Our Approach to Reading at Walkington Primary School

At Walkington Primary School, we closely follow the ‘Floppy’s Phonic’ scheme, supplemented by other resources where appropriate. Parents of children in EYFS/KS1 are invited into a year group specific workshop session during the autumn term to explain the scheme and how they can best support their child.

Our results from the phonic screening test at the end of Year 1 have been consistently high, and the school has received letters from subsequent schools’ ministers congratulating it on its sustained performance in this critical area of learning.

Once our children can ‘read’, meaning they can confidently decode written language and with increased fluency and understanding, we then set about mastering the more nuanced higher order skills which make them ‘readers’.  The vast majority of our pupils leave Walkington not only working to at least age-related curriculum expectations, but also with both an enduring love of books and the ability to confidently navigate the enormity of the online world.

As a staff team, we are constantly modelling positive reading skills, and believe that it is vitally important that children are read too regularly throughout the school.

EYFS

Children in EYFS begin reading as soon as they start school.

Children partake in a 30-minute phonic session daily as well as an additional 10-minute reading session three times a week. Children’s books are matched with the stage that they are on. Floppy’s Phonics specifically matches the sounds that children are looking at and have previously looked at with the book that they are reading. Children will keep this reading book for 2 weeks as well as a ‘scheme’ book. This book is introduced in school and is then taken home for children to work on with their parents/guardians.

As well as following the reading scheme, children have access to a range of different books and stories read to them on a regular basis. These books are often linked to a particular area of the curriculum and involve traditional tales, cultural stories and books that engage specific interests obtained from the children.

Early on in the year, parents are invited to an ‘Early Reading’ meeting. This allows parents/guardians to gain a better understanding as to what reading looks like in our school. It gives them useful ideas as to how they can read with their child at home.

KS1

In Y1, the focus is on phonetic fluency and ensuring children are developing their understanding of written language.  Children continue to follow the ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ scheme. Children take part in phonics sessions four times a week and a focused guided reading session once a week with the teacher. Children are read to on a daily basis by their teacher. This is through story-time or when looking at a specific text in class.

Throughout Y2 children continue to follow the ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ scheme, with a few children starting to become free-readers, selecting their own books that are age and ability appropriate. Less confident readers are identified through ongoing assessment, and these children are read with more frequently on  1:1 basis with a member of our support staff. Crucially, children are read to on a daily basis by their teacher. This is through story-time or when looking at a specific text in class.

KS2

In Y3/4, there is still the opportunity for children to follow our school reading scheme – The Oxford Reading Scheme.  Where necessary, children will continue to read with an adult 1:1 mentor every week.  Other reading interventions are delivered on a weekly basis by support staff.

By Y5/6, many of our older children are free readers and have the option to choose their own books from home or from our school library.  Some pupils will still require support to develop their own individual skills, and are read with regularly throughout the week in a 1:1 setting. Reading interventions are done on a weekly basis with support staff. These interventions focus on our less successful readers and have a focus on the different reading skills that children need to in order to understand what they are reading. In the lead up to SATS, focused reading interventions are delivered to children that are identified through various standardised testing conducted routinely in school.

“Pupils listen to the opinions of others and are keen to offer their views considerately and respectfully.”

Ofsted comments

“By the end of Year 6, outcomes are high in reading and writing. In reading, they are
particularly high.”

Ofsted comments

“The broad curriculum provides a wide range of enriching experiences for pupils.”

Ofsted comments

“In mathematics lessons, resources are used well to enable pupils to visualise abstract ideas and to get a more secure understanding of number.”

Ofsted comments

“The teaching of reading is good. There is a consistent approach to the teaching of
phonics.”

Ofsted comments

“Teachers use their good subject knowledge to plan interesting tasks that engage
pupils.”

Ofsted comments

“Older pupils develop a good understanding of what they read. Leaders promote a love of reading and pupils say the school provides them with high-quality texts.”

Ofsted comments

“The school’s welcoming and caring ethos is central to its work in raising standards for
pupils.”

Ofsted comments

“The quality of teaching at Walkington Primary is underpinned by warm and caring
relationships between staff and pupils.”

Ofsted comments

“From the moment pupils enter the school each day, they are greeted with respect and a genuine sense of care from the adults in the building.”

Ofsted comments

“The profile of sport has been raised and more pupils now compete in sporting
activities.”

Ofsted comments

“The passionate and effective leadership of senior leaders and the commitment of the staff have sustained the good quality of education at the school.”

Ofsted comments

“The school is a calm, orderly and purposeful place for pupils to make the most of their learning.”

Ofsted comments

“Governors have a good understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and
are clear about priorities and plans for improvement.”

Ofsted comments

“Staff encourage pupils to be resilient and take risks. Pupils know it is all right to get things wrong and that this is part of the process of learning.”

Ofsted comments

“Parents and carers who offered their views to inspectors were overwhelmingly positive about the experiences of their children.”

Ofsted comments

“Good teaching through early years and in key stage 1 ensures that the proportion of pupils passing the Year 1 phonics screening check is consistently above average.”

Ofsted comments

“In all key stages, pupils are now making good progress from their starting points in reading, writing and mathematics.”

Ofsted comments

“Effective safeguarding procedures are in place. All staff have a clear understanding of how to keep pupils safe.”

Ofsted comments

“Teachers plan interesting activities that motivate the pupils. Staff ensure that all pupils are valued and included in learning.”

Ofsted comments

“Improvements in the teaching of mathematics have helped to increase pupils’ progress and improve pupils’ ability to solve mathematical
problems.”

Ofsted comments

“Exciting activities, such as visits to places of worship, generate high levels of
interest and curiosity about the themes that pupils are studying.”

Ofsted comments

“Adults give pupils
opportunities to share ideas and challenge their own thinking and this helps them to articulate their opinions with confidence.”

Ofsted comments

“Governors are ambitious for the school. They challenge and support leaders effectively.”

Ofsted comments

“Learning in early years gets off to a good start. As a result of effective teaching and provision, children progress well from their starting points.”

Ofsted comments

“Staff welcome the professional development they receive and say that this makes a real difference to the quality of their teaching.”

Ofsted comments

“The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.”

Ofsted comments

“Pupils behave well and are polite, articulate and respectful.”

Ofsted comments

“Leaders are well trained and use their knowledge of special educational needs to identify specific requirements at an early stage and provide timely support.”

Ofsted comments