the transdisciplinary themes of the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). Through doing this, all of the children’s writing is cross-curricular. This provides an engaging way of writing for a reason and the children can understand the purpose of what they are writing about. We aspire for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in writing, which follows a clear pathway of curriculum progression as they advance through EYFS and then Key Stages 1 and 2. The curriculum is sequentially mapped to make clear the endpoints it is building towards and what pupils need to know and be able to do to reach those endpoints. Also, it is progressively planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what they have been taught before. It is our belief that, regardless of need or background, all children will acquire the knowledge and skills to become confident writers as being able to write is an essential tool that forms the basis for children’s lifelong learning opportunities. This will enable them to participate fully and confidently as active members of society with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
We ensure that writing is purposeful and meaningful for the children. The use of a wide variety of high quality texts in reading also helps to motivate and inspire our children’s imaginations when writing. Furthermore, teachers ensure that cross curricular links are at the forefront of their minds when planning their writing activities. Additionally, children are given the opportunity to write for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences as evident in our writing progression document. In EYFS and KS1, strong phonics teaching is the main vehicle for developing children’s spelling skills at an early age. The high expectations that are installed follow the children through into KS2 with a clear progression of spelling rules across the school.
Children are taught both discrete grammar lessons and grammar lessons embedded into English lessons to allow them to learn new skills to apply in their writing. The writing progression document clearly identifies the pathway the children take from EYFS to Year 6 and how they can develop these skills over the course of their time at The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy and, ultimately, the quality of their writing. In addition to a discrete grammar lesson, children also have the opportunity to learn spelling rules through the use of Spelling Shed. During the week, the children are set short spelling assignments through the programme so the children can revisit the spelling rule at school or at home. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, the children are also set spelling learning to complete at home that involves further investigating spelling rules and spelling patterns that have been taught in school.
At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we expect all students to take pride in presenting their work to the very best of their current ability and teaching them a joined letter formation – progressively – is part of this. At all times, the individual needs of pupils will be catered for and appropriate personalised strategies and resources will be used with those pupils who need them. Handwriting is taught as discrete lessons in classes, groups or individually as appropriate and is recorded in Handwriting books from Year One onwards. Teachers model expectations and show possible misconceptions, supervise children as they write and provide feedback to pupils to help improve their handwriting. Teachers (including teaching assistants, supply teachers and students) will model correct handwriting at all times – writing on the board and marking books. Where possible, handwriting lessons are linked to phonic development and spelling patterns. High expectations of handwriting and presentation are held by all staff. Displays throughout the school include joined writing and computer generated writing. From Year Three upwards, children may start to use a blue pen if their teacher feels that they are ready to do so. Pupils also have the agency to choose to write in pencil, biro or handwriting pen after this point depending on whichever helps them to write as neatly as possible and that they find most comfortable to use . Each module learning walks and book looks are performed to ensure that high standards of delivery of the writing curriculum are met. Where good practice is identified, it will be shared with staff through CPD.
To ensure that children are making at least expected progress, teachers follow our feedback on learning policy. The policy has been designed to allow children to reflect on their own writing, with adult support, and to guide them to eventually independently edit and improve their writing and to consolidate their learning. We use this assessment to check pupil’s understanding as well as to identify and correct misconceptions. As a result, this will inform future teaching and learning opportunities. Also, it will help children to embed and use knowledge fluently and develop their understanding of key concepts in order to fix them in their long-term memory.
Regular English book scrutinies and cross-cluster writing moderations are carried out to check that standards across The Hundred of Hoo Academy are consistent. Children are fully aware of our book presentation and handwriting expectations and are encouraged to take pride in their work in order to provide a baseline of acceptable standards. In addition to the taught curriculum, throughout the school year, our English curriculum is enhanced through World Book Day and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning. At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we identify children who need support and provide intervention for those who aren’t meeting the expected standard in writing. Children on the SEND register also have carefully arranged personalised plans that map out individual learning targets termly, so that every child is reaching their full potential by providing the appropriate support and resources for them. We believe this action will equip children with the confidence, tools and strategies that they need to be confident writers.
All writing outcomes for pupils are informed by clear writing success criteria that is adapted based on the text type, audience, purpose and pupil ability. The elements of this success criteria are investigated prior to writing, when looking at good examples of writing in the text type being studied and when working on writing and grammar skills before children create their own outcomes. These success criteria also include pupils’ individual writing targets which are designed to give pupils an additional personal focus to improve their writing.
At The Hundred of Hoo Primary Academy, we have a clear pathway of progression in writing through sustained learning and transferable skills. We want our children to be confident writers. By the time children reach Year 6, we expect them to be familiar with well-known writing genres, the grammar skills they need to demonstrate when composing a piece and how to make deliberate choices in their writing to impact the reader. Therefore our teaching focuses on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills by the end of KS2. Implementing cross curricular writing through the PYP, encourages children to take ownership of their work and boosts creativity and transferable skills into other subjects- showing consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific spellings, grammar and punctuation skills in the appropriate form. Through this, all children, including those who are disadvantaged and pupils with SEND, make progress as they know more, remember more and are able to do more. Consistently, writing outcomes at KS2 are above the national average.