At Bramley Oak Academy, we strive to support all children to become fluent, lifelong readers by empowering them to use a range of skills to support themselves in accessing this important life skill with confidence. We endeavour to provide all children with a variety of opportunities to listen to and read high-quality texts, be exposed to a language rich environment and enjoy reading for pleasure.
Reading for Pleasure and reading experiences
At Bramley Oak Academy we feel strongly that children should hear a high-quality text read to them each day by their teacher. Pupils in all classes have daily access to high quality story time which ensures that reading is correctly modelled to children, as well as giving them the opportunity to discuss content and to enjoy being read to. Pupil voice is key, as the class share their views and interests to aid the selection of these books. These sessions include a ‘Myon’ recorded story and a story read by an adult from the class.
Each half term, each class is provided with a number of non-fiction texts linking to the class Science and Humanities topics. These are displayed in each classroom and children are encouraged to read these texts to support their cross-curricular learning. Every class has an engaging book corner which is filled with books for pleasure, AR books or phonics books and a ‘familiar book box’ to support the children’s confidence with reading. Children visit the school library to change their books and classes are timetabled to visit this space weekly, which further supports the children’s engagement with reading for pleasure.
Throughout the school year, the importance of reading is enhanced through assemblies, competitions, World Book Day and book bag raffle ticket collections in order to support the growing reading culture at Bramley Oak Academy.
At Bramley Oak Academy, all pupils complete a phonics placement assessment upon entry. We use the Read, Write, Inc Phonics scheme followed by the Accelerated Reader scheme once a child has completed the phonics programme. Read, Write, Inc provides a highly effective approach to decoding print. Phonics is taught in structured daily lessons to children who have been assessed as needing the scheme. We follow the programme progression, using the high-quality resources and books and adhering to the mantras, which make the programme what it is. We adapted and personalised the implementation of this scheme to ensure that we meet the needs of the individual readers in our school. Following the programme in this way enables us to be confident that we are providing an effective systematic synthetic approach to the teaching of Phonics across the school. During Phonics sessions, children access and read fully decodable Read, Write Inc books, which give them an opportunity to practice their decoding, prosody and comprehension skills where appropriate. They implement their new learning straight away by being presented with opportunities to practise using the sound to read and write words, phrases or sentences as appropriate.
Pupils who have passed the Phonics assessments are assessed using Star Reader. Star Reader supports pupils in selecting an appropriately challenging book within their Z-Code range using Accelerated Reader (AR). Pupils will complete a quiz upon completing an AR book, providing further opportunities for comprehension practice. Pupils take home a matched AR book and a book for pleasure and are also able to access Myon from school or home. Myon is an online library with access to over 7000 books; pupils can use Myon to read a matched AR book or a book for pleasure which can become accessible through the inbuilt audio feature
Pupils’ progress is continually reviewed to allow planning for gaps and interventions to ensure that there is sufficient challenge available for those who are ready to progress sooner. The National Phonics screening check is performed in June for pupils in Year 1, this is also an opportunity for a recheck for pupils in Year 2 who did not pass the previous year. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. Parents are invited in to discuss the Phonics screening check at the start of the summer term and to develop an understanding of how they can support their children at home in advance of this, the appropriateness of this check for each pupil will be assessed by the school and this process will be overseen by the Head of School. If the check is not suitable for a pupil, this will be discussed with the parent or carer.
At BRAMLEY OAK ACADEMY, we use VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explaining, Retrieval and Sequencing/Summarising) to ensure that we are asking our pupils a broad range of questions to support our pupils in developing a range of comprehension skills including those that require deeper and profound thinking. These question stems are used by staff and sent home as a resource for parents to use to further support with home reading.
We carefully monitor pupils’ reading at home and encourage parents to be active and engaged with us to support their child’s ongoing development. Pupils take home a book which either matches their reading ability which could include a familiar phonics book or a book linked to their AR Z-Code or a book which sparks their interest that they would like to share with someone at home. At Bramley Oak Academy we hold termly Reading Support Workshops, where parents are invited in to discuss how reading is taught in school and how parents can support the development of their child’s reading at home, through practice and the use of our home reading resources. We also set up an information station during Academic Review Day (ARD) where a member of the reading team will be able to share resources, answer questions and provide the support our parents need to be able to be confident in helping their children learn to read at home. There are incentives for children bringing in their book bags and for reading at home to further motivate our pupils.
Through the phonics scheme, pupils learn the importance of being able to read. This is supported by class stories, home and individual reading. Using VIPERS, pupils are able to find their voice, formulate opinions and are able to confidently discuss, question and explore literature and texts. This affords them the opportunities to use these skills across the curriculum, ultimately having a true impact on their life and future success.