How we prioritise reading at Kennall Vale School

‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free!’ – Frederick Douglass

– At Kennall Vale, we believe Reading to be the fundamental skill that unlocks limitless opportunities for all of our children.

– Children read every day of the week.

– Adults read to children daily. Texts can include picture books, novels, poetry and non-fiction texts, including the news.

– Children in EYFS to Year 2 have daily Phonics between 0905 and 0930.

– Children in Key Stage 2 enjoy ‘Book Studies’ throughout the week.

– Our library is well stocked and updated termly using the Education Library Service.

– We prioritise ‘catch-up’ provision for children who need support in being the best readers they can be.

– Teachers carefully select texts to accompany the areas of curriculum being taught in each topic.

– We monitor reading as a school, as well as engaging with Governors, Trust-wide leaders and specialists.

How we develop a love of reading at Kennall Vale School

‘There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.’ – Walt Disney

– Class teachers read to the children daily. The books are carefully selected to engage, develop interest and make this part of the day special.

– Teachers carefully select books to bring our curriculum learning to life.

– In Early Years, children will engage in numerous reading opportunities throughout the day including: phonics, short stories, poetry and a class novel!

– Children take two books home. One book is carefully selected to practice reading: phonetically aligned to the phonics being learned (EYFS-Yr1) or within the correct AR level (starting in Yr2). The second book is selected by the child to follow their own interest and to enjoy and share with their family at home.

– As well as our amazing school library, every classroom has an engaging and accessible reading space. Books are cared for and valued by all staff and children.

– Our Year 5 and 6s are Reading Champions! They visit other classes and support children with their reading. They are great role-models and share their own love of reading with the rest of the school.

– We love to hold Book Fairs. Children and their families get to browse and purchase timeless classics as well as exciting new releases!

– Every Friday the whole school come together for our ‘Celebration Assembly’. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, children collect their Reading Miles certificates and receive a round of applause for their engagement and love of reading. Children from Year 2 and upwards will collect their Accelerated Reader Certificates to celebrate their developing comprehension skills. Also, we are always excited to see a child receive their ‘Word Millionaire’ certificate!

– We love bringing stories to life and learning about the authors who create them! We are always on the lookout for authors who can visit and share their passion for writing stories. We recently had Andrew Clover, the author of the Rory Branagan series visit and deliver writing workshops to the school. You will find these stories on our bookshelves ready to be explored.

How we make sure pupils make progress at Kennall Vale School

‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.’ – Dr. Seuss

– Reading is taught daily at Kennall Vale School, in all year groups.

– As well as using phonics and Accelerated Reader assessments, teachers assess children regularly against age related expectations and national curriculum objectives.

– Every week we have a ‘Reading Blitz’ in a different classroom. All school staff join the class and every child reads to an assigned adult, who they build a relationship with over the year. The class teacher gathers the feedback from staff, informing the next steps for each child.

– Children who struggle with decoding-skills are supported through targeted intervention and precision teaching so that barriers can be identified and removed.

– Whilst we aim for every child to read daily at home, we identify those who don’t and support them by reading daily with them in school.

– Children who are not making expected progress or are falling behind their peers are supported in small group Guided Reading interventions that take place weekly, on top of daily reading with an adult.

– As part of Kennall Vale’s SEND policy, we identify needs early and quickly put in place support following the graduated response of assess, plan, do & review.

– Pupil progress meetings take place half termly, involving the class teacher, teachers, staff who lead interventions and the Headteacher.

How we check that pupils’ reading books match the sounds that they can read

‘If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.’ – J.K. Rowling

– We teach phonics using a systematic synthetic phonics programme. We currently teach Letters and Sounds using Twinkl planning, but we are in the process of converting to Essential Letters and Sounds.

– Children will take home a reading book that is phonetically aligned to their reading ability and stage in phonics. Children will practice what they have learned in their daily phonics lessons by reading a book that has decodable words.

– Children who have completed the phonics programme will complete ‘Star Reading’ quizzes to identify an appropriate book level known as a ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (ZPD). This ZPD supports the class teacher in identifying appropriate levelled books for each child. All books are labelled with the ZPD so that children can explore a range of books that will engage them and ensure they are appropriately challenged.

How we teach phonics at Kennall Vale School

‘To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.’ – Victor Hugo

 – We teach phonics using a systematic synthetic phonics programme. A Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme is designed to teach children how to read through the act of decoding and blending. An SSP teaches children the link between the sounds of our language (phonemes) and the written representation of these sounds (graphemes), or the spellings of the sounds contained within the English language

– We currently teach Letters and Sounds using Twinkl planning, but we are in the process of converting to Essential Letters and Sounds.

– Children are streamed into groups based on phonic ability so that all children make meaningful daily progress, being appropriately challenged.

How soon do we start teaching phonics at Kennall Vale School?

‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.’Richard Steele

– Phonics takes place every day, starting on the very first day in EYFS!

– We have excellent transition links with Ponsanooth Pre-School so that children arrive to Kennall Vale school, happy, confident and ready to begin learning Phase 2 phonics.


How we support children to catch up in reading at Kennall Vale School

‘The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.’ –   J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

– Early identification is crucial in ensuring children continue to make good progress.

– As well as daily assessment through teaching and observation, formal half termly assessments identify children who are not making the expected progress.

– Children who fall behind are caught up quickly, through a targeted catch-up programme delivered by a qualified teacher.

– At Kennall Vale School, we use Catch-Up and Pupil Premium funding to ensure all children and especially disadvantaged children are supported to be the best readers they can be.

– We engage with families so that they are aware of how they can support reading at home.

How we train our staff to become reading experts at Kennall Vale School

‘One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.’ – Malala Yousafzai

– All staff have received specialist Phonics training

– The English lead delivers training to teaching assistants so that they can become reading experts and support children to make good progress.

– Kennall Vale School engages with Trust-wide reading training and updates so that reading continues to be a whole school priority and practice continues to be effective.