Updated October 2019
Reading is at the heart of the curriculum at Preston Hedge’s.
Our aspiration is for every child to be able to read fluently and enjoy reading.
From the very outset, we place huge emphasis on ensuring every child masters the early reading skills and are able to decode fluently through the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics.
By providing an exceptional breadth of Reading experiences and opportunities we enable our children to explore a wealth of different books and develop a love for Reading.
In the Early Years Phonics is introduced to the children from the outset of their time in Reception, when the team feel it is their appropriate for their cohort. However, when the pupils are in full time, it is expected that formal phonics will commence. To ensure that the needs of every child is met, phonics is delivered through small fluid groups, based on regular assessment. We recognise that best practice is interactive and is set at a pace that works for the children involved.
The main tool we use for phonics is the Letters & Sounds programme. In term 1 of Reception we offer a workshop for Parents’ to support them with Phonics & reading at home. A copy of the slides which provide more detail of Early Phonics & Reading are here:
Our school also has a series of Phonics Booklets to help our parents. They are split into Phase 2-5 and can be found below:
Independent Reading books support children at an individual level and are carefully chosen by teachers to aid and challenge our pupils. We use a variety of different materials and stimulus to enable our children to develop a love of reading. Our independent reading stage books are from the Oxford Tree Reading Scheme, and provide pupils with opportunities to engage with both fiction, poetry and non-fiction materials. In addition to independent reading, and from the end of the Early Years, all pupils have the opportunity to work in small groups with a member of staff to participate in Guided Reading. This provides pupils with further opportunities to explore challenging texts, discussing their themes to deepen their understanding.
Years 1, 2 & 3 spend one afternoon a week undertaking guided reading rotating between learning with the teacher, teaching assistant, independent learning and a session on the library bus, with our lovely librarian Mrs Jan.
Classic Texts are studied by our children In Years 4-6 (Phase 3) and from Easter in Year 3. As a class, our children study a Classic text weekly and then complete a related homework task in their Reading journals. The classic novels provide an opportunity to read enriching text choices, which they possibly children would not choose for themselves and allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of the language used, characterisation and dense sentence structures.
There is a copy of our annual Classic Text letter to parents here:
In Year R our children have two English sessions a week. In Years 1-6, all our children have English lessons daily. In Year R all our English lessons are planned around a text, such as Aliens Love Underpants.
Throughout Years 1-6, we follow the English sequence of Reading into Writing. As a school we recognise that reading is fundamental to the writing process, as children can only write successfully if they have a full understanding of the features of specific genres and therefore explore texts from a variety of genres.
Comprehension sessions occur weekly in Years 2-6 on a two week cycle. In week 1 children work with their teacher and peers to study a short text and to answer related questions. Week 2 enables the children to undertake a small twenty minute comprehension, before working through and editing their responses with their teachers.
The little things that make Reading extra special at Preston Hedge’s:
Our Red Phone Box Book Swap
For all members of our school community to access at anytime they see fit. Three times a year we have a big book swap in the hall.
Our Red London Library Bus:
Open to families on a Monday-Wednesday from 2.45pm to 3.15pm and accessed weekly by our children:
Our Red Paradise: Where our Year 1 and 2 children choose their books!
The importance of Reading for pleasure Michael Ronsen:
Our approach leads to happy, well-rounded children, who through the exceptional experiences and opportunities offered understand the importance of and enjoy Reading.
Our outcomes for Reading are as follows:
Key stage 2 attainment of the high standard (110+) in reading (43%) was significantly above national and in the highest 20% of all schools in 2019 as well as in 2018.
The three-year average reading attainment score (108.2) was in the highest 20%.
Key stage 1 attainment of the expected standard in reading (88%) was significantly above national and in the highest 20% of all schools in 2019 as well as in 2018 and 2017.
The proportion of pupils who met the expected standard (32+) in phonics in Year 1 (95%) was significantly above national and in the highest 20% of all schools in 2019 as well as 2018 and 2017.
Early years foundation stage attainment of the expected standard in the reading early learning goal (88%) was significantly above national and in the highest 20% of all schools in 2018.*
*2019 data pending