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Our approach to Reading

In Foundation and Key Stage 1 our reading books are organised through our own unique Barton St Peter's colour band system. Books come from a range of sources and suppliers to ensure that our children have access to a wide range of stories and reading material. All books have been matched precisely to the sequence of learning in our chosen phonics scheme. In June 2023, we carried out a systematic review of our early reading material to ensure that all children are able to read books that are matched correctly to the sounds that they know. We have done this to develop confident and fluent readers who have a love of reading, both at home and at school. Our whole school reading assessment and levels document ensures that all books are correctly banded according to phonetic ability and the stage that children are learning within the Read Write Inc programme. Children read books with sounds that they have learnt and staff oversee book allocations on a daily basis for daily home reading to ensure that children read books with sounds that they know and are familiar with. Children re-read books to develop their fluency and automaticity in reading. 


In Key Stage 2 we  use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which includes graphic novels, classics, poetry, Treetops Chucklers and have a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, too. Once children are confident readers, they have the opportunity to read 'free reading' books which means they read books by different authors and do not follow a scheme. At this stage, our children have free choice to read books of their interest and choosing from class libraries and our two school libraries. We encourage children to follow their own interests in their reading. Further to this, we operate a fiction and non-fiction library loan service where children are encouraged to browse our collection of books and choose something to take home from our two recently renovated libraries. Children also have the opportunity to join and visit Barton town library and take part in the Summer Reading Challenge.


Our newly appointed library ambassadors in Year 5 and 6 work with pupils from across the school to help them to use our libraries correctly, to make great reading choices and to enjoy the calm and quiet atmosphere of our library. In addition to this, our whole-school recommended read book marks encourage our pupils to make great reading choices and recommend these to others! 


Children who require further support with reading may have daily 1:1 reading with adults, they may take part in our paired reading intervention or access discrete phonics teaching. In Key Stage 2, selected children have access to the Reading Plus programme to develop their comprehension skills and to encourage them to read more widely with greater fluency and command over challenging vocabulary. For reluctant readers, our library ambassadors and reading champions (pupil-led) run paired sessions with younger pupils.


Beyond phonics teaching, our children are taught to comprehend and read for understanding through our whole-class reading curriculum. Lessons are planned to teach children to understand the content of their reading through practising the skills of retrieval, inference, making links and connections and discussing vocabulary meaning and effect. Lessons are sequenced by objective on the termly overview, they build progressively on comprehension skills and utilise the high-quality text being studied or other topic-related reading material, such as non-fiction texts or topics in the news. Our whole-school questioning document (see below) ensures that we challenge our children to think deeply about their reading in every lesson. 
At Barton St Peter's, children learn to read and read to learn on a daily basis.

Children are actively encouraged to read widely and we expect all children to read at least three times a week at home to an adult. We give children time to ‘catch up’ on home reading, where this has not happened. We aim to instil in all our children a positive attitude to reading – initiatives such as the Book in a Box Competition, 3 reads competition, weekly STAR (Stop and Read) time, Get Caught Reading competition, World Book Day Potatoes and Me as a Reader activities and many more… all aim to promote this.


Please see the link to Barton St Peter's Whole School Reading Spine - this document details the high-quality literature that our children have access to during each termly topic. These texts are the centre of our curriculum, have been chosen and reviewed by our staff and form the basis of all learning opportunities across the Barton St Peter’s curriculum. High-quality texts are at the centre of every classroom curriculum across the school.