Northlands children reflecting on the books they enjoy, and the reasons why...

Talkabout Books - Year 5

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Talkabout Books - Year 6

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Talkabout Books - Year 2

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Subject leader: Mrs Hunt



At Northlands, reading is at the heart of our curriculum, both as a subject in its own right and as the medium by which we teach. We are fully aware of the importance of being able to leave primary school with a strong capacity for reading and we are also aware of the disadvantage that pupils are at if they fail to gain the necessary skills. We chose our book-led curriculum to ensure that books and reading are woven into everything that we do and that our pupils are exposed to the best texts which inspire a life-long love of reading. We are aware of our higher than average number of children who have English as an Additional Language and we seek to support them through participation in our EAL Flash Academy course. 



Reading is taught throughout the curriculum and staff look for opportunities to apply reading skills through all subjects. Reading is more formally taught during dedicated lessons which follow a two week cycle: the first week concentrates on getting to know a text or extract well, developing fluency in reading and exploring the concepts and themes within it. The second week seeks to challenge children to answer questions based upon the text they have been reading and each day focuses on a different content domain using question stems directly linked to that skill. Throughout the cycle, there is an emphasis on vocabulary exposure and unpicking language to enable all children a growing vocabulary diet; this is particularly supportive of our EAL and SEND children to ensure they have the same exposure to quality age-related texts. This is also bolstered through our Flash Academy Programme which seeks to support pupils with their emersion into the British language. Pupils are heard reading regularly in Key Stage 1 and as required in Key stage 2. We put a great deal of effort into World Book Day (in fact we have a World Book Week) and use it as a further opportunity not only to excite pupils about reading but to see it as a potential career choice (by inviting authors such as Dreadlock Alien into the school). 



Our pupils are enthusiastic (particularly when visiting the library) about reading and can recommend books to others. 'Pupil across the school are developing a love of reading and enjoy sharing books,' Ofsted November 2019. The majority of our children are able to demonstrate the required skills to be able to read fluently, comprehend a range of texts and comment meaningfully on the author's use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. Where pupils cannot read with fluency, they are quickly identified and given interventions to close the gap including gaps in language acquisition. 'The development of children's language skills is a whole-school priority.' Ofsted November 2019. Internal data suggests that the overwhelming majority of pupils make good progress from their starting points in reading and -when benchmarked against entry at Year R- the majority of our Early Years pupils outstanding progress.  



Parent workshops:

We all know how confusing it can be when helping your child at home. Are we teaching the right method? Is it different to the school's? This is why we have held a range of support workshops including a reading workshop designed to support parents with early reading and particularly the -sometimes-confusing world of phonics. Our workshops were well attended and feedback from parents was great!