Reading is a skill essential for life and at Bishop Wilson we want our children to leave school with a love of reading. It is vital that every child learns to speak, understand spoken language and read first (before beginning to learn other skills/subjects). Speaking and reading are the foundation of all languages. We recognise the importance of reading and its ability to give children access to the world around them and new and imagined worlds. Each classroom has its own book corner with a variety of fiction and non-fiction books for children to choose to read. Children visit our school library either in the class groups or small groups weekly and they are encouraged to select a book of their choice from the range on offer to read and share with their family at home.
From Year 2, Reading is taught explicitly through The Talk for Writing sequence at Bishop Wilson as well as in Guided Reading lessons that follow reading VIPERS. We follow a two-week rotation for reading sessions. Children receive one week of whole class reading sessions, followed by one week of small group reading sessions. The small group sessions enable the teacher to focus on key skills they know a specific group of children need whilst the whole class sessions allow all children (regardless of their personal word recognition and phonics skills) to access, experience and discuss high-quality texts therefore preventing them for being held back by the mechanical skills of reading.
During all reading sessions, children need to be aware of the reading skills they are using in order to give them a greater understanding of what makes a well-rounded reader. Children are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains) through the use of the acronym VIPERS which were created by Rob Smith (The Literacy Shed).
Sequence (Ks1) / Summarise (Ks2)
Whole Class Reading
Children read during these sessions in a variety of different ways. They may hear the teacher model fluent reading and then have time to reread the same extract themselves; they may read individually, work in groups, take turns in pairs or read aloud to their peers and feedback. You may see a number of these different strategies during one session.
Where possible, teachers use extracts from the model text used in writing sessions or extracts from the whole class readers that are outlined in the planning overview, as well as other extracts the teacher has identified that have a similar teaching focus. Whole class reading sessions are the perfect opportunity for in depth ‘book talk’ to ‘read as a reader’ and for teachers to model oral comprehension.
Teachers plan 3 key questions each session based on the reading comprehension skill being focused on. These are differentiated to suit the needs of all pupils in the room allowing them to work independently and achieve. Children are encouraged to orally speak the answer before writing anything down, acknowledging that their first answer may not always be their best. We use a maximum of 3 questions each session to ensure children have time to provide quality answers. At times, children are given sentence stems and vocabulary that is expected to be used within their answer.
Children are encouraged to provide evidence for their answer based on a text extract or a picture they have seen in the book. Where appropriate, children are encouraged to use evidence from a range of different places within the text.
Teachers can then make their assessments based on individual children’s answers and mark against the success criteria for each lesson.
Small Group Reading
In Year 1 and Year 2 , small group reading takes place as part of the Read Write Inc. sequence using 'Story Books' that directly match the children's phonetic ablility until the children are 'off scheme'. Once children are no longer on the Read Write Inc. scheme , small group reading takes place in a small groups where the children are grouped by ability and read individual copies of the same text which match the reading level of the group. The text needs to be at the instructional level. These texts are selected from the school’s guided reading sets of books which follow The National Book Banding System. These sessions focus on developing children’s ability to become independent readers, thinkers and learners. The VIPERS teaching sequence is used by all teachers. The teacher will plan questions based on the chosen content domain.