Developing a Love of Reading

Reading vision and intent:

At Bentley Heath, English is at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to ensuring that every pupil will learn to read regardless of their background, needs or abilities.  We want children to develop a genuine love of books and thirst for literature, through a progressive and challenging curriculum built on a foundation of diverse and carefully selected texts.  We believe our pupils deserve a curriculum which mirrors their own experience back to them (Style. E, 1988), and as such have developed our own ‘canon’ of texts that all pupils will read during their time at Bentley Heath.

Reading implementation:

It is our intention that Bentley Heath is a school which is built on books, because we place reading at the heart of everything. When children make good progress in Reading they also find success in other individual subject disciplines; fluent readers learn more because they can read and gain knowledge for themselves.  Reading at Bentley Heath will also educate the whole child emotionally, culturally, socially and spiritually.

Early Reading and Phonics:

Our early reading incorporates developing rhyme and alliteration awareness and an understanding and enjoyment of stories, information texts and poetry. Daily, paced systematic synthetic phonics is the primary approach for teaching reading. We follow the Read Write Inc. (RWI) phonics scheme to teach reading, and all our teachers have been trained in this. This provides a progressive teaching structure and routine with opportunities to practise core reading skills and help children who may need additional support.

Children read texts that are matched closely to their current phonic knowledge and decoding ability. Through direct teaching sessions our Reception and Year 1 classes are introduced to specific groups of grapheme-phoneme correspondences and are taught to blend the sounds to read words from an early stage. We progress to more complex phonics knowledge and cover all the major grapheme-phoneme correspondences by the end of Year 1. Children are also gradually taught to read some of the most common exception words. These words are sometimes referred to as ‘tricky’ words and children are taught to identify the part of the word that is ‘tricky’ alongside their phonic knowledge.

Writing vision and intent:

By the end of Year Six, we intend our children to have developed a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word. We also intend to create writers who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing, and enable pupils to be able to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. We set high expectations for all our children to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style alongside allowing their imaginations to flourish.

Through using high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, our children will be exposed to a language heavy, creative and continuous English curriculum which will not only enable them to become primary literate but will also develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.

Writing implementation:

In order to help us to develop confident, enthusiastic writers who can express themselves in a variety of different styles and across a variety of contexts, our teaching of writing is based on a wide range of carefully selected texts. In English lessons, teachers plan using a ‘Reading into Writing’ approach. Our units of work empower our teachers to provide high-quality teaching of writing through children’s high-quality literature. The units of work focus on engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a wealth of writing opportunities.

  • Learning journeys are led using a quality text as the stimulus, this may be fiction (including poetry) or non- fiction in line with the National Curriculum and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons.
  • In Early Years, English is planned around early reading, early writing and phonics.

Reading into Writing:

Our long term scheme of work for English outlines the key texts and related reading and writing outcomes to be taught in each year group.  We plan using a ‘reading into writing’ approach, where pupils immerse, analyse, plan and write. We know that it is important that children are given a reason to write (EEF, 2021), and we teach these purposes of writing progressively, building year on year.

  • Writing to entertain
  • Writing to inform
  • Writing to persuade (KS2)
  • Writing to discuss (UKS2)