Reading at Pixmore
“Pupils love to read at Pixmore. They are provided with opportunity to read quietly and for sustained periods. They talk confidently about their favourite authors and about what they are reading. The well-stocked reading areas provide pupils with a range of different books that appeal to their interests.” Ofsted, June 2019
Reading is a life-long skill, one which is critical to children being able to access the curriculum and achieve well. Reading can feed a child’s imagination and can open their minds to a world of wonder, curiosity and joy. It is our aim that, by the end of their time with us, all pupils at Pixmore are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject.
To promote high levels of literacy across the entire curriculum, we aim to ensure that our pupils:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- Develop good habits in reading: reading widely and often, both for pleasure and information
- Acquire a wide and ambitious vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions which they can use and apply when reading, writing and in spoken language
- Have experience of and begin to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- Use their reading as models for their writing to allow them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- Take part in discussions in order to learn: being able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas, supported with evidence from their reading
- Develop competency in speaking and listening, asking and responding to questions and participating in discussions.
At Pixmore, we ensure that there are discrete times where reading is taught. This can be through a 30 minute guided reading session, individual one-to-one reading or through whole class reading.
Reading takes place throughout the curriculum where children are encouraged to apply the skills they have been taught in focused reading lessons, such as exploring a source of evidence in history for example.
We primarily use reading fluency or reciprocal reading strategies during these group sessions to develop word recognition, fluency, expression and comprehension. The skills taught during these sessions are based on the teacher’s assessment and the children’s next steps.
To support the development of comprehension, we use VIPERS.
What is Reading Fluency?
A reading fluency session incorporates a range of techniques including:
- Adult modelling of the text – the adult will read the text using appropriate intonation and expression. This allows the children to pick up the understanding and meaning of the text.
- Echo-reading – this is where the children will try to imitate a phrase/sentence modelled by the adult. This develops reading speed and comprehension of what they are reading. This is also linked with text marking, where the children will mark on the passage where to pause, alter their voice pitch etc.
- Repetition of a phrase/sentence – this is where the children may be asked several times to repeat the phrase/sentence several times and again this aids their speed, expression and comprehension.
- A discussion around the understanding – this often incorporates vocabulary taken from Reciprocal Reading (predict, clarify, question, summarise). In addition, children may be asked to visualise what is happening when an adult models the text. This part of the session is aimed at drawing on their linguistic and word knowledge to improve comprehension.
- Performance Voice - the children may be asked to read the passage back using their ‘performance voice’. This is where text marking and the discussion around comprehension support the children performing the passage/extract either individually or as a group/pair.
What is Reciprocal Reading?
Reciprocal Reading is a group activity that supports development of comprehension when reading a text. A reciprocal reading session will include:
- Adult modelling of the process initially until the children become more familiar with the sequence and vocabulary. Once confident, the sequence can be led by a child.
- Prediction – explicitly using evidence from the text, the predictor will explain what they understand by/think will happen in the first section of the text before asking if anyone else has a different prediction.
- Independent reading - the group independently and silently read the passage. This allows the children to read the passage at their own pace.
- Clarification – the clarifyer will ask if there are any words which the group would like to clarify/understand better. This is an opportunity for members of the group to discuss any vocabulary they didn’t understand.
- Questioning – this can merge into the clarification activity as often a discussion around the choice or meaning of vocabulary can raise questions as to why an author chose that word, effect on the reader or to develop a common understanding.
- Summarising – the summeriser models summarising the passage they have just read as a group usually in a few sentences. This summary should include more than just key events, if done well, it should incorporate parts of the discussion from the clarification and questioning phases.