Reading at Manor Wood underpins everything we do. It is not something we confine only to Literacy lessons, but texts are shared and explored to provide a hook into topics in the wider curriculum, as well as being used as a purposeful research tool. Search #readingatmanorwood on X (previously known as twitter) to see some examples of reading in action at our school.
In the context of our Literacy lessons, each Literacy unit follows our whole school Literacy Process. Each unit, a carefully selected quality text will be shared as a “hook” into that unit. Teachers model key reading skills and children practise and develop these skills across school. We use “active reading strategies” to ensure we understand and unlock the meaning of the texts as we go along.
ACTIVE READING STRATEGIES:
We activate background knowledge where this is possible, making links to real life experience and wider reading, or teachers provide enrichment opportunities to build cultural capital and provide missing background knowledge; we identify VIP vocabulary and impressive punctuation and work out what impact and purpose they have in the text; we look for meaning breakdown and, with the help of our group, paired and whole class discussion with the teacher, we repair that meaning breakdown; we make and evaluate predictions as we read and we use our inference skills to understand what the author means through what they have written when it cannot be immediately retrieved.
We also practise our Oracy skills, rehearsing and performing some pieces, especially poetry. Fluency is a key skill we continually build on throughout school and is taught through individual and paired fluency reading challenges - we love making Reading fun!
When children have explored and immersed themselves in the text, we then give children the opportunity to answer comprehension (RIC) questions about the text, building their understanding of how to answer different question types, covering all the reading domains required for good understanding of a text, and to be able to take KS1 and KS1 Reading SATs in their stride.
As Reading is taught explicitly through studied text spine and begins every new unit, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension (including the full range of reading domains: retrieval, inference, prediction, vocabulary and meaning of words in context, authorial choice, justifying opinions backed up with evidence and summarising a text or a passage) are planned carefully across school to ensure balance and progression of skills.
Reading for enjoyment - whole class story time.
From Early Years right up to Y6, we have a whole class reading list called our reading for enjoyment story spine. This is a list, year group by year group, of books we want to make sure teachers read to their classes, purely for the joy of sharing brilliant books and enjoying reading. These books have been chosen based on teacher favourites, books we know our children have loved, classics all children should experience influenced by Pie Corbett’s expert opinion, and we have also ensured we include a wide range of great books reflecting the diversity in our school but also in society as a whole, and books written by diverse authors. We read to our classes every day and we always cherish that special time. Our children consider extra whole class reading time as a valuable reward and something to look forward to! The books we share then feature on our class library book shelves or book corners, so children can access them for themselves afterwards. Books by the same author are also often in high demand to be borrowed!
See our EYFS - Year 6 Reading for enjoyment whole class Story Spine document at the bottom of the page.
Celebrating Diversity in Reading
Our Diverse Reading Challenge was launched last year and now takes pride of place in its own section of our new school Library. A selection of hand-picked books celebrating and exploring diversity in authors, storylines and characters are displayed on our special Diverse Reading Challenge bookshelves. Children are invited to read their way through as many of the titles on the list as possible! We already had books by authors and covering themes of neurodiversity, diverse cultural backgrounds, gender diversity, different family units and underrepresented groups and have these in studied texts and on class book corner library shelves but we realised that this was not enough: we wanted to highlight them and ensure all children were encouraged to read a diverse range of books reflecting our school community and wider society - many areas of which are still desperately underrepresented in mainstream children’s literature.
Helping to run the Library and Storybox, and curating their "Recommended Reads" for the rest of school, we have a wonderful team of pupil Reading Ambassadors - whose job it is to help with organisation around reading books, Reading assemblies and generally act as Reading Champions at Manor Wood, helping to raise the profile of reading in school. They were appointed through application and interview from Y1-Y6 and we were overwhelmed with the buzz and excitement when so many children applied! They help to organise World Book Day where we celebrate reading though themed days, sharing our favourite bedtime stories with our classmates, visiting our reading buddies to share some stories together, book sales, sand by enjoying author visits and workshops in KS1 and KS2 (including visits from famous authors such as Lucy Hawking and local author Dan Ingram Brown).
This term, they will be helping to launch our Story-box: our “Read and Relax” outdoor reading pod. Made up of two stacked shipping containers with bifold doors onto an outdoor reading area and a very fun wooden ladder staircase, it is packed with cosy book snugs and filled with books and indoor seating - our children can now use the space to read and enjoy books together in playtimes, lunchtimes and in class time. It created such a flurry of excitement around reading that the Reading Ambassadors had to work alongside the teachers to draw up a rota so every year group gets a turn!
Reading for enjoyment comes naturally for our children but we constantly strive to ensure it remains high profile, exciting and a main feature of the school experience for our pupils!