Our Brookfield reading mantra ‘There’s no such thing as you don’t like reading; you just haven’t found the right book!’ encompasses our vision for developing a love of reading, across all areas of our text-rich curriculum. Children and staff are knowledgeable about a range of texts, genres and authors. This is developed by the vast opportunities provided through engaging with a plethora of high-quality reading materials.
1. What do we focus on during reading sessions at Brookfield?
We have split ‘reading’ into 2 sections:
1. Decoding 2. Comprehension
5 x 45-minute Reciprocal Reading sessions are planned and taught per week, comprising of:
15 minutes of decoding (banded independent reader) + 30 minutes of SPEC/RIC Comprehension.
2. What approach do we use to teach Decoding?
Decoding is taught daily; this includes specific teaching of decoding (phonics) and adults listening to children read at least once per week. We have worked hard at Brookfield to ensure that decoding remains a focus as part of the teaching of ‘reading’ by ensuring that teachers have a good understanding of which aspect of decoding each child is focusing on.
For example: baseline decoding assessments (Decoding List 1 – List 7) are carried out in September to assess which words/sounds (phonemes) your child is struggling with. These are then typed up as ‘flashcards’ (one set of flashcards is sent home for your child’s family to work on at home with them, whilst a second set is kept in school so that these individualised words can be accessed daily by your child and class teacher). These individualised words are focused on daily by the child and will be reinforced every time an adult reads with your child at school. In February, we will reassess your child to see which words they have mastered. We will then repeat the process of typing up any words they are struggling to decode and turn these into flashcards.
Once a child has mastered one words list, they are then challenged to read the consecutive word list, until they have mastered up to Decoding List 7.
Decoding in EYFS and Key Stage 1, and where children are working below their age, will be supplemented with daily stand-alone phonics lessons, following Letters and Sounds. We actively encourage the use of ‘sound mats’ to support children’s understanding of reading and writing using phonics.
Free resources to support your child at home can be found here:
Google ‘phonics sound mats’ for a range of useful resources to support your child at home or speak to your child’s class teacher for any advice or support.
3. What approach do we use to teach Comprehension?
From Year 3 – Year 6, a whole-class approach using one class text is used to teach reading comprehension, through Reciprocal Reading, using a dialogic approach (we do lots of talking about the book!).
Where possible, each child has their own text (or copy) so that they can engage closely with it to look for answers. We actively discourage children from ‘remembering’ the text – we make them PROVE their answers by giving justification from the text they are reading.
The 4 main reading skills we focus on are: SPEC (Summarising, Predicting, Enquiring questioning and Clarifying vocabulary)
Approximately 2 or 3 texts are studied in depth over a half-term (minimum of 12 texts a year), with a minimum of 5 pieces of work for each ‘book-study’, which includes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, play scripts, video clips and picture-prompts.
We teach 3 specific types of reading questions: RIC
1. Retrieval: The answer is right there in the text – just find it!
2. Interpret: The answer is not as obvious as ‘retrieval’ – you need to look for clues to figure it out (dark clouds = it will rain)
Your child will complete a ‘book-study’ pack for each text, which encompasses non-negotiable reading skills (SPEC), which are outlined in the STA NC test framework Reading Content Domains (see Reading Content Domains appendix). You will find evidence of children’s work using SPEC, RIC and APE in their Book Study packs. Please do ask you children about how we use Reciprocal Reading to develop reading comprehension.
4. How do we support children who are falling behind in their reading?
Where children have fallen behind in their decoding or for those who find decoding a struggle, in addition to being prioritised for daily 1-1 reading, flashcard work and small group reading interventions, we also subscribe to Reading Wise (www.readingwise.com) where identified pupils are targeted for 30 minutes x 5 per week.
5. What else do we do to promote a love of reading at Brookfield?
- As a staff at Brookfield, we have worked hard to ensure that reading is at the heart of our curriculum. We use books as a stimulus where possible to support our wider-curriculum. For example: As part of the Year 6 Victorian topic, the children based their writing on the text ‘Street Child’ by Berlie Doherty. These texts are mapped out for each year group.
- We award children with Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum ‘Reading Cards’ for reading 50 times at home. This is recorded in their home-reading diary and awards are celebrated during whole-school assembly.
- Our whole-school reading challenge initiative is called ‘Power of the Pages’. Each year group has access to 20 high-quality texts that is age-appropriate, which they are challenged to read over the course of the year. This will allow each child to have accessed over 100 high-quality texts, known as core texts, by the time they are ready to start their secondary school journey.
- Our school library is well-stocked and provides a good basis for children to read for pleasure and to carry out research.
- Every child has access to a Bug Club log on so that they are able to access a range of texts and reading comprehensions out of school.
6. How do we assess reading at Brookfield?
Take a look at our Brookfield Reading Assessment sheets (see below) to see all of the objectives we plan and teach from.