At Berger reading and early reading is our priority as we see being a successful reader as being key to unlocking all learning. To this end, we promote and celebrate reading and aim to provide every opportunity for children to read and develop a love of reading, regardless of their backgrounds, needs or abilities. Throughout the school, we follow a carefully structured program that incorporates all the skills, knowledge and attitudes that will support and develop our children to become reading experts.
Our phonics programme is based upon the Read, Write Inc phonic. This supports the development of decoding skills needed for reading by teaching the segmenting and blending of sounds. In EYFS, and across Key Stage One, children are grouped by their phonics phase and these groups are revised and updated regularly to enable greater progression. Berger has clear expectations of children’s phonics progress, term by term, from reception to Year Two. We ensure that each child’s phonics knowledge is a match to the reading texts provided, thereby ensuring finely tuned support and challenge. Regular assessment enables us to identify any child who needs targeted support or a greater challenge. This approach is carried on into Year Three and beyond where applicable.
Daily Supported Reading (DSR)
In Reception and Key Stage One children take part in carefully planned small-group sessions using the DSR programme. This means all children read daily to an adult in attainment-based groups which are reviewed and updated weekly. DSR enables us to provide children with the opportunity to develop their confidence and enjoyment as readers. Children read a wide range of texts with increasing fluency and comprehension. As part of our commitment to a creative curriculum, children also explore, connect and understand the books they have read through engagement with the arts. We ensure at least one session per week is underpinned by drama, music, art, physical activity or foundation subject. DSR runs alongside our phonics programme and ensures that children are benefiting from experiencing and enjoying reading stories and having stories read to them by an engaging and enthusiastic adult.
Destination Reader (DR)
In Key Stage Two children learn through comprehensive reading sessions using DR. Our approach explicitly fosters and relies on the following learning behaviours:
• Support and actively listen to others
• Discuss and explain ideas
• Rely on positive interdependence with accountability for self and others
Children work in carefully chosen pairs with specific roles. This ensures that everybody participates and is accountable for not only their learning but their partner’s too. Children learn efficiently, feel motivated about their learning and develop their vocabulary and language skills. The consequences of this collaborative approach extend beyond reading as children develop a sense of independence, the ability to retain learning and respect for their peers.
In addition to the learning behaviours, we also explicitly teach comprehension strategies which enable children to become independent, strategic, and metacognitive readers who can develop, control, and use a variety of comprehension strategies to ensure that they understand what they read. Pupils are encouraged to continually monitor their understanding during reading, and to apply repair strategies when breakdowns in understanding occur. Children are encouraged to think about what they already know before they start reading and during reading. Reading is assessed half-termly and enables us to identify any child who is falling behind so that targeted support can be given.
We are committed to the creative curriculum and as children read a wide range of texts with increasing fluency and comprehension, we ensure that reading is tied to the wider curriculum with opportunities provided for performance, dramatic expression and arts-based activities that link texts and topics.
School and Community Engagement
We are deeply committed to ensuring children remain active readers for life and this is reflective throughout our environment. Children take opportunities in shared, paired and independent reading sessions and we ensure that we link reading to our creative curriculum where possible. We empower children to develop a love of reading through allowing them choices, creating inviting book corners or reading spaces, providing a range of reading genres and celebrating reading daily through Class Dojos and on our Reading Walls. In EYFS and Keys Stage One children benefit from regular story time.
Throughout the year, we plan for and celebrate, World Book Day and National Poetry Week with whole school events including a yearly book fair We have a beautiful, well-resourced library with a knowledgeable reading specialist and librarian on hand to help children develop conversations around reading and texts; each class has a weekly slot and the library is open to children during break times.
As home, we encourage and support a love of reading and support parents and carers accordingly. Children take home two books at their reading level and a library book each week. We meet with parents to explain the Phonics, DSR and DR principles and our home reading records extend children’s opportunities to consolidate our approaches to reading. The reading records are not just a recording tool; they provide opportunities for discussions, reflections and a choice of reading activities at home. We have an open-door policy and any parent or carer can request to observe a reading session in order to help their child at home.