A curriculum designed for Lyme Community Primary School


Purpose of study

Throughout their time at Lyme Community Primary School children are provided with a variety of fun, relevant and engaging activities to develop, extend and master children’s ability to read and comprehend texts they have read. In order for children to become confident in each reading skill (Fluency, Comprehension, Deducting/Predicting and Vocabulary), children are encouraged at every opportunity to see reading as an interesting activity to undertake and to be motivated to see reading as a pleasurable experience.

 Lyme also takes the opportunity to celebrate reading at every opportunity. We harness ‘World Book Day’ and ‘World Poetry Day’ as key times of the year to promote a whole school approach to reading for pleasure through a theme as well as linking this into writing. 

Children have access to our School Library. The library is equipped with a wide variety of book genres that exemplify a variety of different age groups. This is with the intention that children will make use of this particular resource to help continue to satisfy their thirst for reading.  During playtimes and lunch times, children also have access to reading sheds located in the Infant and Junior Playgrounds giving children every opportunity to exercise their right to take ownership of their reading and enjoy even more books.

In order to ensure progression and exposure to a variety of authors’ styles, each year group has key featured authors for a term/half term focus depending on the length and variety of books. For example, In Year 2 children focus on Francesca Simon for a term. Time is allocated in each class for the children to listen to stories by the featured author. The class all then have the opportunity to access new stories by that author that are age appropriate and linked to their learning.

Reading is taught both discreetly and in line with other subject areas.  This is for two reasons:

1) Children at Lyme will have the opportunity when the subject is taught discreetly to focus on the development of the core skills of reading.

2) Children can have the opportunity to apply these taught skills in other areas of the curriculum when it is purposeful. A range of non-fiction, fiction and poetry is available for children to access for each topic- when the link between reading and the other subject is relevant. This helps children in particular to develop their vocabulary and understanding of key concepts.

The way in which we deliver the learning of reading at Lyme is tailored specifically to the needs of our children and wider community. Many of our children who start in Early Years require additional support in their language skills as they enter school below national expectations. Some children arrive unable to speak clearly with a poor understanding of diction and with a general lack of exposure to wider opportunities at home.  To help support the development of reading skills, Lyme provides annual guidance on how to help at home relevant to their school year, thus providing more opportunities for children to excel, cultivate and enrich their reading ability. Additional help is also given in the form of Parent Workshops that are delivered to help parents gain a wider understanding of curriculum expectations and how to underpin new learning opportunities and stretch children’s experiences with reading fluency and comprehension.

Pupils in Early Years start their learning in Reading by learning how to recognise the relationship between phonemes and graphemes. They start their learning in this area with the teaching of Phonics through the use of Letters and Sounds enriched by activities by Phonics Play. When children are becoming more confident in this area, they are taught how to put meaning to pictures and Phonic Phase appropriate sentences discreetly in small ability set groups. This begins to occur from the Spring Term in Reception. 

 In KS1 children continue their learning of phonics and are set according to Phonic Phase groups. These groups are fluid and children will be switched in order to be extended or supported. The teaching of phonics is paralleled from Early Years to ensure a smooth transition between Key Stages and Year Groups to ensure seamless transition. 

From autumn’s second half term in Year 1, children adopt the Guided Reading Carousel. From this, children have two focused sessions with an adult to help with the development of reading skills and three sessions where independent learning takes place. This takes the form of phonic work, simple literal comprehension skills and reading for pleasure.

This is continued in Year 2 with the development of comprehension level questions to focus on literal, inference and vocabulary. In summer’s second half term, children begin to incorporate silent reading once a week to help with the development of independent reading and reading for pleasure.

In KS2 children continue with the Reading Carousel in order to develop the key reading skills. Children also have 15 minutes each day where they have the opportunity to read for pleasure. Children also focus more on the development of comprehension skills by completing purposeful activities to extend their vocabulary and stretch their inference skills. This includes pre reading activities and using dictionaries to help with the development and enrichment of language.  The mixture of ‘Cracking Comprehension’, ‘Reading Explorers’ and Andrew Brody’s ‘Improving Comprehension’ helps supplement the different genres of reading children have access to. Throughout all year groups, reading interventions will take place in order to extend and support children’s learning.

Assessment and Curriculum Planning

Here at Lyme Community Primary School we believe children should be taught to read by applying phonics to develop fluency as well as improve and develop their comprehension skills. In Early Years, children are assessed against the EYFS age related criteria within the strand of Literacy, though aspects of the different reading skills can be seen in all areas of the creative curriculum where applicable.

 At KS1 & 2 we use the National Curriculum charted through objective statements to monitor individual pupil progress against the key stage expectations.

 In Year 1, pupils undertake the Phonics Screening Test in order to show whether their segmenting and blending skills meet the required threshold. Following this, children in Year 2 will sit two reading tests (SATs) to supplement the evidence for the teacher assessment. This is also compulsory in Year 6 where each child will sit a Reading Test in the May.

 To help track and monitor children’s progress, children sit reading tests (NFER) from Year 2 onwards in each assessment week (one in each term- autumn, spring and summer). In Year 1 and when suitable in later years, children will also be individually benchmarked with a running record and asked appropriate questions linked to the text read.  This information is then used to inform curriculum planning outlining how additional support or challenge can be provided in order to meet the needs of our pupils. This information is also used by teachers when reporting to parents.

How you can help from an early age...

Make sure that your child is familiar with language and books so that they can see how enjoyable reading is. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Reading aloud to your child, talking about the words and pictures, and sharing ideas about the book
  • Reading yourself: Children who see adults reading, and enjoying reading, are much more likely to want to read themselves
  • Making sure your child is surrounded by books: You don't need hundreds of books at home, but make regular trips to the library or bookshop, not just to borrow books but to spend time together browsing and learning to make choices. In this way, reading becomes a habit.

Most importantly, talk to your child. Spend time with them, doing simple activities (cooking, making something, building a model). As you talk about what you’re doing, you are helping them to learn new words. Later, when they see words written down, they have already heard them and know what they mean.

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Lyme Community Primary, Lyme St, Newton-le-Willows WA12 9HD