Reading at Cleaswell Hill School
Children become readers from the moment they learn to love books and stories from an early age. At Cleaswell Hill, we promote a love of reading and actively encourage this across school on a daily basis. Reading is shared or independent depending on the ages and need of the pupil.
It is vital to develop the pre-reading skills of our youngest learners and those older pupils with complex learning needs. The emphasis within Early Years, Year 1 and our Phase 3 classes (classes 7-9) is in developing communication, language attention & understanding through a range of activities, including; intensive interaction, shared attention and shared interaction. Pupils regularly take part in sensory stories, book exploration, songs, playing and therapies.
Early reading is prioritised throughout school with the ability grouping of pupils during English sessions. This ensures all pupils have access to teaching at an appropriate level for their ability regardless of age and they work at a personalised pace to ensure breadth and depth of learning. Books are available in every classroom and teachers regularly share stories with pupils in order to model skills, develop vocabulary and improve speaking and listening.
Due to the varying needs of our pupils, phonics is taught at a time that is right for the child; depending on their level of need and learning potential. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme; a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics and use the Phonics Bug reading scheme to support and strengthen pupils’ decoding skills. Pupils learning phonics will access sessions once or twice a week, which are differentiated, well-paced and most of all fun! Each session has four parts: We revisit and review previous sound and word building. We teach a new phonic skill. We practise the new skill and then children are given the opportunity to apply their newly learnt skills in different situations.
All pupils continue to learn phonics until they are able to read fluently, which is beyond the expected age of Year 2. If by Year 7, a pupil continues to require phonics input, they will move onto the Sound Reading System (SRS); a more age appropriate phonics system.
Once pupils are secure in their phonic knowledge, they will begin to read a greater range of texts, such as; non-fiction, poetry and a range of fiction, including Shakespeare. Those working within the Key Stage 2 curriculum access an online reading programme called Reading Plus which develops reading fluency. As children grow in independence the books become more complex in terms of content, vocabulary and sentence structure.
Pupils are encouraged to talk about what they are reading, share their ideas, voice their own opinions and develop informed responses to texts. The skills of Speaking and Listening and the ability to respond, voice thoughts and opinions is vitally important for our pupils.
Pupils in the 14-19 area of learning will begin an appropriate qualification or accreditation in English that is linked to their prior progress and learning level. This will then support them in their future pathway goals.
In order to meet the needs of a range of pupils with complex needs, there are a number of assessment systems in place to monitor and analyse pupil progress from their individual starting points. These are: Cherry Garden, MAPP, iASEND, SCERTS, and accreditation/qualification course tracking.
Assessment data is used to inform future planning and to indicate necessary interventions for those pupils who may not have made expected progress. The progress of pupils with profound learning needs is tracked through MAPP and PLIM targets and focuses on individual communication and interaction.
For pupils who are identified as being able to access literacy learning, they are grouped into classes according to their ability and starting point.
Support from parents is vital in ensuring consistency of learning within literacy. Parents are informed of the English group their child is in, the level they are working at and the support that they receive. Progress is reviewed regularly and parents are informed of any major changes to progress as well as being given updates to targets through the PLIMs being sent home and through the annual EHCP review process.