Kippax Ash Tree aims to promote a love of reading across the school and engage children and their families with the aim of generating a long-term love of reading. Our redesigned curriculum has books at it's heart. We want everyone at Ash Tree to read – not just for learning, but also for enjoyment. Reading is a fundamental skill that underpins all areas of learning, and a love of reading is a key factor in long term academic success.
At Kippax Ash Tree, we strive to be an outstanding reading school where children read for pleasure and are exposed to a vast, varied and exciting diet of literature. This ranges from classic to contemporary, therefore helping to build the strong cultural capital which we desire for our students. Our vision and approaches aim to meet every child’s individual reading need through the delivery of high- quality, whole class and small group teaching sessions, regular opportunities for individual reading and also time to sit back and enjoy listening to a story. These reading experiences are part of our daily culture. We intend for our children to be able to articulate their favourite genres and authors, comment on author technique and make connections with other texts they have read. We also hold debates about critical issues that arise within a text and, most importantly, we intend for them leave us with a lifelong love of reading.
The reason we incorporate the magnificent, Jane Considine’s ‘Book Talk’ into our reading curriculum is:
• To increase the number of whole, real texts/books children read
• To promote a LOVE of reading
• To enable children to discuss shared texts in an independent group situation
• To develop and deepen comprehension skills
• To improve children’s oral and written responses to questions about books
• To create a proper understanding of test/question language and associated skills
Pupils are organised into reading attainment groups and share a set of books/texts pitched at their level with appropriate challenge. All pupils in the classroom will be accessing either: narrative, non-fiction or poetry at the same time. Pupils receive 45 minute ‘Book Talk’ sessions and work in guided sessions with an adult on a rota system, so that teachers can complete more focused assessments of children in a small group situation. The other groups work independently, carrying out their individual reading roles. The sessions are layered with open-ended whole class questions to tackle the three layers of the reading rainbow.
These sessions are whole class based and are linked to either a class narrative or texts which are relevant to the topic being taught each half term. Children are taught to develop and use their ‘Good reader skills’ in every lesson by connecting, visualising, predicting, questioning, summarising and clarifying. These sessions are designed to establish the groundings for excellent comprehension of texts whilst also developing a love of reading. We challenge our children by exposing them to a wide range of challenging texts and varied authors. Vocabulary and word work is at the heart of all that we do in reading skills.
Read Write Inc.
In addition to daily literacy lessons, children excel in early reading through the use of the Read Write Inc. (RWI) programme from Reception – Year 2 and continue to develop a range of reading skills, as well as a love of reading through Book Talk. At Ash Tee, we strive to teach children to read effectively with pace through the delivery of the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and segmenting sounds for spelling.
Through the RWI phonics program, children are taught to:
• Read a series of books with a focus on decoding and high frequency word recognition
• Re-read the same text for a number of consecutive days to improve fluency of reading
• Engage with a variety of books including narrative and non-fiction
• Segment sounds for spelling
Children are taught in small groups that reflect their phonic ability and reading fluency. In these groups, children are introduced to 44 common sounds in the English language and are taught how to blend these sounds together in order to read words. Once children have a quick recall of Set 1 sounds and are able to blend with these, they then move on to reading stories and texts containing these sounds. Once secure, children learn Set 2 and Set 3 sounds and then read texts with increasingly more complex sounds and graphemes. Throughout this process there is a focus on comprehension, reading with expression and reading for enjoyment. Children are regularly assessed to ensure that learners are reading books closely matched to their increasing phonics knowledge.
In order to raise the profile of reading in our school, we have a fabulous team of KS2 reading buddies who have been coupled up with a child in a younger year group. They spend time listening to their allocated buddy, asking questions to aid comprehension and also help with decoding skills and working out the meaning of unfamiliar words. The buddies have been selected from our PP and more vulnerable groups to encourage a love of reading and to give them as many opportunities as possible.
We have the privilege of having two libraries within school: one for EYFS/KS1 and one for KS2. Our EYFS/KS1 library has a varied collection of books sorted into baskets containing similar themes. We have baskets of books appealing to many different interests of our younger children and each child makes a weekly visit with their teachers to share some of our ‘Recommended Reads’ or new books. Our KS2 library is organised into fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The non-fiction section has been classified into topics whilst the fiction section has been sorted into genres so that children are able to choose from a wide range of literature, ensuring a varied reading diet. Our libraries are open at the end of each school day for our Ash Tree families to visit alongside their child and loan a book.
Our reading curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression based on the best research. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: formative assessment of small groups during Book Talk and skills sessions; in-depth assessment records kept for each individual in school; assessment data being used to close gaps in understanding and skills for all learners.
World Book Week 2020
This year, we went about things a little bit differently. All year long, we have been talking about books, stories and our love of reading. We decided that this year the focus would be all about the importance of learning to read linked to our aspirations for the future. First of all, Mrs Curtis organised the Book Fair to be in school all week. We held a whole school assembly to launch World Book Week and decided that we were going to join the 'Share a million stories' campaign and ask children to join our 'Ash Tree Reading Revolution'.
Children then had to think about what they wanted to be when they are older and what job they wanted to do in the future. We decided that on the actual World Book Day, we would dress up as what we wanted to be when we are older, but with a twist. We had to link this to reading and the importance of being able to read. Each child had to be able to say why they would need to be able to read in order to do the job they wanted to do when they were older.
Pupil Parliament decided to run their Book Swap Shop every night after school so that children could have an extra opportunity to swap an old book for a new one.
We even managed to launch a whole school reading incentive; 'Starbooks'. Each child was given a loyalty card. The aim is for each child to read at home every night. If they are successful in doing this then they will get a stamp on their loyalty card. Over the half term, if a child fills their loyalty card with all six stamps then they will have access to 'Starbooks' equipped with luxury drinks, cakes, snacks, ambiance and of course books!
Finally, it came to the end of World Book Week but we all know you can't leave a good book alone! So the staff decided to mix it up. They drew a class name at random and decided to be the guest story teller for that class. Staff took their favourite story along to their selected class and ended the week with a lovely relaxed story session.
In some places, World Book Day is just one day, but at Ash Tree it is becoming a way of life - books and stories all day, everyday!