Seven Areas of Reading

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


- Children will take home a reading book that is phonetically aligned to their reading ability and stage in phonics. Children will practice reading 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 soon do we start teaching phonics
‘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 teach phonics

‘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 teach phonics using a systematic synthetic phonics programme. We currently teach 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 we train our staff to become reading experts

‘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 best practice continues. 

How we support children to catch up

‘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 develop a love of reading

‘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); within AR’s Zone of Proximal development (Yr2-Yr6). 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 in 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 Certificate to celebrate their developing comprehension skills. 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.

- Family volunteers come to school to listen to children reading. They are given VIPERS question prompt sheets to use when reading with children.

-Kennall Vale love Reading Cafes! Children love to read a book with a biscuit and drink, with their family. We set the hall up with cushions, plenty of books and iPads to do Accelerated Reader quizzes. 

How we make sure pupils make progress

‘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 phonic and Accelerated Reader progress markers, 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 descend on the classroom and every child reads to an assigned adult. Staff ask children VIPERS questions and write evidence on the child’s progress sheet. 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 and assess, plan, do & review cycle.

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