One of the greatest gifts that we can give a child is the ability to read. We encourage and provide daily opportunities for our children to read in school at home as regular reading ensures the best possible chance that that children will become fluent and confident readers.
Love of Reading - how do we inspire all ?
We invest in quality Reading Logs to inspire and value home reading.
We have books everywhere (and two libraries).
We have continually changing book displays in the hall.
We try to take part in events that promote reading and a love of reading whenever we can to encourage all of our children to read regularly.
We invite in 'real'. authors.
This year we saw many children take part in the Summer Reading Challenge and this autumn Class Teachers are on board with taking part in the Literacy Trust World Cup Reading Challenge.
We often take part in Read for Good and Class 4 have taken part in sponsored reads for Children in Need and as part of the Read for Good Initiative.
We have strong links with the local library and classes kicked off the autumn term with visits to the library to capitalise on the success of the Summer Reading Challenge.
In the past, we have held Scholastic book fairs and and have had our own Scholastic Book Club where parents have bought books in order to raise money for the school.
We invite in local bookshops to promote new titles.
We always have second hand book stalls and sales at school fetes to encourage families to share and swap books.
How do we remain up to date and 'in the know'?
We recently undertook ( 22nd October 2021) a whole staff early reading training event (25 places ) which we found inspiring and refreshing. In July, 5 members of staff took part in an online Zoom Webinar with Michael Rosen on Reading for Pleasure. This was used to create a 'future actions' plan for the school.
We are members of the Somerset Literacy Network and attend regular meetings to share ideas with other schools . We are members of a selection of Phonics Hubs. We liaise with local schools and schools within the Diocese in order to share ideas and improve our provision.
We follow many reading sites on social media and have good relations with trusted librarians , the local library and bookshops.
How are the children given access to books?
We have 'in class' bookshelves, a phonics scheme , a reading scheme, an online reading resource and two school libraries plus guided reading texts and sets of whole class readers.
Last year we had a Library Club which was well attended by children across both Key Stages. Children restocked shelves, recommended books, chose new titles, created displays, catalogued books , created Twitter posts and took part in competitions.
Within school library sessions are run to provide access for all and these take place in our two libraries (run by Libresoft software ) by a team of librarians.
We give each class a 'Library Challenge List' at the start of the year and challenge our children to read an agreed number of books through the year.
We have a library display in the hall and a board displaying new titles.
There is a constantly changing book display in the hall.
Phonics and Little Wandle.
Our Little Wandle daily phonics scheme is in its second year at St George's . The change was made in response to our identification of the changing needs of our children through monitoring, assessment and pupil and parent voice.
Little Wandle promotes the use of quality texts and a rigorous approach to the teaching phonics . It has clear guidance on catch up and intervention. On line training can be accessed throughout the year. We have phonics intervention groups in Classes Two, Three and Four and one to one intervention can be provided for children who require additional support in upper KS2.
Little Wandle can be used to support pupils entering a class with little or no English. Our EAL Intervention Teacher has access to Little Wandle resources and training.
Please see the dedicated Phonics page for more information.
How do we help children transition from phonics support to independent reading?
To allow the smooth transition from our synthetic phonics schemes to independent reading for all children , we have recently invested in guided reading texts and teaching resources from Orange and Turquoise Band though to Brown Band .
Last year, in various different terms, we trialled a guided reading project in Classes Two, Three and Four. Children were given the chance to take home their guided reading text as a home reader this raised confidence ( pupil voice impact study) . It saw children progressing through reading bands with greater rapidity as it allowed children to spend more time reading in a supported way in school.
Pupil voice interviews established that children felt more supported and more confident when reading the text independently at home and comments made in reading logs showed that parents were very aware of this. It is our intention this will have an impact on future attainment.
In addition, we have invested in the Go Facts reading scheme for target our least confident readers and to help them to transition from phonic scheme books to our wider reading scheme. This scheme is an excellent resource for EAL support as the texts are 'real world' in content and accessible in reading ability. The texts can be used by EAL support staff to support 'in class' topics and intervention.
How do we link reading to the curriculum?
We have recently invested in curriculum linked whole class readers and shared reading texts as part of the development of a broad and balanced curriculum and our school development vision of linking Literacy closely to the wider curriculum.
Our guided reading texts are either quality texts which ensure breadth and depth of reading or are they curriculum linked so that children learn to read and read to learn.
In buying guided reading and home reading texts, we think about all of our children and strive to acquire texts to suit and inspire all.
We have opted for a mixture of whole class and small group guided reading sessions through the year across the classes.
We alternate between 'real book' texts and chosen extracts from agreed sources to keep the quality of texts high, content varied and to link to the curriculum in line with our intent of reading to learn alongside learning to read.
Through pupil voice interviews we have learned that linking reading to topic raises confidence among pupils. When pupils are already familiar with content, they can focus on developing their reading skills.
Please see The Story of Reading page for more information on each teacher's approach to Guided Reading.
Our comprehension activities are chosen on the same rationale as our guided reading texts.
Our current School Development Plan is driving the consistent use of progressive vocabulary displays in classrooms.
We prepare our children for reading across the curriculum by sharing 'Knowledge Organisers' before topic work.
Our Knowledge Organisers explain key vocabulary and provide pictorial support so that children can pre-learn new vocabulary before the work is covered. These are shared with children and parents in a variety of ways. The organisers link vocabulary and reading to learning very explicitly .
Many parents find this a useful resource to use at home and is particularly helpful if English is an additional language in a household.
We have purchased whole class sets of CGP topic texts which help us to teach complex ideas in topics through well presented tests which incorporate labelled diagrams and photographs . This reading resource helps us to reduce the barriers formed by language gaps. We chose to use this particular resource following EAL consultancy advice.
We place a high emphasis on vocabulary rich displays linked to topics driven by our School Development Plan goals.
How do we ensure we have up to date and quality resources?
The staff have recently created a new St George's Curriculum and reading opportunities have been embedded and signalled within the new plans. New resources are linked to the new planning.
We update our Reading Scheme on a regular basis. Historically, we have opted for a 'mixed' resource scheme in order to offer variety however, more recently, we have invested most heavily in Big Cat Collins texts to provide consistency between the move from guided reading within phonics and reading within the wider school scheme.
We have chosen Big Cat Collins for its quality texts and its suitability to the needs of our pupils.
We have invested heavily in 'real books' from Badger Publishing within the scheme to keep interest high. Our inspiration from this came from our Lunch Bunch pupil recommendations and our pupil interviews .
We regularly interview pupils to ask for feedback and ideas to promote reading. We completely restocked the Reading Scheme from Grey to Black in response to pupil voice.
In the libraries this year, children will find an increased amount of graphic novels and 'themed zones' as a result of our end of term pupil interviews.
We are currently developing our equality and diversity section and have recently monitored this aspect of our provision and have applied for a grant to improve our resourcing.
We have a Gold Level subscription to Resources for Learning so that we can constantly update our Fiction and Non-Fiction book selections.
We have a First News subscription which ensures the weekly delivery of newspapers.
We read for empathy and we have an 'Empathy Shelf' and a 'Sharing Sofa' in the KS 2 library which can be used for ELSA sessions in times of need. We keep abreast of Social Media recommendations to ensure we remain well stocked.
Our Pie Corbett Reading Spine collection ensures our class readers are well chosen, quality texts and ensures coverage and progression through the school. The Spine is added to if new titles appear and we regard them as 'essential classics' . In this way we have made the reading spine our own.
In order to inspire our eldest and or our most avid readers, we have recently invested in a Black Book Band . These books have been chosen to be content appropriate for primary aged pupils whist providing challenge . This provision improved as a response to a Reading Scheme audit.
We receive regular reading recommendations from trusted librarians and each year we ensure we but recently published reads to keep abreast of the latest publications in children's literature.
How do we recognise or reward reading?
Our Golden Ticket Scheme rewards home reading for frequency or effort and commitment. We have termly Golden Ticket assemblies where prizes are drawn to reward reading.
Teachers can also nominate children for special reading awards for effort and commitment to reading.
Our Poetry Step gives children a chance to perform if they have a particular love for poetry or oral performance. We have a dedicated poetry section in the school library.
How do we show that we value reading as a school and as a staff ?
Our Teachers' Book Club ensures that our staff develop their own love of reading.
Our author displays in the hall inspire a love of writers and are inspired by pupil interviews.
World Book Day makes reading fun every year and values reading.
World Read Aloud day and World Poetry Day are always fun events in school and, last year, we had children performing poetry in the lunch hall!
Skype chats or on on line reading events with authors help us connect with authors from a distance and give our keenest readers a chance to connect with their reading champions.
Our Reading Ambassadors provide pupil voice and promote reading peer to peer. We have Ambassadors in every class.
Our healthy Twitter account is regularly used to promote reading across the whole community.
We have close links with local book shops and every year Brendon Books supports us by providing us with a whole school supply of World Book Day books. Local book shops keep us informed of author events.
How do we support those who may speak more than one language or those who struggle to read?
We have chosen some of our reading resources with the needs of EAL pupils in mind.
The SENCO has a selection of Dyslexia friendly texts which can be loaned to support children who may need adjusted texts.
We have purchased Hi-Lo texts which offer high interest yet accessible content to support pupils.
One to one priority readers receive additional support.
We have an online reading resource called Bug Club to which every child has access. This has a 'read to me' function to support any families who may find it hard to read with their children at home.
We use Knowledge Organisers and CPG texts which teach key vocabulary in a graphic way to reduce barriers to reading and leaning.
We have a multi language section in the library. We are developing our selection of dual language texts.
We use progressive vocabulary displays and have developed a language rich curriculum.
We seek to talk first and to use Talking Partners and TTYP.
We have support sheets for parents in various languages.
We track all of our pupils and provide intervention and support where needed.
How do we track our pupils?
Bug Club allows us to track pupil reading and progress and was invaluable as a reading resource during Lockdown.
The school library software system (Libresoft) ensures that children have the experience of using a 'real library' where they can borrow and return books. This is a digital system which can also track children's reading. The library is open to children at lunchtimes, on Friday afternoons.
Children who may need extra support with reading , or those who are avid readers and may require additional opportunities are tracked using the Libresoft system and are offered the chance to take out texts above the standard allocation guidelines.
There is a Reading File in each classroom where teaching staff can easily access data and record information about a child’s reading.
We have intervention programmes for children who may need extra support and we identify and support priority readers. Children who require reading intervention are identified by class teachers through assessment and most recently through the Graduated Response Tool and are tracked through our Pupil Progress Meetings.
Individual reading support will be outlined through our Pupil Passport system which can be accessed if needed by relevant staff in our secure school network.
We monitor reading though Bug Club scrutinies, Libresoft tracking, Phonics tracking, Reading Log checks , half termly reading comprehension checks , single word reading checks , whole class and group Guided Reading teacher assessment , one to one reading checks ( miscue ) and end of term / end of year reading checks . We interview pupils about reading through the year.
Reading progress is recorded on SIMS and is reviewed at Pupil Progress Meetings . We use the Little Wandle tracking tools to track phonics.
As a staff we ‘Book Look' Reading Logs and Guided Reading books . We conduct pupil interviews alongside the ‘Book Look ‘ process . Teachers can request access to all pupils’ Bug Club accounts and to the Libresoft data base.
How do we inspire our keen readers?
We run clubs and events to encourage and inspire our keenest readers.
In the past we have hosted a Guardian Book Club and an Authorfy Club. We have shadowed reading awards.
During Lockdown we took part in the Hay Festival on line.
We hold a Shakespeare Week in school each year.
We have a poetry step.
In Lockdown we had an online Library Club.
We have librarians and Reading Ambassadors.
Please see the Enrichment section on the site for more information on how we enrich and inspire.
We open the library for lunchtime reading.
How do we connect with parents ?
We reach out to parents through our social media accounts. We use these to offer support for reading and to offer suggestions for new titles and authors and reading events within the town.
We invite parents in to reading events such as our 'Hot Chocolate Afternoon' .
We send home information on home reading in many languages.
Before Covid, we had a shared reading shelf in the school foyer.
We always host a second hand book stall at school fetes to promote the sharing of books between families.
We sent out a questionnaire to parents at the end of the last academic year and the overwhelming majority of parents who replied said that they felt very well informed about Literacy and reading.
Just in case you need to know a little bit more ....
We fully support and promote both reading for pleasure and to gain knowledge. Every day, each class either reads or is read to: this is to foster the love of reading and its use as a tool for learning.
We have invested in the Pie Corbett Story Spine to ensure that well chosen texts are read aloud in each class though the school. Our aim is to build a rich 'internal library' for our children.
In addition to daily phonics teaching, children in Key Stage One receive Guided Reading sessions linked to phonics through the week with an adult. These are planned to develop basic skills of prediction, sequencing, retrieval, and inference and understanding vocabulary.
We have recently invested in Little Wandle Big Cat Collins home reading books and Read Write Inc home reading texts so that books sent home have either been read in school or will be phonetically matched to sounds taught in school. The home read will be a consolidation read designed for the children to celebrate and 'show off' their reading skills at home. We have had very positive feedback from parents on the quality of these texts and the impact that this approach has been having on pupils and their reading . All of the Read Write Inc and Little Wandle reading books are stored in the Key Stage One library . We made the change from Read Write Inc to Little Wandle when we were making decisions on the needs of our pupils and on our desire to foster a love of reading alongside the teaching of phonics. Little Wandle was the scheme that best met our vision.
Children who enter the school needing a phonic catch up programme can receive this support in any year group. One to one intervention in phonics can be given in any year group according to need.
Progress in phonics is regularly monitored by the Key Stage One Team who report to the Literacy Lead and SLT.
In Reception , shared stories are regularly taken home . Children are encouraged to see themselves at story tellers though the Reception Class Helicopter Stories project .
This year, Class One has been sending home traditional stories as a shared story at home to build our children’s foundational internal story bank. We have also bought a whole class set of The Large Family books as a home reading project.
In Class Two, shared books for home link to topic wherever possible to encourage the link between home and school to support our families . Guided Reading texts and activities are often shared on Google Docs with this end in mind .
As the children transition into Key Stage Two, the focus shifts towards reading for meaning although attention is still paid to fluency and decoding. The skills of prediction, retrieval, inference and understanding vocabulary are progressed . To build on the skills previously mentioned, the children will also learn how to summarise texts, connect ideas, make comparisons and discuss how language choices contribute to the meaning of a given text.
As a school we linger over vocabulary whenever possible and we immerse the children in a vocabulary rich environment. We link reading and writing to displays and topics where possible and we use labelling and talk whenever we can .
All of the above skills are taught in discrete reading lessons, which are, where possible, linked to Topic themes and English writing units (Literacy and Language) to immerse children in a variety of genre and content.
We believe this approach gives children the opportunity to deepen their understanding of not only the skills required for reading, but also the knowledge of a topic or genre. We also believe that reading within a familiar topic raises confidence and allows children to focus on higher order reading skills. We have recently been looking into a new scheme entitled 'Read to Write' which we hope will further link reading to writing across our curriculum .
We use Headstart Materials for comprehension along with Deepening Understanding, Twinkl and the text questions in the Literacy and Language Scheme.
We use a variety of sources for whole class guided reading and comprehension in order to provide breadth and to allow us to match to topic content.
Many of these reading resources allow for differentiation. We have a school wide approach to whole class guided reading to ensure consistency.
Guided Reading is taught as a mixture of whole class and group guided sessions though the year .
Teachers alternate whole class guided reading using text extracts with the guided reading of whole texts from 'real' books within each class's guided reading selection.
These selections have been created to offer a breadth of reading material and to allow for reading within topic.
Across both Key Stages there are banded guided reading sets (Go Facts and book banded Badger Guided Reading ) with Teacher Packs to guide questioning.
Where there are no published packs for guided reading texts , teachers create specific questions for chosen guided reading texts according to the skills they want the children to learn.
These questions will be guided by formative assessment. Children are asked to give verbal or written answers on these texts. Lots of time is spent lingering over vocabulary before a text is read. We subscribe to the belief that vocabulary is vital. Staff members have received Vocabulary is Vital Training from the Somerset Literacy Network and we use the principles from this training.
Children are guided to choose independent reading books from our scheme and have opportunities to read one to one to an adult through the week. Priority readers are heard more frequently.
We have a Reading Scheme in KS 2 which was has had a recent overhaul to cater for losses and to improve quality.
We have invested heavily in Grey- Red level to keep our Upper Key Stage Two pupils engaged in reading. This was in response to our pupil interviews early in th2 2021 /22 academic year.
We have invested in a Big Cat Progression set of books to provide a bridge between Key Stage One and Two for our least secure readers who will be entering Key Stage Two having read Little Wandle Big Cat Collins.
We have invested in a Black Band box to keep our most competent readers reading guided texts until they leave our school.
Our Libresoft Library system catalogues books according to book bands so that children can be guided to appropriate texts for their ability when using the library.
Reading Logs are checked in class weekly and by the Literacy coordinator at intervals through the year.
Rewards are given in celebration assemblies for regular readers through our Golden Ticket scheme.
The appropriateness of scheme books are checked on a regular basis and children are moved through the scheme by staff according to need and as a result of ongoing assessment.
Support staff have been given training sessions on how to use the reading scheme and advice has been given on how to hear children read through a training domain on Google Docs which remains accessible to all staff with the link.
The Literacy Coordinator has monitored how support staff read with children and how book changes are managed in each class. Support staff are made aware of priority readers.
Each class has a reading file where data on reading is kept so that all those in charge of reading with children can be made aware of levels and details to support reading.
St George’s subscribes to Resources for Learning, where we benefit from a specialised library service. Each class has access to a wide range of books across a variety of genres ( non-fiction, fiction and poetry ) . Boxes of books can be ordered to refresh class libraries or as topic book boxes so that children can be given the opportunity to read to learn.
We fully encourage home-school links. We promote home reading through social media and through our GoogleDocs platform.
We host events to educate parents. We recently held a ‘Hot Chocolate: Read With Your Child’ event which was led by Sarah Cook. Sarah spoke to over 50 parents and gave advice on how to read with your child and how to foster a love of reading in the family. Parents then read with their child in the hall over a cup of hot chocolate. We provided information to parents on reading in over 10 languages.
We were part of the 'Taunton a Reading Town' project.
We have multi language section in our school library.
There is a 'sharing shelf' of books in the school foyer so families / visitors can help themselves to a good read while they are waiting in the foyer. We are happy for families to take home books from this source.
We run second hand book swaps and second hand book sales to encourage the sharing of books across our school community.
We would really like to set up a Parent Book Club.
We endeavour to provide additional enrichment opportunities to promote the love of reading and storytelling. See the Enrichment page for more details.
The Key Stage One library can open after lunch on a Friday until the end of the school day. The libraries are run librarians and Class Teachers who track and monitor the children and who provide feedback on library reading to all staff including SLT and School Governors .
This information we gather from the Libresoft library database is cross referenced with Reading Log and Bug Club scrutinies, feedback from one to one reading and formal written reading assessments to build up an overview picture of our children as readers.
We hold a Shakespeare Week every year . Class Four has taken on the promotion of Shakespeare from Class 6 and every year they come off timetable to celebrate The Bard.
If you would like to know even more, please also see the 'Story of Reading' page for a testimonial from each Class Teacher on reading opportunities and progression across the school.
We learn to read. We read to learn. We love to read.