‘We seek to transform the lives of our children within a Christian environment, nurturing the wellbeing of each child, promoting the highest academic achievement and instilling a lifelong love of learning.’
I alone know the plans I have for you; plans for the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11
God’s plans for us are limitless. He knows us best and plans for us to reach our unique and individual potential, shaped in the palm of His hand. This potential may reveal itself when we least expect it, just like God’s love being revealed to us. We believe that we are shaping children, not just in the present, but also for the future – enabling them to be global citizens in God’s rapidly changing world, celebrating life in all its fullness.
At Christ Church CE (VA) Junior School, we strive to cultivate a lifelong love of reading. By being fluent, confident readers who apply their understanding to a wide range of texts, our pupils can discover worlds of knowledge and enjoyment. We aim to ensure that all pupils can see themselves in the variety of texts available to choose as well as those studied in class. We seek to immerse children in language and share books which elicit a strong response as well as develop vocabulary knowledge. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting children with their understanding and enjoyment of reading and aim to work in partnership with them.
At Christ Church, we want to develop all children’s ability to decode but also to be able to understand the texts which they read. We aim to provide opportunities for children to read for a purpose but also to read for enjoyment too by valuing and introducing a wide variety of reading material. Our English curriculum is based on carefully chosen texts for each class which link to the topics they are studying. These texts are used to inspire writing of all genres. There is a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry within each term and texts have been chosen to reflect the diverse world in which we live with a mix of authors old and new.
Pupils’ ability to predict, infer and imply are developed through the use of film, song and stories told in pictures as well as a wide variety of texts. Comprehension is further developed through the use of VIPERS in each class. Read, Write, Inc. is used across school to provide 1-1 phonics interventions and Literacy catch up interventions as necessary (Get Writing for Years 3 and 4, Fresh Start for Years 5 and 6). This ties in with our Read, Write, Inc spelling programme which is used throughout school. Children who are not yet fluent readers, using phonetic approaches, have books from the RWI scheme that are carefully matched to the phonic phase they are working in. Any children who need additional support will also benefit from additional 1:1 or small group sessions. We also identify children who are prioritised to read on a daily basis with an adult (e.g. pupil premium learners, non readers @ home)
Children have many opportunities to read aloud and expand their ability to read with expression, whether this is in 1-1 reading sessions, small Guided Reading groups, to the whole class or even to the whole school as part of Child Led Worship or Poetry Week. We invite parents to join us at school for Family Reading sessions where a love of reading can be shared.
Teachers read aloud to their class each day and give children a chance to express their opinions about the books they enjoy. All classes have a book corner where children can choose to read for pleasure. Book corners have been created in each class to widen children’s knowledge of authors and for peers to suggest a next good read. Class novels, where children can enjoy being read to, are chosen through a mixture of staff favourites, children’s choice and classic texts. All children are encouraged to choose a reading for pleasure book as well as being provided with a scheme book appropriate for their reading ability. Reading relationships are further fostered through a Y3/Y6 buddy system where our oldest and youngest pupils take turns to read and be read to. Each year we use Book Week (usually around World Book Day) to celebrate books and authors and to engage everyone, staff and students into reading for pleasure.
Attainment in reading is measured using statutory assessments such as end of Key Stage 2 tests as well as termly assessments for all year groups. Additionally, formative assessments are undertaken over the course of the year and where necessary, phonics testing is repeated. These assessments allow gaps in learning to be identified and addressed with appropriate strategies or interventions. In this way, all pupils make good progress from their starting points.
Furthermore, we believe that the impact should be seen as pupils have the skills and capability to unlock a plethora of learning through their reading ability, across all subjects. Pupils are able to access cultures, worlds or times different to their own and so broaden their outlook on life. They become lifelong learners with an appreciation of the knowledge and pleasure which reading can provide.