At Ark Dickens we have adopted a holistic approach to reading and writing. Alongside being immersed in a wide range of texts, pupils have frequent opportunities to write in short bursts as well as independently at length. We encourage pupils to include features in their writing that they have seen in the texts they encounter in reading lessons.
All children in KS1 at Ark Dickens are initially taught to read via the Read Write Inc Phonics programme. The programme is a complete literacy resource for beginner and emergent readers. It is proven to develop fluent and enthusiastic readers who quickly develop an in-depth comprehension of texts. Through the programme children learn to read and write letter-sound correspondences, decode effortlessly, and spell and handwrite systematically. The programme also helps our children write confidently using oral rehearsal. Read Write Inc lessons are exciting and fast paced.
Once children have completed the Read, Write Inc. program and are able to read simple stories with 90% fluency, they use these skills to access more complex texts independently. Pupils are grouped using the Simple View of Reading model, and taught based on their reading need, whether it be phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary or comprehension.
Every year group has dedicated time each day for reading. At the start of each week, children are explicitly taught vocabulary and definitions that appear in an unfamiliar text to help them comprehend the text throughout the week. The text is read multiple times through the week and analysed using a variety of skills such as summarising, sequencing, retrieving, predicting and making inferences.
We have a number of additional programmes to support the children with their reading, including reading volunteers and peer-to-peer reading, where the children read with other pupils. Pupils who need support with their reading have access to carefully planned interventions multiple times a week from their Year Group Lead.
Reading for Pleasure
At Ark Dickens we are striving to become a reading school where all children and adults read for pleasure and can share in the joy of books. We follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, which allows all children to access and take home age-appropriate books. These books are to be read aloud to family and quietly to ourselves. We encourage all family members to comment on each reading session through home reading journals.
Our school library is currently under development. Once finished, it will house beautiful new books and have a cataloguing system which will allow our children to take ownership of their reading experience. Every class visits our local council-run library each half term and we encourage all children to get a library card which allows them free access to thousands of books.