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  • St John Fisher Catholic Primary School
  • Alvechurch Road, West Heath, Birmingham
  • West Midlands, B31 3PN
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Reading

At St John Fisher Primary School, we fully recognize the importance of a love of reading. With reading at the heart of our curriculum, we believe every child should leave KS2 with an experience of wide and varied genre types throughout their learning. We aim to immerse our children in stories and texts that broaden their horizons and open doors to new worlds.

Children from Year 2 to Year 6 engage in whole class reading activities, using extracts, books and resources matched to their current levels of skill and understanding. Throughout the sessions, children take part in both adult-led whole class reading and independent work using a range of comprehensive reading strategies such as: using background information to support the understanding of texts as well as visualization and a focus on understanding the vocabulary. In late KS1 and KS2, children read as a class, led by an adult to model decoding strategies, ask questions to develop comprehension skills and scaffold inference skills to determine character and author intention within each child. Our children regularly read plays, stories, comics, poetry and non-fiction texts as part of their progressive reading journey.

Children from Reception to Y6 are also exposed to a wide range of vocabulary through our word of the day. Here the children look at the meaning of the word, synonyms and antonyms, and how it would be used in a sentence. This insight into Tier 1 and Tier 2 vocabulary, helps to close the vocabulary gap and allow them to use this knowledge when accessing the wide range of texts they are exposed to.

Children are informally assessed on an ongoing basis during whole class reading, culminating in moderated judgements being made each term. For assessment, we use a combination of teacher judgement and more formalized reading comprehension tests to ensure the accuracy of provision. Reading is rigorously monitored to ensure our very high expectations are maintained and built upon. Teaching staff receive support and professional development opportunities on a timely basis to ensure we constantly improve and refine practice.

From Year 2 onwards, children are set daily reading homework and are provided with specifically chosen reading material, or a self-chosen age appropriate banded book, or both. We encourage and support parents to read with their children on a daily basis, recognizing that parents play a vital role in their child’s reading development.

Our English Curriculum has reading at its heart, with each year group assigned different texts to delve into each half term. Children read, discuss and dissect stories, poems and texts, analyzing characters, form and purpose as well as vocabulary. The children use the knowledge they have gained from these texts to help them write their own stories, recounts and texts. Furthermore, all curriculum areas are designed with the aim of developing children’s reading and vocabulary skills. Our continuing aim is that reading (and writing) is at the heart of everything we do.

At St John Fisher, we recognize the value of reading to children and regularly include time to read for pleasure to the children. We believe listening to a teacher model reading skills such as appropriate vocal expression and intonation is the best way for children to learn how to implement these skills themselves. What better feeling is there, then leaving children on the edge of their seats, desperate to find out what happens in their class read next?

Our library, which has been restocked with engaging and exciting texts is open every day. The library offers all the children independent access to new and engaging content which is banded for age appropriateness on a regular basis. This allows the children the freedom to choose a genre or author they particularly enjoy reading whilst also ensuring the appropriateness for the age group. Within each classroom, there is also a range of topic related texts available for children to read, encouraging them to learn more about their given topic. Add to this the Book Fair, Book Week and many other whole school reading events, we are confident that children at St John Fisher understand the importance of reading as a lifelong skill whilst also gaining a love of reading for pleasure.

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