It is morally imperative for Penn Wood School to teach every child to read, regardless of social and economic circumstances, the ethnicity of pupils, the language spoken at home and most SEN or disabilities. We are sharply accountable for the progress and success of our children. Unless children have learnt to read, the rest of the curriculum remains a secret garden to which they will never have access.
Early reading is taught through Ruth Miskin's Read, Write Inc.: a validated synthetic phonics programme. More information can be found in the Early Reading section below, and in the Supporting Phonics area of our school website.
We believe that good readers make good writers and so we actively immerse children within the principles of Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing approach. 'Reading as a Reader' and 'Reading as a Writer' - the stages within 'Imitation' - are both essential in teaching children the skills needed to be successful readers.
Children from Reception to Year 6 are also timetabled to be taught reading within whole class sessions at least three times per week. The school's approach to reading is research-informed using what we know pedagogically about vocabulary instruction, the importance of general and world knowledge (and its impact on inference) and the designing and answering of questions about text. The school follows Pie Corbett's Talk for Reading sequence with a variety of quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
All children are regularly immersed in the quality literature from our school's reading spine, which has been carefully designed to include the very best of children's literature.
Early Reading: Phonics
At Penn Wood, children in Nursery, Reception and KS1 are following the Read, Write Inc. Phonics programme. Sounds are taught in a lively, engaging, multi-sensory way, supported with real story books.
For more information about the approach to early reading at Penn Wood, please read our Early Reading Policy:
Early Reading Leaflet
Reading Areas at Penn Wood
We are proud of our Active Learning Library, which sits at the heart of the school. All children are able to visit the library before and after school, and each class has a slot during the school week during which they can visit the library to borrow books.
We are extremely fortunate at Penn Wood that we have a dedicated School Librarian who is able to spend some of her week working in the library, supporting children's visits to the space and resourcing our wonderful well-stocked library.
In our Nursery, we have designed and built a 'Reading Den' in which children are supporting in the early stages of language development and to engage in reading for pleasure, with a range of quality texts available.
Supporting Reading at Home
For more information on supporting your child's reading at home, please visit the following pages on our website:
Reading for Pleasure
The school's library - the Active Learning Library - is fully stocked with the best of children's literature and kept up to date with the newest releases. Each class in the school is timetabled to visit the library once per week and has the opportunity to loan books to read at home. As well as this, the library is open and accessible before and after school, when children and their parents can visit and browse the shelves together.
In the school library, the school has raffle ticket boxes linked solely to reading. Every child in the school has a reward card for reading and once a card has been filled with stickers (evidence of a wide variety of reading behaviours), a ticket is entered into a raffle. Tickets drawn out equate to a reward of a choice of book as a prize.
Each classroom has its own unique reading area in which children can access quality, up to date fiction and non-fiction reading books.
Reading at Home
Children are expected to read daily at home, with parents' support if necessary and appropriate. Every child has a home-school reading record which is monitored daily by class teachers. Children have access to Oxford Reading Buddy and Rising Stars' Reading Planet online, where they can read a wide range of ebooks.
Parents are actively encouraged to attend Rapid Reading mornings in Early Years and KS1 - opportunities to read with their child in school, as well as regular reading and phonics workshops held in school.
Please read the following Rising Stars guide to reading with your child at home for advice on supporting your children:
Our Online Tools to support Reading
Oxford Reading Buddy
Each child has a login for Oxford Reading Buddy. Using this website, each child will be able to choose a 'buddy' - an avatar - who will use their metacognitive voice to support each individual child's reading.
Reading Planet Online
Each child also has a login for Rising Stars' Reading Planet online, where they can access a library of ebooks to support their child's reading.
Oxford Owl is an award-winning free website with 250 FREE tablet-friendly eBooks and activities to help you support children’s learning. Now it is even better, with dedicated areas for school and for home.
Each child in KS2 has access to First News' IHub portal where news articles can be accessed and quizzes answered about current events.
Microsoft Teams Reading Fluency Tool
We are making use of an exciting tool on Microsoft Teams which enables children to record their voices reading a text aloud, and for this recording to be accessed by the child's teacher. Texts are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and they often support the teaching that is taking place in subjects such as geography, history or science.
The objective of Teams fluency reading is for children to practice reading out loud so that fluency, expression and comprehension is built up.
Take a look at the video below which will show you how to use this tool: