At Eaton we value reading as a key life skill and ensure reading is a fundamental part of what we do. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every child learns to read as quickly as possible. All children from the moment they start with us in Early Years are exposed to high quality texts across the curriculum, reading skills are taught explicitly in all year groups and reading is given a high profile throughout school. At Eaton we believe in creating a language rich environment. We promote this by sending home a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, which link to different subjects in our curriculum. In Early Years and Year 1, we focus on developing children's fluency by providing children with a phonically decodable books. To encourage a love of reading and vocabulary, children will also be sent home a book to share that they are enthusiastic to share with adults.
In Year 2 and beyond children have access to books linked to their phonics knowledge where appropriate, and books suitable to their reading level. Children are encouraged to read a range of fiction and non-fiction Collins Big Cat books. Each year group has two levels to progress through, and children must write down which books they have read. Children will be benched mark regularly to assess their level. In all year groups children will have access to a variety of texts types, and will be encouraged to take home a non-fiction book linked to their topic. Most days children will be read to by the class teacher. Class novels are displayed within the classroom. Children also have access to a wide range of books in their classrooms, which change termly, and link to other areas of the curriculum.
At Eaton, we use Pathways to Read from Year 2 to Year 6 for guided reading sessions. This ensures reading objectives are progressive across the school, and there is an emphasis on inference skills. Children will have regular guided reading sessions, where the children have opportunity to read to the teacher and respond to questions about the texts. The lessons may also be used to model how to read aloud clearly, with intonation, expression and awareness of an audience.
We follow a Mastery approach to English through the programme Pathways to Read. Units of work are delivered using high quality texts and children in all year groups are given varied opportunities for reading. Skills are built up through repetition within the units, and children apply these skills in the reading activities provided.
We deliver one whole class shared reading lesson per week from years 2-6 with grouped reading, where appropriate, for every pupil at least once a week as well as individual reading. In our shared and grouped reads, there is a clear teaching focus with the opportunity to master key reading skills in each session. There are follow on reading tasks to enable pupils to evidence the skills they have mastered independently. For pupils still needing support with phonics, we provide an individual reading programme that has phonically decodable texts at the heart of it. Many opportunities for widening children’s vocabulary are given through the Pathways to Read approach and this builds on the extensive work we do in school to provide our children with a rich and varied vocabulary. We also use Pathways to Write to drive our writing curriculum. This aligns with Pathways to Read ensuring meaningful links for our pupils with texts and topics that are used across Literacy, Humanities and Science.
Each class elects a reading ambassadors that champions reading in their class. They also meet with the English lead to discuss their own vision for reading.