Being a reader at Cubitt Town Junior School

At Cubitt Town Junior School, we aim to foster a culture of reading for pleasure. We know that successful reading skills are the key to unlocking learning across the curriculum and endeavour to ensure that pupils leave for secondary school as fluent readers, with a breadth of comprehension skills and a love of reading. All pupils are expected to read every day, either in small groups, pairs or within a whole class setting. Opportunities to develop confidence reading aloud sit alongside more individual, quiet reading. Our teachers also take every opportunity to read to their pupils to model how proficient readers immerse themselves and convey meaning in a text.

We believe that 'learning floats on a sea of talk', and that being able to discuss a text leads to a greater understanding. Oracy and reading therefore go hand in hand, with regular opportunities for discussion and debate around texts.  

We follow the national curriculum. Learning is sequenced so that over their years with us pupils are exposed to increasingly complex language and structure and will have the knowledge and skills to access these texts.

Our core curriculum texts have been carefully selected in order to provide a range of interesting, relevant and enjoyable reading experiences by authors from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures. We believe that stories are how we explore and make sense of the world beyond our own experience. Within the writing curriculum, the range of text-types and styles that children are exposed to in their reading are increased further, using our core texts as springboards to engage with other high-quality texts in imaginative ways. We also aim to incorporate reading across the curriculum, with a range of fiction and non-fiction texts complementing learning in a range of disciplines.

Daily reading sessions are either centred around texts that support knowledge acquisition for topic areas, in-depth analysis of the core texts, and purposeful exploration around topic areas or themes in order to increase relevant general knowledge to help with inference.

For readers who continue to encounter challenges with their reading skills, we feel that it is important to find a balance between supporting them at a phonic level to decode whilst enabling them to continue to acquire comprehension skills of texts with a richer vocabulary. We therefore endeavour to give additional support to learners in small groups outside the time when they are studying the core class text so that they maintain a rich experience of text orally.

When teaching reading at Cubitt Town Junior School, we use the 6 strands of reading comprehension identified by the National Literacy Strategy that applies to readers of all proficiencies. These are non-linear and consist of: visualising, imagining and empathising; activating prior knowledge; predicting; summarising; inferring (by using an increasingly large base of experience, subject-specific and general knowledge); monitoring and checking understanding.