Christ Church

CofE Primary School

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Reading Beyond Phonics

Following the completion of our phonics program in Year 2, reading lessons continue to develop children’s independent reading skills, comprehension, fluency and reading stamina. Following the Jane Considine approach to reading, lessons are structured over a two-week timetable and within this, reading is taught daily.  Over the fortnight, children take part in a series of lessons: book talk, demonstration comprehension and independent comprehension lessons (detailed below) and study a range of high-quality texts in depth.


Book Talk Lessons

During these lessons, children read a broad range of whole texts (including fiction, non-fiction and poetry) with peers of similar reading attainment. They take part in rich discussions and read at increasing difficulty throughout the year. Teachers are highly skilled at pushing pupils to the edge of their thinking and can closely assess children’s reading ability. Within the session, the teacher will outline three reasons to read and these will be underpinned by the ‘reading rainbow’, directing and focusing the reading skills being taught.  Back and forth talk about books helps children articulate their ideas in well-formed sentences.  Children use sentence scaffolds with high frequency vocabulary to extend and develop their ideas as book detectives.


Comprehension Lessons

These lessons focus solely on developing knowledge in order to comprehend texts: decoding texts, processing it and understanding its meaning.  Texts may link across the curriculum to extend topic knowledge and are increasingly challenging throughout the year.  Areas taught in these lessons may include:

  • vocabulary
  • background/contextual knowledge (experiences, cultural, knowledge of the world)
  • cohesion
  • levels of meaning
  • text structures (fiction and non-fiction)
  • style of narrator

Again, the ‘reading rainbow’ underpins these lessons covering all reading competencies through a range of ‘lenses’.  Children experience high quality direct teaching of how to interrogate the text in order to form detailed written responses to comprehension questions.  They are then given the opportunity to practice these skills independently.


Cross Curricular Reading

In Early Years, reading opportunities are prevalent throughout their curriculum and learning experiences; as children learn through play they are exposed to language, books and stories.

From Key Stage 1, children study challenging texts (fiction and non-fiction) to support units of writing.  Children are given the opportunity to engage with the text in order to produce exciting and high quality written work.  Children can hear the text being read to them by their teacher and are drenched in high level vocabulary and captivating plots or ideas to enable their imagination to flourish.

In other subjects, children use a variety of reading resources to develop their understanding of particular subjects -planned reading opportunities are integral to the learning sequences.  Children are able to explore areas of the curriculum and broaden their subject specific knowledge and skills.  These lessons give children time to practise reading, developing fluency at an age appropriate level and transferring knowledge to long term memory. Reading is truly cross curricular and embedded throughout the curriculum.