“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”
We love to read at Rowner and find as many opportunities to do so. We recognise that reading is an essential skill. It develops the brain, provides a window into the world around us and helps us do better in all school subjects. Did you know that? At Rowner we believe that high quality reading experiences will lead to a love of reading. We intend to create confident readers who have the ability to develop a deep and true understanding of what they read and appreciate the importance and value of reading for pleasure. We aim to foster and promote a love of reading, fluency and a secure ability to comprehend information. It is important for us that children are able to comprehend at a high level rather than just sight read. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and embed the habit of reading widely and often. Reading is at the centre of everything we do, including the wider curriculum where reading is used as a gateway into other learning opportunities. With a common language for reading used across the school setting by both adults and pupils, discussions about reading are rich and purposeful. Not being literate is a barrier to all learning, and one we endeavour to remove for all our children to ensure equity and future learning success.
We are lucky at Rowner to have lots and lots of books which we look after and refresh regularly. We introduced a Mange club and library section which is much enjoyed. Some children at Rowner find reading tricky or read with confidence and struggle to extract key information – inference. We are working hard on developing the children’s inference skills alongside engendering a love of reading for pleasure. Outlined below is how we incorporate reading into everyday life at Rowner. For tips on how to help with reading at home please visit
Autumn Term 2023 Exciting ReadsAutumn-Term-2022-Reads
Reading is integrated into all curriculum areas in the Junior school. Children read to be informed and entertained across a range of subject areas – we have a genre map to ensure good coverage. Reading is a consistent expectation for Home Learning and parents are kept well informed of their child’s progress through termly learning review meetings, banded books and reading diaries in the lower school (where required).
Decoding and Phonics
As a junior school we pay close attention to the KS1 phonics screening. All pupils who did not pass the screening at KS1 automatically begin intervention with our phonics learning support assistant. This is done either on a 1:1 or group basis depending on need. We currently follow Read Write Inc to complement Rowner Infant. They have now moved to Supersonic Phonic Friends. We will be trained with this to support our new Year 3 ready for September 2023. Children will be regularly assessed in order to track their progress. Toe by Toe is used with pupils whose reading age is significantly below that of age-related expectations. This intervention is done regularly on a 1:1 basis, Our lower school teaches phonics as required as part of their spelling programme in order to ensure high levels of fluency. Children with a standardised score (taken from Star assessments) of below 85automatically become daily readers. Those with a standardised score of below 95 are regular readers. This means that these pupils get daily or regular reading with an adult. These lists are reviewed after each round of assessments and adjusted accordingly. Regular training is provided to our adults who read with children and our SEND and English leader monitor these sessions regularly to ensure consistency across the school.
The implementation of our reading intent is through a tiered approach. Tier one is provided for all pupils across the school; tier two is group intervention or additional support to close specific gaps, tier three is bespoke individual intervention tailored to identified needs.
We take a whole class approach to structured reading lessons. Reading is taught across the curriculum and the texts pupils engage with are linked to their English and wider curriculum learning, as well as some chosen to encourage reading for pleasure. In our reading scrapbooks children are explicitly taught this has really helped embed a consistent language of reading across the entire school, alongside skills from the national curriculum and a focus on tiered 2 and 3 vocabulary.
Explicitly taught in reading journals (and applied across the curriculum):
- Linking to previous background knowledge and making connections to other texts/experiences.
- Making predictions
- Identifying VIP (very important) words, phrases and ideas
- Noticing a meaning breakdown (something that doesn’t make sense) and repairing it (re-reading) Inferring – looking for clues and being a reading detective
- Piecing everything together and finding the gist (main points) of the text
- Thinking like a detective – making inferences
Text marking is a skill taught school wide – the aim is to make meaningful annotations, which leads to enhanced meaning of the text (and a chance to explicitly link some of our strategies). There is a focus on talking through the metacognition of reading and unpicking a text and this is regularly modelled to children, in particular, how application of the strategies can overcome barriers to true understanding.
We take a scrapbook approach to guided reading, children have ownership over how most tasks are presented and organised, this has hugely improved engagement in the subject and allows them room to be creative and really engage with texts. Our learning journey in guided reading follows a two weekly cycle. This always begins a text masking a text which enhance background knowledge for other areas of the curriculum. During the first few sessions children will work alongside their teach to text mark and decode the text. There is always a focus on tier two and three vocabulary.
Example two week cycle used in the lower school
|Day 1 and 2
|Text marking with a focus on tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.
|Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary focus
|Model National Curriculum skill – Use the progression document for national curriculum guidance.
|Children apply the skill taught yesterday
|Model Rowner Reading Strategy Skill
|Apply Rowner reading Strategy
|Day 3 and 4
|Comprehension questions about the text using the different strands. Recapping previous taught skills
These activities will create 1 or 2 double pages. See appendix of a good example.
Text marking text example from year 3:
Text copied from source highlighted tier 2 and 3 vocabulary
Definition of vocabulary tiers:
Tier 1 – high frequency in spoken language (table, slowly, write, horrible)
Tier 2 – high frequency in written texts (gregarious, beneficial, required, maintain)
Tier 3 – subject specific, academic language
Example double page below
English lessons are an opportunity to apply specific reading strategies, engage children with a wide range of texts and look more closely about the choices made by authors. We are an opening doors school, whose philosophy is to plan to the top, but ensure everyone is supported in gaining access to high quality (often heritage texts) in way that is enjoyable, challenging and enhances both reading and writing. Reading underpins all our writing units, with a big reading question that is often genre or audience specific. This is an opportunity for the Rowner reading strategies to be applied in context, alongside text marking. An example big question may be ‘How did JM Barry create a subtle sense of danger when writing about The Jolly Roger (Peter Pan)?’
The aims of our English curriculum that children are regularly:
- Reading and understanding between the lines
- Inferring and deducing
- Being engrossed in increasingly challenging and wider reader
- Writing in varied styles, appropriate to context and audience
- Producing well-crafted and versatilt writing – learning through reading examples where the author has made deliberate choices e.g irony, humour etc…
- Using punctuation and grammar in accurate and varied ways to enhance meaning
Whilst not all of the above directly linked to reading, reading, decoding and understanding increasingly complex texts by applying the Rowner reading strategies underpins all of our English (and in fact all of our learning across the wider curriculum).
Individual reading (book bands, diaries):
All pupils have an appropriately banded reading book (this is supported by Renaissance and benchmarking assessments). Pupils are expected to read at home regularly and parents/carers are encouraged to complete reading diaries. Home reading is celebrated in class. Our book band system suits the needs of all readers from non-worded books up to catering for children who are reading at greater depth in Year 6.
Whole year group reading experiences:
Every year group has a whole class reading experience every day (for at least 15 minutes). Texts are chosen to engage and enthuse readers as well as provide experiences of a wide range of texts/genre. A balance of heritage texts, modern choices and choices by the children are utilised throughout the year. Links, where appropriate, are made to the English learning and the wider curriculum e.g The Black Ship linked to the pirate project unit in Year 6. This time provides a good opportunity for adults and children to discuss the texts in more detail, modelling the metacognition of a reader.
Renaissance is used to provide summative, age standardised score assessment for all pupils (as well as a reading age). This is then used to measure progress towards age related expectations alongside evidence in pupil scrap books. Each term teachers use all of the evidence to inform their teacher assessment. Question Level Analysis is used by the English Subject Leader to inform next steps, it is also used to adjust provision/intervention.
Vocabulary learning (Bedrock):
With vocabulary an area of significant weakness in both end of key stage assessments and across the school, a vocabulary focus has been necessary. The use of Bedrock materials across has been used to support this.
Access to library:
Our library provides opportunities for all pupils to choose and share books for enjoyment. Library club at lunchtime enables pupils to be guided in their choices of books by school pupil librarians. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that the library books are appropriately challenging. The children requested access to the library at lunchtime and now run a lunchtime library club where the review books, pair read and is a place for children to read quietly.
Application across the curriculum:
Reading is integral to all learning experiences across the school. Opportunities to use texts as a stimulus are utilised across the curriculum and in particular in history and science. Pupils apply their skills from one context to another and teachers plan lessons to enable application of new reading learning.
Let’s Think English:
Let’s Think in English primary programme consists of a suite of high-interest lessons which are intended to be used fortnightly from Year 3 to Year 6 (and into KS3 for learners who remain within our MAT). They are largely oral, based on reading, open-ended questioning and structured group discussion which increases pupils’ reasoning skills and metacognition (structured reflection). This makes pupils more aware of their thinking processes and how they think most effectively. Lessons develop pupils’ ability to provide reasoned justifications for their views, predict, summarise and draw inferences when reading texts. Furthermore, through LTE pupils identify how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning, examine authors’ choice of language and other stylistic features and consider the purpose of the text. Pupils develop their higher-order reading skills (and subsequently writing) through group discussion and sharing their views.
Additional one to one reading:
Pupils are heard regularly by adults across the year group. Disadvantaged and SEND learners are heard as often as possible (at least twice a week) to ensure any barriers of reading at home are overcome. This can include the Toe by Toe intervention (targeting decoding) or the Stride Ahead intervention (which focuses on comprehension).
Use of reading volunteers:
At Rowner, we have a growing group of reading volunteers who regularly come into school to hear pupils read. All volunteers have undergone training so they too use the common language of reading when working with children. They are also given key questions linked to the Rowner Strategies and the specific book bands children are currently reading. They support pupils, who have been identified through our assessment, that require additional reading opportunities.
Range of banded books to suit a range of needs:
Our knowledge of the pupils and the summative data provided to us by Renaissance enable us provide a reading age for each pupil in the school. We have a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction, that have been book banded, enabling all pupils to access suitable books to their reading age. Unlike previous systems, this system goes all the way to meet the needs of children in Year 6 working at the greater depth standard. There are also specific collections of books to meet the needs of children at risk of dyslexia, as well as high interest, low reading level books for upper key stage 2 children for whom traditional book banded books are not age appropriate.
Diagnostic use of assessment tool/high impact plan:
Both summative and formative assessments are used by teachers to write high impact plans that target gaps in pupils learning. These inform next steps within lessons, as well as specific targeted support required to ensure that pupils gaps are identified and addressed. These are regularly monitored and amended as gaps are tackled. All children with a standardised score of below 85 will have a small step target for reading on their provision map target sheet. Children who cannot access the Star Assessment will be accessed using early reader – this gives further breakdown of barriers to be a transitional reader (able to access KS2 level texts).
Speech and language intervention:
All children who enter Year 3 (plus late arrivals into the Key Stage) undergo a speech and language baseline assessment. This is overseen by our specially trained teacher assistant responsibility for phonics and speech and language. If children require intervention or are at risk of this, they will follow Language Links programme.
All children who enter Year 3, who did not pass the phonics screening when they completed a re-take in Year 2, complete a phonics intervention and are re-assessed to ensure they achieve the pass mark. Where phonics are assessed as a barrier to decoding across the school pupils are screened and complete a phonics sequence of learning.
Tier 3 support and intervention follows additional assessment via the SEND/Inclusion team. Where a need is identified in both decoding and understanding of text the following interventions are implemented:
- Heathfield outreach
- Adjusted curriculum provision
- 1:1 interventions
- Paired reading
- FFT reading intervention
- Read, Write, Inc (recommissioned by DFE 2021). Previously used Letters and Sound