‘Reading is the only way to improve reading.’ S. Krashen (2004)
Reading is fundamental to education. Proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for pupils’ success. We know that pupils who find it difficult to learn to read are likely to struggle across the curriculum, since English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching. It is vital that our children develop strong reading skills, so they move onto secondary school in an excellent position to further their education. We know that if children leave primary school with a strong reading ability they are more likely to succeed at GCSE and beyond.* Learning to read, and reading to learn, is the foundation for future educational success. We have an obligation to ensure that every pupil is a competent reader, and as a result, reading is prioritised to allow all pupils to access the full curriculum offer.
Those who read more know more.** Our reading curriculum develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. Our intention is for pupils to read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension appropriate to their age. We have an excellent reading culture: we tie reading into every curriculum area nurturing lifelong readers. Our whole school reading strategy follows the National Curriculum, based around our motto ‘Reading is the only way to improve reading’.
* The Reading Framework DfE (2022)
** The Power of Reading S. Krashen (2004)
By engaging in and listening to high quality texts, children display enthusiasm for reading and choose to read for pleasure. Pupil voice is positive; children enjoy accessing a wide range of genres, and texts through all subject areas. Senior leaders regularly listen to a sample of pupils read, and the subject leader monitors class reading folders looking at how pupils are progressing through the library book bands. Pupils read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension.
As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments, and essential skills allow children to transition to secondary school confidently. The structure in place allows all children to access reading in all areas of the curriculum whilst exposing them to new, unfamiliar, ambitious language and vocabulary.
Children read for meaning and pleasure; staff enthusiastically share texts and show themselves as readers. Teachers display a love of reading across school and take part in several reading events to encourage children to read. Children choose books to read, allowing them to enter a wide range of worlds that reading opens up, and immersing themselves in topics of interest in lessons and beyond. Children read across the curriculum, in other subject areas; as a result their skills are enhanced, their understanding of the world increased, and their breadth of vocabulary widened and deepened.
Targeted interventions, carefully planned activities, and challenges for the more able readers ensure that all pupils make good progress in reading from their initial starting point.