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Ashley Down Primary School

English Reading 

Reading at Ashley Down Primary School Aims (intent)

At Ashley Down we aim for all our children to become life-long readers. We prioritise the teaching of reading because being able to read is essential for children to access the school curriculum, participate fully in our literate society and appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage. Early reading is taught from the very start of Reception using a phonics first approach from our chosen SSP – Unlocking Letters and Sounds. Through their first 2 years at Ashley Down children build their phonic knowledge and practise this when reading books which are matched to taught phonic phases. We aim to develop our children's vocabulary, comprehension and love of reading by giving them access to a wide range of high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We strive to equip them with the necessary skills to decode with fluency and comprehension in order to gain knowledge across the curriculum.

What it looks like here (implementation)

Our reading curriculum is embedded from Reception to Year 6, allowing children to learn progressively and build on prior knowledge. Our carefully selected high quality texts expose children to new, rich vocabulary and a variety of genres. These books are available in class libraries and for children to take home each week. The Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum are followed and we use the phonics teaching progression outlined in Unlocking Letters and Sounds. Children are taught to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode unknown words, and they practise these skills by reading phonically decodable texts. From the end of Year 1, children are given levelled books to read at home until they become fluent and are able to choose from the class library. Parental support, at home and in school, is strongly valued and encouraged. Children read widely across the curriculum throughout the school day, and reading is explicitly taught in whole class lessons, guided reading and one to one sessions. All children are read aloud to and encouraged to listen attentively to a wide range of stories, non-fiction and poetry, that they become familiar with. Opportunities to enhance pupils’ vocabulary and grammar are planned for as well as being responded to during taught sessions. Children are also trained to unpick their understanding of the author’s intent alongside nuances of the text. Reading skills are continually assessed to ensure that when reading independently children are choosing books which are accessible in terms of length, reading difficulty and age appropriateness. This approach to teaching reading encourages children to become independent, enthusiastic and avid readers