"Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in
someone else's shoes for a while." Malorie Blackman
At Rushey Mead Primary School, we strive for our children to become confident and enthusiastic in their use of English. We create readers and learners who are able to articulate their own ideas and emotions. More importantly, we aim to develop a community of children who enjoy reading and writing for pleasure.
Our English curriculum, which is driven by carefully chosen quality book stimuli throughout the school uses ‘Talk for Writing’ from EYFS and age-appropriately in KS2 in order for our children to be able to understand, learn and retell traditional tales and stories from the earliest opportunity. We want our children to see themselves in a range of diverse books, engage with modern book releases and challenge them through exposure to classic texts which have all been carefully selected and placed progressively from Nursery-Y6. These texts are used as part of English units to provide stimuli for writing pieces where children are given a purpose and audience to write for. This, we believe, facilitates and develops a love of reading, writing and discussion which are imperative for the real world and knowledge we hope they take with them into adulthood.
Early reading is embedded within our school through the teaching of synthetic phonics through ALS Phonics: Letters and Sounds, as well as the discussion about plot structures, characters and vocabulary used within books and the authors who write them. We understand the importance of creating a culture where children love to read, take pride in their writing within a broad and balanced curriculum and develop the confidence to actively engage in discussion and debates. Children recognise the importance of listening to one another and adapting their language to suit style and content. We encourage them to explain and justify their reasoning and build upon one another’s ideas. This is why Oracy is woven into our English and wider curriculum so that children are introduced to the language of debate, discussion and explanation to help them to confidently articulate their ideas, thoughts and opinions, as well as supporting them with their writing.
Children are further exposed to a wider range of literature through our progressive ‘Rushey Read Aloud Spine' from Nursery – Y6 which include classic and modern texts and focussed nursery rhymes/poets per year group.
Shared and Guided Reading
At Rushey Mead Primary School, we value the importance of reading for meaning, using knowledge of the world and understanding vocabulary in a range of contexts in order for our children to be able to access challenging texts and become life-long readers. This is why we use a shared and guided reading approach to the teaching of reading where reading knowledge is taught explicitly using direct instruction in order to reduce the cognitive load for our children. This progresses to combining a number of reading strategies so that our children become confident and competent readers as children move through the school.
In KS1, the focus reading strategy is taught explicitly on a Monday where the teacher will model the strategy using direct instruction through a fiction, non-fiction text or a poem. Children will then have the opportunity to practice the strategy in pairs and then the class teacher will monitor the independent application of the strategy, reading fluency as well as their understanding of the text throughout the week when reading with a small guided reading group with a book matched to the children’s level.
In KS2, the shared and guided approach to reading is taught over a 2-week cycle, where similar to KS1, the reading strategy is introduced in shared reading on Monday through a fiction text or poem and then applied to a non-fiction text on a Friday within the shared reading lesson. Children have the opportunity to practice the strategy in pairs throughout the week before applying it independently when reading with the class teacher in a small guided reading group or when applying it to extracts linked to texts that they will encounter in their read aloud spine, English units or cross-curricular learning.
Children in Key Stage 2 use Accelerated Reader. This is an online platform which provides retrieval and vocabulary quizzes based on books they have read. It checks whether children have understood the text, retained themes and knowledge and tests vocabulary understanding. Teachers use it to monitor engagement with texts, see the types of texts children are reading, use it as a platform to recommend other texts and give an approximate reading age which supports the monitoring of progress.
We really value reading at Rushey Mead and the sharing of books is important to us. This is not just adults sharing books with children though. At Rushey Mead, classes across key stages pair up and share books together. Have a look at some recent photos:
What do the children think?
"Opening a book is like travelling to a new dimension."
"Reading is an adventure like no other."
"Once you start reading, you will never stop."
"Each page you turn is an adventure waiting to happen."
"Reading takes you to different worlds to have many adventures."
"Reading is like a train where you won’t stop until you get to your destination."
"Every word you write unfolds a new adventure."
"Put your pen to paper and start a new journey."
"Writing is a way to let your feelings free."
"Writing is like opening a book and creating your destiny."
Subject Leadership Team
Our English subject leaders are
Mrs M Gill
Mr R Jariwala
Our Phonics subject leader is
Mr R Jariwala