The Ark John Archer Reading Curriculum intends to inspire children’s imagination, love of literacy and create the readers, actors, poets and of course authors of the future. Whilst reading a diverse range of texts across the curriculum, children also learn about the key grammatical features of the English language and how they as readers can use these features to develop their reading fluency and expression.
We start by teaching phonics to Reception and Year 1 using the Read Write Inc. programme. Here, children learn how to recognise and read the sounds in words, as well as talking and writing about the texts they have read. The structure and pace of the lessons allows participation of every child, developing their decoding skills, as well as their comprehension and love of reading.
Alongside the phonics programme, children in Reception and Year 1 are exposed to a wide variety of stories and texts in class. Through teacher-led input and explorative play, children learn to sequence, discuss, write and role play stories and texts linked to different curriculum topics.
Once children progress off of the phonics programme, they start our Reading Curriculum, where they develop key reading skills including fluency, inference and summarising. We encourage children to make links between texts, continually building upon the knowledge and skills they have accumulated in previous year groups. We engage with many different genres, teaching the different features of fiction and non-fiction, poetry and other text types and encouraging the reader within each child to become as qualified a writer too. Children enjoy taking part in Story Time throughout the school week, actively engaging in discussions centred around authors, genres, preferences and opinions.
As a school, we foster our children’s love of reading in many different ways. At the start of every new year, we challenge every child to read the 50 'recommended reads' for their year group. Those who take on the challenge have the opportunity to make their own recommendations, adding to the list and building a bank of new and current texts. Each week, we introduce a 'book of the week' in assembly for each key stage.
The library is a relaxed environment with a range of high quality texts available to loan. It's open to pupils at lunchtimes, and class library sessions are timetabled throughout the week. Each year we have a book fair where children can explore even more books; our children love being the first to read these new books. We also celebrate world book day over the period of a week. During this time, children have the opportunity to read to others, or have books read to them regardless of their age – simply for the love of reading.