“When children see their lives reflected in the books they read, they feel they and their lives are not invisible” – Malorie Blackman (author of We’re Going to Find the Monster!)

Reading is central to the heart of Girnhill Infant School, where we use books to encapsulate our being and help us understand our belonging. Reading also allows our children to explore wild and vast worlds, different to their own, allowing their imagination to sprout and blossom. We strongly believe in representation through literature, which inspires our fantastic range of books throughout the school.

We strive to make reading accessible for children, using physical books alongside technology to allow children to explore different routes of reading, encouraging each child’s autonomy. Children are exposed to a plethora of literature from the very beginning of Nursery, through to Year Two, through avenues such as Talk Through Stories, to develop children’s exposure to literature alongside their oracy skiils. In our classrooms, literature is often linked to the provision opportunities that the children access. To ensure all children have reading opportunities at home, each child can access our school Library and swap books throughout the year. The Library features a wide variety of literature, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

“What I love most about reading: It gives you the ability to reach higher ground. And keep climbing.” – Oprah

We truly believe that reading is a key life skill which lays the foundations of lifelong learning. Here at Girnhill Infant School, we utilise the Read Write Inc. programme. This is a systematic synthetic phonics programme, which teaches children the ability to read fluently and accurately. We are very lucky that all staff are trained to deliver this scheme.

Our aim is that all children will be able to:

· Explore a variety of literature in a plethora of ways

· Become enthusiastic and motivated readers, shaping into life-long readers

· Apply a knowledge of systematic synthetic phonics in order to decode and comprehend literature

· Read accurately and fluently, with expression, clarity and confidence

· Develop a solid linguistic knowledge of vocabulary and grammar



At Girnhill, we value reading as a key life skill and one that lays the foundations for long-life learning. We want every child to decode quickly and accurately so that reading becomes effortless, as well as, develop a love for reading and books. We ensure opportunities are provided every single day for children to read with adults in school and at home. We believe our entire school is a library and aim to inspire children to read for pleasure. Reading is taught through the ambitious National Curriculum, the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and the Read, Write, Inc. programme that explicitly teaches children to read fluently and accurately. This ensures that staff are supported to teach small progressive steps in a specific coherent teaching sequence, ensuring that children continue to learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences and revise and consolidate those learnt earlier. We are ambitious in our expectations of all pupils, ensuring cross curricular links are made to develop children holistically. We map the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Framework for reading into a coherent and sequential progression model that outlines the substantive knowledge, disciplinary knowledge, vocabulary and sentence stems needed at each stage that will build cumulatively towards learners being able to use and apply their knowledge, skills and understanding across a range of reading concepts, whilst making purposeful links.  At Girnhill Infant School, we believe that oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching children to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other and the world around them. Vocabulary is purposeful and progressive to allow children to develop their expressive language and leave school being able to articulate their understanding of text using the four strands of good talk. Technical tiered vocabulary is modelled through flashcards and teacher talk using ‘my turn, your turn’. Sentence stems are used to provide children with a model of how to use book talk and scaffold their talk effectively. Questions are carefully planned in advance to target pre-empted misconceptions, address gaps in learning and enable children to develop their explanations and comprehension of books and text.

Reading is delivered by teachers and teaching assistants that are trained and coached by the reading leader in order to remain skilled phonic group leaders. Reading tutors deliver daily 1:1 Read, Write, Inc. tutoring sessions to ensure that children ‘keep-up not catch-up’. Through these means, children are taught daily to read accurately, fluently and with understanding. A love of reading and books is inspired through our school’s reading environments and daily story-times. Teachers use the ‘Talk-through Story’ units from Read, Write, Inc. to deliver purposeful story-times that develop oracy and book talk through the explicit teaching of tier-two vocabulary and comprehension. Teacher’s also deliver an additional story-time daily, where children listen to their favourite stories, stories they have voted for and books that reinforce prior-learning and cross-curricular links. Oracy is woven throughout reading as detailed in the progression grid. The progression grid outlines the oracy expectations of each year group within the four strands of good talk. It also includes the tiered technical vocabulary all learners need to acquire and use in order to talk like a reader. This will be modelled using ‘my turn your turn’ and opportunities are made for children to practice using the vocabulary throughout lessons and story time in both guided and independent practice. Suggested sentence stems are provided and used in order to scaffold responses. Opportunities for children to practise the skill of presentational talk will be further developed in reading through the use of mode B learning such as freeze frames in character, hot seating a character, book reviews and retelling a story using drama.

All explicit reading lessons begin with the introduction of a new grapheme and the review of previously taught grapheme-phoneme correspondences through flashcards. Children then apply these sounds to decode new words using the skills of segmenting and blending. Children then review words containing previously taught graphemes using segmenting and blending and then at speed for fluency. High-quality modelling of these skills and language is offered to our children and scaffolds are provided for difficult tasks. All reading lessons have a strong, purposeful emphasis on reading and comprehending books that are tailored to individual child’s reading abilities.

Assessments and data show that many children are making progress each half-term. Progress trackers show that most children are making at-least one step of progress each half-term and are retaining more grapheme-phoneme correspondences. Where children are not making at least one step of progress each half-term, interventions are put in place. This is in the form of individual progress records for 1:1 tutoring in order for children to keep-up not catch-up. For some of our pupils who are on the SMTL/EHCP plans, learning has been adapted so that they also access physical active phonics activities as part of their reading/phonics sessions that still remain in line with the Read, Write, Inc. programme. Some of these children also require an additional adult to support them in accessing their discrete phonics groups.

Floor books and pupils voice evidence the use of tier-two vocabulary that is modelled by teachers in the ‘talk-through’ story sessions.