Reading at Colours Academy
Why is reading so important in schools?
Reading remains to be one of the most important aspects of any school's curriculum. These are key skills we aim to develop in order to maintain a strong foundation which can support development in all other areas of learning and into the wider world. At Colours Academy, we have designed a reading curriculum which aims to enable pupils to enhance their reading skills as well explore a wide range of texts and sources of written information.
What does our reading curriculum aim to achieve for pupils?
We aim for all pupils to:
1) Engage in a range of reading materials; that of fiction, non-fiction and transactional texts, as well as various sources of written information
2) Read for pleasure and encourage pure enjoyment of reading, building both critical and analytical skills
3) Build confidence within pupil's reading ability, including reading fluently, reading aloud and reasoning with text
4) Develop a strong set of reading skills, developing a robust range of reading abilities and engagement with different levels of texts and other written information
5) Be supported with their reading and ensure that emerging and significant gaps can be progressively eliminated through a series of intervention programmes, which aim to support reading fluency and build phonics confidence
What does the Reading Curriculum Look like?
Our reading curriculum is structured with the above aims at the heart of what we are doing.
Reading throughout the curriculum
The reading curriculum at Colours Academy is a golden thread which runs throughout different areas of teaching and learning. Reading is incorporated within the planning, assessment and delivery of all areas of the subject-based curriculum which is provided to pupils from years 7 – 11.
It is of paramount importance that areas of reading are embedded into learning in the classroom, wherever possible- to ensure that pupil’s reading can confidently progress and a clear and positive interest in reading is developed.
Reading in the planning of lessons and learning schemes aims to be consistently sequenced and designed to encourage pupils to engage with texts and communicate their reasoning.
Through the reading curriculum, we aim for all pupils to confidently:
Engage with a range of texts and sources of written language; for purpose and for enjoyment
Use grammar effectively in reading and writing
Widen spoken language skills and vocabulary bank, including pronunciation of the English language
Incorporate reading skills in their writing
Read to develop critical thinking skills
Form Tutor Reading programme
Our Tutor Reading Programme aims to maintain a thorough enjoyment for reading as well as develop new skills and confidence in ability.
Throughout the programme, pupils read and explore 1 book, per term with their tutor group. The books are different every year. All of the books in the programme have a deep focus on Fundamental British Values, with a different core theme being explored through each text. This not only ensures that pupils are studying an array of contextual themes through literature, but also configures and consistently strengthens pupils understanding of the four fundamental British Values.
The programme can take place either once or twice a week, but is designed to be taken at the pace of the class. Pupils are encouraged to take turns with their reading as well as pause for reflection and share ideas as a class. The programme aims for pupils to explore texts in the form of a reading journey, strengthening an interest and enjoyment in reading as well as applying developing skills.
How can we explore texts through the Tutor Reading Programme?
Exploring texts doesn’t just mean reading independently or as a class. It means;
Sharing ideas, themes, discussing and constructively debating views and opinions
Analysing texts and decoding messages, symbolism and ideas behind the language which the author is using to communicate
Using the language and writing style to explore pupil’s own ideas, both on their own and as a class
Expressing their critical findings behind the text, whether it be through a piece of writing, a presentation, role play or script, artwork and design...
The programme is a consistent reminder that reading for pleasure and enjoyment can heighten pupil’s interests and ability, as well as engage them in a range of texts and sources of written information.
In English, we encourage all pupils to keep a diary of their reading. The aim is for pupils to borrow a book from the Colours Academy Collection and record their progress through the text. In lessons, our teacher instigate conversations about what pupils are reading, assessing their engagement accompanied by additional time to read and explore texts in class.
The Colours Academy Collection is both a collation of upcycled collection of second-hand texts and brand-new books. We accept donations and we enjoy widening both our collection of fictional and non-fictional texts for pupils to enjoy. Encouraging donations also means that pupils can bring in books from home and share their reading ventures and pastimes with their peers, further promoting a healthy and proactive reading culture in school.
Intervention & Additional support
This final section of this document explains how we utilise different Early Reading Plans & Phonics Schemes to support pupils who may require reading and writing interventions and particular additional support with their reading ability and confidence. The following schemes aim to support children with both developing abilities and significant gaps in their learning. We use different programmes to support different types of learners and their needs.
RWI (Read Write Inc) ‘Fresh Start’
This programme specifically aims to support pupil’s phonics awareness and stability.
Read Write Inc Fresh Start is a catch-up and intervention programme with proven results, for 9 to 13-year-olds still learning to read. It offers a simple but powerful solution to accelerate reading progress in just 25 minutes a day. The programme is very flexible and varies depending on the pupil’s assessed ability.
Developed by Ruth Miskin, Fresh Start teaches students at their challenge point, so they learn to read accurately and fluently. They will also develop good comprehension, spelling and punctuation skills through targeted activities.
The programme consists of assessments at regular intervals. The programme starts with an initial assessment to establish what level the child is entering the programme at. The child will then engage in a session over three days which will encourage their reading with expression and discussion, this then allows for the recognition of graphemes, best friends and discussions with their partners. The programme is designed to be child-led and covers all aspects of spelling, reading and sentence building which in turn helps to develop a child’s confidence and self-esteem who are achieving at below ARE.
Resources are age-appropriate, matched to students' increasing knowledge of phonics, and finely levelled to accelerate progress.
SNIP Reading & Spelling Programme
The programme is aimed at increasing reading and spelling and uses the primary high frequency words (HFW).
These words are grouped by selecting those that visually look different to each other. It is felt that this programme is appropriate for pupils with standardised literacy scores of 80 or less, who have already been exposed to effective phonic/literacy teaching but are still struggling.
The programme approaches literacy acquisition at the word level and addresses the gaps in phonics knowledge through the application of analytic phonics (drawing pupils’ attention to the make-up of words as they break up the target word).
The Word WASP programme
WASP – Word, Articulation, Spelling & Pronunciation is a critically acclaimed method for pupils to rapidly develop their literacy skills. The programme involves harnessing pupils listening, hearing and speaking skills collectively. The programme establishes that reading and spelling are taught in tandem.
Pupils learn using specialist text books which act as manuals designed for usage at home and at school (or a practiced mixture of both) The books can cover ages from 7 to 75, so the ability level can be easily adapted and taught flexibly with pupils. The programme also supports pupils with dyslexia and pupils with severe gaps in their learning.