Reading at Malton Primary Academy
‘…the chime of fine words…’
At Malton Primary Academy literacy (including reading) is viewed as the key to success in other curriculum areas. If pupils are to fully access a broad and balanced curriculum, it is essential they master the skills and acquire the knowledge associated with speaking, reading and writing.
Some pupils at our school do not always see the value in literature. This includes reading for pleasure at home, creating writing and presenting what they know with clarity. Others, however, have a desire to immerse themselves in quality texts and yearn to know more. It is due to this context that our literacy curriculum is based on well-written contemporary and classic texts, poetry and our rich literary heritage.
Some pupils, for a variety for reasons, enter our school without age-appropriate vocabulary. Our curriculum is therefore underpinned by a focus on closing the vocabulary gap. This approach also enhances the vocabulary of our most able learners by providing plentiful opportunities for vocabulary immersion and expansion. Phonology, morphology and semantics are key components to literacy progression and have been planned for sequentially.
Pupils are given frequent opportunities to hear examples of well-spoken language and read examples of well-written text and linguistic conventions across the curriculum. This helps familiarise pupils with language patterns of text types. Pupils must read aloud and respond physically to the ebb and flow of well-constructed sentences. This is essential for pupils in our school because some pupils do not have the opportunity to access this elsewhere, for example, where pupils are new to English.
Through literature pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We have ensured this by carefully considering the texts we expect pupils to hear, read and talk about. Cultural capital is built though regular exposure to topical content, debate and real-life experiences. Pupils are therefore expected to refer to this and draw on knowledge of literature when creating their own pieces of writing.
The school implements a highly structured approach to the teaching of phonics and early literacy. We recognise the importance of decoding and word reading as a foundation to reading and writing for meaning. Almost all pupils entering Year 2 have a secure grounding in word reading and are therefore in a strong position to access the curriculum.
The following key principles underpin our literacy curriculum: Enjoyment is an essential hook to encourage pupils to fully engage with literature; A whole school evidenced-based approach to reading, writing, spelling, handwriting and speaking and listening ensure a consistent and equitable approach for all pupils; Continued professional development is essential to the success of the literacy curriculum and the school invests appropriately in this and encouraging pupils to form positive lifelong learning habits in relation to literacy.
As a result of engagement with our literacy curriculum, we expect pupils in our school to be:
Effective communicators who can justify their views;
Confident and fluent speakers, readers and writers, who view these attributes as extraordinarily important;
In possession of a deep understanding of vocabulary and language;
Proud authors of their own writing;
Grounded in literature both contemporary and classic;
Patient, with a desire to improve their own work and that of others;
Able to see literature as an opportunity to acquire knowledge.
Able to understand audience and purpose.
At Malton Primary Academy, we teach our children to read using the Read Write Inc Phonics programme (RWI). This programme is used consistently throughout our Early Years and KS1 provision for reading and for any KS2 reading interventions that are necessary.
What is Read Write Inc?
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a systematic synthetic phonics programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.
RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin.
Pupils are formatively assessed in every lesson and summatively on a half termly basis using the RWI assessment grids. This ensures that all pupils are in the correct groups and allows the Reading Lead and Leadership Team to monitor pupil progress.
All staff members at Malton Primary, including the Leadership Team, have completed the RWI training. Miss Anderson, our Leader for Reading, ensures that the scheme continues to be implemented effectively by providing support, offering guidance and targeted or additional professional development.
Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes. We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’, ’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that children are able to blend the sounds into words more easily. Sounds are grouped into set 1, 2 and 3.
Children experience success from the very beginning. Engaging phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words. Children become fluent readers through repetition of stories and having home reading books that are closely matched to their class text.
You can view a short introduction to Read Write Inc for families below:
You can view the ‘How To Say The Sounds’ video from Read Write Inc below: