Reading

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled is a spark." - Victor Hugo

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss

Introduction

At Offa's Mead Academy we believe that the active encouragement of reading for pleasure should be a core part of every child’s educational entitlement, whatever their background or attainment - extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts make a huge contribution to pupils’ educational achievement.

We use a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes, and non-fiction texts that develop pupils’ vocabulary, language comprehension and love of reading.

To promote a love of reading we:

  • Create class libraries (book corners) which are inviting, well-organised and contain a range of quality texts

  • Have daily story time sessions (class readers)

  • Encourage author visits - virtual and onsite

  • Celebrate reading weekly with awards in our celebration assemblies

  • Provide weekly timetabled library sessions

  • Set reading challenges

  • Provide a ‘book swap shop’

We are passionate about the importance of reading. We have a firm belief that if a child can read and more importantly, enjoy reading, they will experience success in all aspects of the curriculum. Children are provided with a number of opportunities to read for pleasure and we have a whole school culture which promotes this.

Accelerated Reader

‘Accelerated Reader’ (AR) is an online programme successfully used across all Key Stage 2 classes. AR is an online programme that aims to foster the habit of independent reading. With a vast collection of books available in school, the children have ample opportunity to select books that are of interest to them and within their reading ability. AR initially screens pupils according to their reading level, and suggests books that match their reading age and reading interest. Pupils take computerised quizzes on the books they have read and earn AR points for their hard work, which is celebrated each week. Our Friday assembly celebrates reading success and we select a 'Star Reader' and termly, a 'Super Star Reader!'

All children are expected to bring their reading diaries into school daily. They also take a book home to read for pleasure that they individually select, either from the school library - or the classroom book corner - there is also a dedicated AR book space in KS2.

Children who are still learning to decode also take home a book to match their reading level and phonic phase.

Reading in Keys Stage 2

In Key Stage 2 the children continue to receive Class based Guided Sessions and develop their reading strategies and reading comprehension through reciprocal reading and high quality independent reading opportunities, including Accelerated Reader. Our dedicated book corners and teacher and peer recommendation's help inspire curiosity and the love of a good read.

Phonically Decodable Books at KS2

Alongside our high-quality phonics teaching Offa's Mead Academy use reading books published by Phonic Books Ltd. These books feature a highly-structured phonic sequence aligned to Letters and Sounds and encourage reading success.

The children are given books that closely match their phonic ability. These reading books contain the sound-spelling correspondences children have been taught and provide opportunities for children to practice and consolidate the knowledge and skills they need to become confident, fluent readers.


Reading VIPERS

VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum. They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.

VIPERS stands for

Vocabulary

Inference

Prediction

Explanation

Retrieval

Sequence or Summarise

The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc. As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions. They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.

Supporting Pupils

Any child who is struggling with their reading is helped quickly and sometimes placed in an ‘intervention’. This is a great way to address the pupils need and get them back on track. We have a number of reading interventions in school including; Nessy - designed to help students of all abilities learn to read, write, spell and type, especially those who need to learn differently.

We also provide a phonics programme for our KS2 learners where there are gaps in their phonic knowledge. The programme dovetails perfectly with our KS1 Rocket Phonics programme and is a 10 week short burst 'little and daily' programme to accelerate reading progression.

Offa's Mead also has reading support through our Read with Ralf programme. Ralf is our gentle and adorable Therapy Dog who helps children who find it difficult to connect to reading.

We have various other app and intervention based reading interventions to boost reading and spelling including our series of Phonic Books specifically age appropriate and decodable with Imaginative stories and appealing characters to ensure highly-structured phonic progression at KS2.

Reading with Adults

Adults in the school are professionally trained how to support reading. This includes our Office Staff, Site Staff and MDSA's as well as Teachers and Teaching Support staff . We believe that reading is a whole school passion and every adult has a responsibility to foster a love of reading and be the role model and guide in our children's learning journey.

OMA Reading Handbook