Our pupils’ backgrounds, our culture and our climate for learning provide the following drivers that underpin our curriculum and our vision and weave through all that we do.
- Catholic values – which helps pupils grow spiritually and give them values for life outside of school
- Historic Environment – which helps pupils to understand and appreciate their locality which facilitates their relationship to the wider world
- Resilience – which helps pupils grow as learners
- Independence – which helps pupils to grow as independent learners, not dependent on adults to learn
- Subject knowledge and skills – which help pupils develop their knowledge and skills and give them knowledge for life
- Tolerance – respecting and valuing the beliefs, values, choices and opinions of others
At St Michael’s School each class has dedicated Reading Ambassadors
Roles And Responsibilities
- Champion of reading in their class
- Deliver Assemblies
- Tidy/organise school and class libraries
- Interview Local authors
- Audit the schools resources
- Book reviews
- Manage the book swaps
- Look after the outside reading area
- Plan World Book Day
Subject Leader – Mrs L Blakey
At St. Michael’s RC Primary School, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that Phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Through Phonics, children learn to blend sounds to read words and segment words to support their spelling ability. The teaching of Phonics is of high priority.
At St. Michael’s RC Primary School, we use a synthetic phonics programme called Read, Write, Inc. (RWI).
The children are assessed and grouped according to their ability and they work with a teacher or teaching assistant in a small group. At the end of each half term all children are assessed and then put into new groups according to their phonic knowledge and fluency when reading.
We begin by teaching the children Set 1 sounds. Children can start blending sounds into words as soon as they know a small group of letters well. Once the children have been taught the first 5 sounds (m, a, s, d, t), they are then taught assisted blending using the sounds that they know. During lessons children are taught to hear sounds and blend them together in sequence to make a word. We start with blending oral sounds, then progress to reading the letters and blending them together to read the word.
In Read Write Inc phonics the individual sounds are called ‘speed sounds’ – because we want children to read them effortlessly. Set 1 sounds are taught in the following order;
m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, sh, r, j, v, y, w, th, z, ch, qu, x, ng, nk.
There are 12 Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ that are made up of two or three letters which represent just one sound, e.g. ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high.
When children are taught Set 2 sounds they will learn:
- a simple picture prompt linked to the sound
- a short phrase to say e.g. may I play
- the letters that represent a sound (special friends) e.g. ay
Each sound has a list of green words linked to it, so that the children have the opportunity to sound out and blend words containing the new sound they have been taught, for example, s-p-r-ay = spray.
When learning Set 3 speed sounds the children will be taught alternative sounds/graphemes, e.g. ee as in tree and ea as in tea.
In the discrete, daily phonics sessions, children revise previous learning, are taught new graphemes/phonemes, practise together and apply what they have learnt.
Phonics skills taught in the discrete phonics sessions are then developed and applied in daily reading lessons where children read the appropriate RWI book in a small group, supported by the teacher.
Close home-school links are formed to support the continuous teaching of phonics and children receive books, sound books and phonics packs to support their reading at home. We also use RWI home readers (‘Book Bag Books’) to ensure that the children are reading appropriately matched books to their reading level and to support the reading lessons within school.
Children’s phonics books in school and at home should be fully decodable and run alongside or a little behind the teaching of the GPCs, so that they always feel a sense of achievement when they are reading.
Please click here to see our Phonics Progression Document.
Click to here see further information for parents about our phonics and reading books.
Click here to see our guide for using our Book Bag Books.
In Year 1 and Year 2, spellings each week are linked with the sounds learnt that week in phonics sessions to support the children in making stronger links and developing their understanding and application of new sounds.
Any children who do not meet the pass rate for the Phonics Screening Check in Year 2 or who struggle to read with fluency will receive regular phonics intervention and support in KS2 to plug the gaps in their phonics knowledge and skills and support them to become fluent readers.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Children are assessed each half term in KS1 using the RWI assessment document to ensure that they are making sufficient progress and are in the appropriate phonics and reading groups. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1. Children in KS2 who did not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y2 or who struggle to read fluently are monitored and tracked throughout KS2 and their regular phonics interventions are tailored to their needs.
Key Stage Two
The intent of our reading curriculum is to develop children’s reading and understanding so that they become fluent, confident readers who can apply their knowledge and reading skills across different subject areas and for different purposes.
As a result, our children will be able to:
- Read confidently and fluently.
- Apply phonetic knowledge and other taught strategies to read unfamiliar words.
- Use taught strategies to find the meanings of new words in a given context.
- Develop a broad and ambitious vocabulary through reading.
- Develop comprehension skills to understand and interrogate a text.
- Ask questions to further their understanding.
- Embrace a love of reading.
- Use their reading skills in all areas of the curriculum.
In EYFS and in Key Stage One, reading is taught through a synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc (RWI). Please refer to our Phonics Statement of Intent (above) for further information.
In Key Stage Two, reading is taught through whole class guided reading and comprehension lessons. We read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts with the children during these sessions and engage in tasks where the children develop their word reading, knowledge of vocabulary and language features, as well as developing their comprehension skills.
Across the reading curriculum, those children who require further support with their phonics knowledge and word reading have access to phonics and reading interventions, as well as ‘booster reading’. Teachers ensure that children requiring additional support are identified early and provisions are made as appropriate.
Children’s reading books are matched to their reading ability and are changed regularly.
Reading takes place across the curriculum, so the children are exposed to a wide range of texts, which they read and use for different purposes. Teachers also find opportunities throughout the week to read to children and develop their love of reading.
The impact of our reading curriculum will be apparent in the children’s engagement, enjoyment and enthusiasm towards reading, as well as the progress evidenced in their books and through their discussions. The impact of the reading curriculum will be evident in their ability to read confidently and fluently, apply taught strategies and demonstrate a secure understanding of what they have read.
Teachers give feedback to children to further their understanding and provide challenge, and children act upon this feedback. Teachers continually assess children’s reading throughout every lesson and adapt teaching and learning to meet their children’s needs. Termly reading assessments also take place in each class and data is used to inform future teaching. The impact of our reading curriculum is also shown through the results of the end of key stage tests in year 2 and year 6.
If you want to know more about our reading please click on our English page where you can find our reading progression documents.
In St Michael’s School we believe in exposing our children to a wide range of vocabulary. We do this in all of our subjects and each classroom has a vocabulary wall where the key vocabulary and new vocabulary are added to for the children to use and refer to. Our reasoning for this is to help children when reading new texts and when answering questions about a text. By increasing our children’s vocabulary we feel that this will improve their understanding of a text as they will have a wider knowledge of the meaning of words.
Please have a look at the vocabulary your child will be learning this year in their class.
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