The new English Curriculum – A guide for parents

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Here is a year-by-year breakdown of what your child will be learning.



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Team Inspire will be promoting reading throughout school.

INSPIRE stands for: Imagination … Nourishment … Sharing … Pleasure … Ideas … Reflection … Enjoyment.


Team members:

Richard Morris, Amy Seaward, Rachel Dean, Karen Williams, Lizzy Delaney, Dawn Challis, Jazz Newton, Daniel Moran.


Our priorities: 

To encourage children’s enjoyment of reading from an early age by promoting reading for pleasure throughout school and beyond.

To further develop the teaching of reading throughout school to ensure that all children make at least good progress in reading.


Our rationale:

Pupils who can read are overwhelmingly more likely to succeed at school, achieve good qualifications, and subsequently enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career. (Reading: the next steps (DfE, March 2015)

All reading makes a difference, but evidence suggests that reading for pleasure makes the most. (Reading: the next steps (DfE, March 2015)



Reading at St Silas School

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Welcome to the Year of Reading at St Silas School


Reading is a key area of the School Development Plan, and this year will be the Year of Reading at St Silas School. As part of this, we have created a new English Ambassador role, and we will also open our new library, a new reading area (The Loft) and two new outdoor reading sheds (The Dens).


Reading in School

Children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 will have one comprehension lesson each week. During this lesson, children will focus on the specific skills that will help them to read and understand a range of texts. In addition to this, children will have regular, focused ‘Guided Reading’ sessions. In these sessions, they will develop their skills further by reading and examining challenging texts in small groups (4-6 children).

See the ‘Phonics’ page for details of phonics teaching in school.

Children will read to an adult in school as often as possible; this will depend on their stage of reading development. Children who are still in the early stages of reading need to read with an adult as often as possible, whereas children who are becoming more fluent readers may need less supported 1:1 reading time. Every time a child reads to/with an adult in school, this will be recorded on a reading record sheet in the class-reading file. There are a number of adults who your child may read with in school, including their class teacher, a learning support assistant or the English Ambassador (Mrs Williams). To make sure that children make the most of these opportunities to read, book bags should be brought into school every day. Staff will ensure that books are changed regularly; however, children will not be allowed to take books home unless they have their book bag in school.


Breakfast Book Club

The Reading Ambassador will run Breakfast Book Clubs for 4-6 children. The children will agree on a book that they are going to read, and they will each be provided with a copy of the book to take home. The group will then read the entire book over the course of a half term. The Reading Ambassador will ask the children to read a certain section of the book and set them a challenge relating to the text. The group will meet once a week, enjoy breakfast together in ‘The Loft’ and talk about the book that they are reading.


Book Buddies

Children will each be paired up with a reading buddy from another class. Once every half-term, reading buddies will come together during Guided Reading time in order to read and discuss books together. In the first session, the younger child will read part of their library book aloud to the older child.

Children in Year 1 will have a reading buddy in Year 4.

Children in Year 2 will have a reading buddy in Year 5.

Children in Year 3 will have a reading buddy in Year 6.

Additional activities, such as ‘reading picnics’ and ‘Book for your Buddy’, will also be planned in order to encourage the building of relationships between the reading buddies.


Class Read

Time for a shared class read has been included in the school timetable; every afternoon should finish with a 15-minute session where the teacher reads aloud for the children’s enjoyment. For Y2 – Y6, one session per week will be allocated as library time. During this time, children who want to change their library book will be accompanied to the library and books will be signed in/out by a member of staff. Books being returned will be left in a box; library monitors will return these to the shelves the following lunchtime. Children who do not want to change their library book will have silent reading time.


Silent Reading

Children will be given time to read their school library book during Guided Reading DARTs time. This should be timetabled so that each group has at least one silent reading session per week.


Reading at Home

In order to promote reading for pleasure, children from Y2 – Y6 will be allowed to choose books from the school library to read at home. Each time they read at home, children should make a note of the book title and the pages that they have read in their student planner. If this is signed/initialed by a parent/carer, the child will be awarded a house point. This will be monitored during the LSA-led Guided Reading session. These books are in addition to the banded reading scheme books that children will bring home.


Assessment of Reading

Teachers will continually monitor and assess children’s progress against a set of ‘Standards’ that have been produced by the Department for Education. These assessment judgements will be reported to the Senior Leadership Team once per half-term.

To support the teacher’s assessment of children’s progress and attainment, children will take a formal reading comprehension test twice in the academic year. The results of these tests are an indication of how a child is likely to perform in end of Key Stage SATs tests, but they will only be used to support and inform the final teacher assessment.

Other evidence of progress and attainment will come from the Salford Sentence Reading Test, which children will complete three times each academic year. This will provide teachers with an approximate word reading age for each child.

We also use an assessment tool called the PM Benchmarking Kit to assess children’s reading and comprehension. This tool helps us to ensure that children are reading books that are appropriate for their stage of reading, but – more importantly – it also helps us to identify specific strengths and weaknesses so that we can provide children with the best support possible to develop their reading.