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English - Reading

Nine Acres approach to Reading for Life

How often do children read?
Children at Nine Acres are reading in almost every lesson. English lessons are driven by high quality texts, alongside book club lessons 3 times a week. 
What do children learn in reading lessons in KS1?
  • Draw upon their knowledge of vocabulary to answer questions.
  • Use their phonic knowledge to blend and segment words.
  • Be able to identify key aspects of fiction and nonfiction.
  • Be able to identify and explain the sequence of events in texts
  • Make inferences from the text
  • Predict what might happen based on the text so far.
What do children learn in reading lessons in KS2?
  • Give and explain the meaning of words in context
  • Retrieve and record information
  • Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph
  • Make inferences from texts
  • Predict what might happen based on information that is stated or implied
  • Identify how content contributes to meaning as a whole.
  • Explain how meaning is enhanced through the choice of words and phrases
  • Make comparisons within the text.
  • Make comparisons between different books, other forms of writing and other things that they have read.
  • Compare and contrast different viewpoints within given texts.
  • Reflect on what they have read and how they can relate to the genre/character/event. 
How do we teach these skills?

At Nine Acres, the weekly reading learning for each class will be focussed on a specific reading skill with a priority on the domains of retrieval and inference.  Across the year, each domain will be revisited to ensure progression in the skill across the year and class teachers use assessment data to adapt planning to best meet the needs of the children.  We use a wide range of stimuli for our reading journeys to include non-fiction, poetry, fiction (including classic texts), song lyrics, picture books and even media prompts in order to ensure that the children are receiving an engaging, broad and balanced reading diet.

Our reading model follows four teaching stages:

-The first session has a focus on the children’s enjoyment of reading and is where the new text is shared with the class.  The priorities for this session are for the children to be engaged with the text, have the necessary background knowledge to be able to access it and we have a real emphasis on language – unpicking the challenging new vocabulary which the children have been exposed to.

-The second session builds on the initial input and like the rest of the lessons per sequence, will generally use the same text.  This is a heavily modelled session where the children are unpicking the week’s focus reading skill with the teacher and reading strategies are being demonstrated.

-The third session for the week will have the same skill focus as the previous session but is designed to allow a more independent application of the learning.  The children are given the opportunity to apply what they have learnt and for the teacher to make assessments as to the progress of the children in this area.

-The fourth lesson has a comprehension focus where the children are challenged to answer questions on the week’s focus text but from a range of question domains.  This is scaffolded as needed by the class teacher and it allows past learning to be re-activated as well as for the class teacher to focus on specific question types with the children.

How do we support/challenge children in reading?
We firmly believe that all children should be accessing the same book and be involved in the same reading journey as their peers. Teachers support or challenge pupils through their questioning and ensure that the cognitive demand of their questions are at an appropriate level of challenge for the children.
How do we develop children's reading fluency?
  • Once children are proficient in decoding, children then begin developing their level of fluency. The class teacher will assess their class across many different elements of reading fluency.
  • Teachers will skilfully plan intervention for any children that need additional support with reading fluency with extra 1:1 or small group work throughout the week.
  • Children are expected to read at least three times a week at home and records are kept and used to identify those children who are not practising their fluency skills on an appropriate text.
  • Children are benchmarked so that they are able to take a book home that is an appropriate level (and matches their phonic ability in KS1) for them to develop their reading fluency. Children can also take home a Reading Challenge Book that they read for enjoyment.
How do we promote a love of reading?
  • All of our classrooms are full of age appropriate, quality texts.
  • At the end of each day, every class enjoys a ten minute reading session. The adult in the classroom reads aloud to the children, who just have to sit and enjoy listening. There is very little questioning, or clarifying in these sessions so as not to disrupt the flow of the story.
  • We have weekly celebration of the class with the most children that have read at home. ERIC the bee gets to join the winning class for the week. The class that has read the most at the end of each half term gets to decide on their celebration. This could be a party or a fun enrichment activity of their choice.
  • We have a class Reading Challenge where children get rewards for how many books they read.
  • Each class has the book of the term on their door and the environment reflects that reading is a school priority.
  • We use the online reading record 'GoRead' where the children can win rewards for their reading and it makes it easier for parents to log their children's reading.
How to we ensure that children leave Nine Acres knowing more words than they arrived with?
  • Children read over 250 books during their time at Nine Acres and all of them are filled with rich age appropriate language.
  • Our curriculum has key vocabulary which we expect the children to know by the end of their learning journeys and teachers have to plan specifically for.
  • Within our reading sessions, teachers plan and pre-clarify words that they feel their class may be unfamiliar with.
  • Key vocabulary is on display and part of knowledge organisers so that children are exposed to it on a daily basis.
  • Teachers promote oracy within the classroom and use a variety of teaching strategies that give children the opportunities to use new vocabulary in discussion with their classmates.
How do we support those children who find reading more difficult?

We understand that some children find reading harder than others. We are constantly assessing what our children can do and what they find difficult. Our English lead, KS1 lead and Excellence for All lead will meet with class teachers each half term as a minimum and have a discussion with them and offer advice around what they can do to support those children who are finding reading difficult.

Our SENCo will also meet regularly with the class teachers to discuss particular strategies that may support those children with Special Educational needs, or those children who are being identified as possibly having special educational needs.

From this a variety of strategies may take place. Children may receive:

  • Extra support in the classroom
  • Work that is set out differently to help them to access it.
  • Extra group work additional to what they are already receiving.
  • Targeted phonics work to help them develop their decoding skills.
  • Parental meetings so that they can be even further involved in developing their child's reading.

Why have we chosen our texts?

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our spine of core texts has been carefully designed to be unique to our school’s location both as an island school as well as a school with significant local challenges.  Some of our pupils are from households who are in the lowest 10% for adult skill and attainment and 21% of our children live in areas that are nationally amongst the 20% most deprived for Education.  Some of our children live in households where their adults never learnt to read at school and we know that teaching our children to read, and love reading, will be the most important tool we could give them to change their futures.  We have selected from the very best classic and modern texts, fiction and non-fiction to build a progression of texts to inspire and engage their children to support them in striving for excellence.  All of the books have also been chosen for the language they will introduce to the children.


Widening the children’s horizon’s with a love of reading


As an island school where 36% of our children are entitled to Pupil Premium funding, it is vital that our texts broaden the children’s horizons.  Without the school, some of the children would not have left the island and we want to inspire them to explore the rest of the country and the wider world.  Therefore, we have chosen texts such as Zeraffa Giraffa for Year 1, Kensuke’s Kingdom for Year 4 and Year Shackleton’s Journey for Year 5.  Also, due to the island’s predominantly white British profile, it is important that we study a range of books to build tolerance but also so that children from other ethnicities see themselves represented in a book.  Some of the books that we study include ‘Look Up’ in EYFS, ‘Young, Black and Gifted’ in Year 3, ‘Little People Big Dreams – Malala Yousafzai’ in Year 4 and ‘Boy at the Back of the Class’ in Year 6. 


We have chosen a range of texts from classic authors as well as more recent stars of the literary world.  Authors such as Julia Donaldson, Roald Dahl, J.K Rowling and even Shakespeare are featured as classic authors alongside more recent authors such as Maz Evans and Louis Sachar.  We have also chosen texts to build the children’s understanding of key issues such as the rule of law.  With 36% of our children living in an area the 20% most deprived for crime, books such as Holes which is studied in Year 6 and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in Year 4 help to shape the children’s understanding of rules.  Books such as ‘Invisible’, ‘It’s a no money day’ and ‘Fair’s Fair’ also help the children to shape their own experiences.  With 20% of our children on the SEN register we also have chosen books such as ‘The London Eye Mystery’, ‘Wonder’ and ‘Goldfish boy’ which not only helps to develop the children’s tolerance and understanding of others but helps some of the children, such as those with ASD, to know that there are many more children like them.


Books to support the children in being passionate


As being articulate and passionate is key to our whole ethos, it is essential that we have chosen books that would inspire the children to also be passionate.  Texts such as ‘There’s a Rang-Tang in by bedroom’ in Year 4, and ‘The Lorax’ and ‘Tin Forest’ in Year 2 all give the children a topic to be passionate about and books of inspirational leaders such as Shackleton, Greta Thunberg and Malala give the children examples of people who have gone on to achieve great things.