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The Teaching of Reading at St Augustine’s

We are passionate about reading – our staff are enthusiastic readers, with a wealth of knowledge of great stories. Our teaching of reading is high-quality. Children are taught phonics daily and directly from the start of school. In the Autumn and Spring Terms our Nursery children follow ‘Letters and Sounds’ and RWI begins in the Summer Term. In Foundation Stage and Year 1 we teach using RWI (Read, Write Inc). Children are assessed every 6-8 weeks and groups are subsequently changed as the children make progress. RWI continues into Y2 for those children who do not pass the Y1 Phonics Screening Check, and those children additionally receive 1-to-1 support. RWI is also used in KS2 for those that need it, during Guided reading sessions or 1-1/small group ‘quick fix’ targets. Please see the separate section on Phonics for more detail.

We have a book-banded Reading Scheme, created with texts from a range of publishers, the sequence of which shows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge, matched closely to phonics lessons. Reading books are chosen to match the sounds that children know. Children receiving RWI in KS1 also take home a copy of the reading book from lessons that week, giving them the invaluable opportunity to reread familiar books. There are further opportunities to reread familiar books in class. All children throughout school are heard to read at least once a fortnight or more, as and when appropriate. Reading Evidence Folders are used to record and build up a picture of each child’s reading every time they read to an adult. For those children in KS1 and KS2 needing more focused support with word reading, comprehension and fluency, we provide 1-to-1 and group interventions as appropriate. In Y6 we provide after-school Booster groups and Book Clubs. A monthly overview of progress is made by the Leader of Reading and any concerns followed up. Once children reach Silver on the Reading Scheme, they become ‘free readers’ and choose Li2rary books only.

Daily Reading takes a variety of forms, from independent reading, small group and whole class teaching. In FS, as well as being enveloped in stories every day and in every learning area, children also have a weekly reading enrichment session, grouped by ability, as does Year 1. Year 1 have a teacher-led reading activity most days. Guided Reading takes place from Y2 onwards, where specific skills from the Content Domains (Reading Competencies) are taught to whole class and differentiated groups. To demonstrate fluent reading, and to get the children hooked on books as well as supporting the expansion of vocabulary and knowledge, every class has a story read to them daily. The School Literary Spine, developed by the staff, ensures texts read are high quality and represent a range of genres. Children in KS2 also read the newspaper First News fortnightly.

We have a wonderful Library which is the heart of the school, and very well used (Covid restrictions dependent). Every child from FS to Y6 has a Library book which they change regularly, and classes visit for Library sessions every week or fortnight, with KS2 children able to change their Library book whenever they need to. Y6 Librarians support its running. We subscribe to Coventry Schools Library Service, which is an invaluable resource in providing us with ever-changing, high-quality texts for our library, for units of work across the curriculum and for classroom reading corners.

It is a very clear expectation in school that children should read regularly at home, and to that end we provide Home Diaries for children to record their reading, and for parents to write in. These are checked and commented in by teachers weekly. The Diaries include a host of useful information about reading for parents and children.

 Please click below to read how comprehension is taught at St Augustine’s: