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Pocklington Community Junior School

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 Reading at Pocklington Junior School 

 

Nurturing Lifelong Readers at Pocklington Junior School 

At Pocklington Junior School, we believe that reading is the key to unlocking a world of knowledge, imagination, and personal growth. Our intent is to instill a lifelong love for reading in our students, empowering them with the skills and confidence to explore reading with enthusiasm and comprehension. 

We aim to foster and promote a love of reading, fluency and secure ability to comprehend information – we believe children should develop the ability to have a deep and true understanding of what they read alongside appreciating a love for reading. 

Our commitment to reading extends beyond the classroom. We inspire a lifelong love for reading by encouraging reading for pleasure. Our comprehensive approach supports reading fluency and comprehension, empowering students to tackle a variety of genres with confidence. We believe in the partnership between school and home, encouraging reading at home and working closely with parents to nurture young readers. We expose children to a wide range of texts, fostering curiosity and broadening horizons. Our impact on reading is not only measured in improved literacy skills but also in the joy and passion our students carry with them on their literary journeys. 

The Reading Learning Journey from Year 3-6: 

Our reading program is designed to support students throughout their journey from Year 3 to Year 6. We recognize that as children grow, so do their reading abilities and interests. We aim to cater to these developmental changes by providing a progressive and engaging curriculum that evolves with them. 

Teaching Reading Skills with VIPERS: 

We employ the VIPERS framework to teach reading skills comprehensively. VIPERS stands for Vocabulary, Inference, Predict, Explain, Retrieval, and Summarize. These key components help our students not only understand the text but also analyse and interpret it at a deeper level. 

Timetable of Whole Class Reading: 

Over the week, pupils will follow a structure of lessons that exposes them to a range of VIPERS reading skills.  

 Monday – Class Book: On Mondays, the entire class immerses themselves in a carefully selected class text. This shared reading experience promotes a sense of community and enables students to deepen their understanding and explore this across the curriculum too. Regular reading of this is timetabled into the week to ensure momentum and engagement. 

Tuesday to Thursday – Linked Reading: Throughout the week, our students delve into linked reading materials that build on the concepts introduced in the class text. Fred’s teaching scheme is used to explore a wide range of genres linked to significant themes such as Black History month, World Environment Day and Disability Awareness week. This approach fosters critical thinking and encourages students to make connections between texts. 

Friday – Comprehension: Fridays are dedicated to comprehension exercises. We focus on honing skills such as understanding the main ideas, making inferences, and summarizing text effectively. These sessions help students develop a deeper understanding of the texts they encounter. 

Supporting Readers Across School: 

We understand that every student is unique, and we offer additional support to ensure all children reach their full reading potential. Our dedicated reading support staff work closely with teachers to identify and assist students who may need extra guidance or intervention. 

 

Assessments: 

Regular assessments are a crucial part of our reading program to track progress, identify specific learners’ needs and tailor lessons effectively. 

  1. STARS: We use the STARS assessment to measure students’ reading age and comprehension skills. This helps us identify areas that require improvement and develop personalised reading ages to ensure children read books that meet their reading needs. 
  1. Accelerated Reader: Our Accelerated Reader program encourages independent reading. Students choose books within their reading level, read them at their own pace, and take quizzes to demonstrate comprehension. 
  2. NFER Reading Tests: Termly NFER reading tests assess students’ reading comprehension, vocabulary, and reasoning abilities. These assessments provide valuable insights into each child’s growth and areas of development. 

In conclusion, reading is a cornerstone of education at Pocklington Junior School. We are committed to fostering a lifelong love for reading in our students, guiding them through a structured learning journey from Year 3 to Year 6. Our use of the VIPERS framework, whole class reading sessions, and a robust assessment system ensures that each child receives the support and guidance they need to become proficient and enthusiastic readers. We firmly believe that by instilling a passion for reading, we are empowering our students to unlock the doors to endless opportunities in their future. 

Phonics 

Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching reading. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK’s primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. 

Each Read Write Inc. programme meets the higher expectations of the new curriculum and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child’s progress. 

Read Write Inc – Our Phonics Scheme 

The Government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.  

Here at Pocklington Junior School we use the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme to effectively catch up children with their reading by providing a systematic and structured approach that targets phonemic awareness and decoding skills, ensuring a strong foundation for reading success. 

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who can read more challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out. 

The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant. 

Our Read Write Inc ‘Reading Leader’ is Miss Millar with support from Mrs Jobson 

Reading 

When using RWI to read the children will: 

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts 
  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk) 
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out 

Blending 

Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set (shown further down the page). 

Help your child to say the pure sounds (‘m’ not ‘muh’, ‘s’ not ‘suh’ etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word. 

Reading Books Sent Home (Read Write Inc Books) 

Children engaging in phonics instruction will receive a specially curated phonics reading book to take home. These books exclusively feature sounds they have mastered, fostering confidence and reinforcing their phonics skills as they progress on their reading journey.  

Please encourage your child to read though the speed sounds page first, then the green and red words page and then check your child understands the meaning of words on the vocabulary check page, before they start reading the book. Your child will have read this book at least three times before they bring it home. They should be able to read this book with fluency and expression by the time they bring it home and they should have a good comprehension of what the book is about. At the back of the book are find it/prove it questions for you to do with your child. 

Writing

Our primary school’s writing program is designed with a clear intent: to nurture confident, creative, and ambitious young writers. We focus on foundational skills, nurturing creativity, and fostering critical thinking. Through a growth mindset, we empower students to embrace challenges and learn from their writing experiences. Our comprehensive writing curriculum seamlessly integrates speaking and listening lessons into each writing unit, providing vital support to enhance children’s literacy skills as well as sparking curiosity and imagination. Our ultimate goal is to inspire a love for writing and equip our pupils with the skills they need to excel academically and communicate effectively beyond primary school. 

 

Cultivating a Love for Writing at Our Primary School 

At Pocklington Junior School, our core mission is to nurture a genuine love for writing in all our pupils. We aspire for each child to develop a distinct and expressive writing voice, utilizing writing as a powerful tool for thought and expression. To achieve these goals, we uphold a set of guiding principles: 

  • 1. Diverse Writing Experiences: Throughout their primary journey, our pupils engage in a rich variety of writing experiences, exploring different genres. We believe that exposure to diverse forms of writing enhances creativity and skill development. 
  • 2. The Reading-Writing Connection: We emphasize the essential link between reading and writing. To illustrate how writing functions effectively, we use high-quality model texts that inspire and guide our students. 
  • 3. Oral Composition: We recognize the importance of oral composition. We encourage verbal expression as a foundation for confident and articulate writing. 
  • 4. Regular Writing Opportunities: In every writing lesson, pupils are provided with the opportunity to put pen to paper and express their ideas, fostering continuous growth. We value each child as an individual, and in our writing lessons and throughout interventions, we provide personalized support to help them realize their unique potential. 
  • 5. The Simple View of Writing: Our teaching approach is grounded in “The Simple View of Writing” (Berninger et al, 2002), which we break down into manageable knowledge and skills over time. This ensures a structured and comprehensive writing education. 
  • 6. Writing Process Mastery: Pupils are explicitly guided through the writing process, including planning, drafting, editing, and redrafting. This method empowers them to refine their work and take pride in their writing accomplishments. 

Our primary aim is to equip each child with the tools and enthusiasm they need to become confident, skilled, and passionate writers. We believe that fostering a love for writing not only enriches their academic journey but also prepares them for a lifetime of effective communication and self-expression. 

Wonder writing process 

All pupils are taught to compose their writing using a process that is based on the writing composition process outlined in the EEF’s Improving literacy in Key Stage 2 report: 

Essential elements of our writing curriculum: 

At our primary school, we follow a structured writing process that revolves around key principles. Each topic centres on a fundamental concept, serving as the driving force behind the topic’s exploration. The central model text, often crafted by our dedicated teachers, aids pupils in understanding the underlying discourse structure. Grammar instruction is seamlessly integrated into context, aligning with overarching learning objectives. We utilize authentic texts to vividly showcase word usage, sentence construction, and discourse features, ensuring a comprehensive and engaging writing experience for our young learners. 

Our Approach to Learning Objectives and Intentions 

At our primary school, we understand that writing is a multifaceted and personal journey for our students. Therefore, our approach to learning objectives differs from the traditional format, where objectives are explicit statements of expected lesson outcomes. Instead, we use questions like “How can we…?” and “How well can we…?” to set ambitious expectations while acknowledging that successful writing can take various forms. These key learning questions serve several important purposes: 

  • Fostering a Culture of Inquiry: They encourage a classroom culture of curiosity and exploration, where students are encouraged to ask questions and seek answers. 
  • Keeping Learning Open: We avoid restricting learning to specific boundaries, ensuring that our students are not limited by narrow definitions or ceilings on their potential. 
  • Challenging All Students: Key learning questions are designed to challenge every student, regardless of their level, promoting growth and development. 
  • Encouraging Critical Thinking: They stimulate deep, critical thinking and encourage students to analyze and evaluate their work. 
  • Engagement and Stimulation: These questions engage and stimulate students’ curiosity and creativity, making learning a dynamic and exciting process. 
  • Reflecting on Learning: They provide natural opportunities for students to reflect on their progress during and after lessons. 
  • Retrieving Prior Knowledge: Key learning questions also prompt the retrieval of prior knowledge, helping students connect new learning with what they already know. 
  • Teaching Disciplinary Thinking: They promote thinking that is specific to the subject matter being taught, helping students become more proficient writers. 

Our approach to learning objectives and intentions is designed to create an enriching and inclusive learning environment, where every student can thrive and develop their unique writing skills. 

Assessment of writing 

All skills taught to pupils are part of our writing skills progression, ensuring a structured and comprehensive approach. Pupils are regularly assessed against the expectations for their year group using assessment tick sheets. These sheets serve as valuable tools to gauge pupils’ independent understanding of the required writing skills and inform teacher assessments. To maintain accuracy, moderations occur routinely throughout the year, guaranteeing precise and fair evaluations of our students’ writing abilities.