“I am a Child of Books.  I come from a world of stories and upon my imagination I float. I have sailed across a sea of words to ask if you will come away with me. Some people have forgotten where I live but along these words I can show you the way. We will travel over mountains of make-believe; Discover treasure in the darkness. We can also lose ourselves in forests of fairy tales and escape monsters in haunted castles. We will sleep in clouds of song and shout as loud as we like in space. For this is our world we’ve made from stories…our house is a home of invention where anyone at all can some…for imagination is free. (A Child of Books – Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston)

The clear line of sight between the teaching of a robust discrete phonics programme, writing in different forms, communication and developing children’s language skills and reading for different purposes is an essential principle for the provision of English at Ryecroft.  Within the teaching of phonics, children will learn the phonetic awareness and application using the Sounds Write programme.  Linking this high quality approach to the development of early reading is the first fundamental building block to the ability to decode texts from an early age.  From decoding texts to understanding their meaning, comprehension and understanding are essential if children are to be able to read widely, for different purposes, in different subjects; therefore building a mastery approach to language and literature.

We are fully committed to 3 main strands in the teaching of reading at Ryecroft:


All children will have access to a challenging book that will develop their fluency in reading and build the link between home and school reading.
Initially, children will be assessed on a book band level using the Salford Reading Test which will be able to provide a colour book band for children in line with their age in years and months. UsingBug Club as a scheme to ensure progression from Early Years to Year 4 both in print and online. Teachers will listen to children read on a regular basis.  Volunteers within school will also listen to children read on a daily basis to have the rapid impact and progress we need for our most vulnerable children.  Within reading lessons in class, children will use strategies such as Choral Reading, Cloze Reading and skimming and scanning strategies to increase their fluency and speed when reading a text.  Comments from adults will be recorded in the planner and will be written so that adults at home can focus on similar things. As part of the home school initiative, Raving Readers, all the texts that children will have access to will be available to take home and read with their families, as well as being able to access them from home online.  There are rewards for the number of times that children read at home. This year, through our Family Learning work – we have secured a partnership with Becketts University and we will have readers into school from there.  Other additional reading intervention will include groups such as the Let Leeds Read initiative, the Beanstalk Readers groups and Elliott Hudson College students in to Ryecroft to read with targeted children.

All children will be taught how to read texts for comprehension, understanding and to enrich their vocabulary capacity.
First of all, making the link between writing and reading is essential if children are to be able to write in the style of different genres.  In English lessons children will analyse texts, unpick themes, develop their vocabulary understanding and usage, investigate character and setting and then be able model their writing on well known, high quality texts.  Secondly, children will be given the opportunity to explore texts in a more focused way every day of the week without writing being the end outcome. Each week, children will have one Vocabulary focused and one Inference focused session.  This is as a direct result of our analysis into the gaps of children’s learning from last year.  Children from Years 2 to 6 will use the Exam Rubric and Reading Vipers (Vocabulary, Infer,Predict, Explain, Retrieve, Sequence/Summarise) questions stems based on the Content Domain of the questions within the curriculum and assessment framework.  In these sessions, staff will plan around quality texts.  It will be a whole class approach with differentiated tasks linked to a common objective having pupils respond to text and pictures from the books.  The texts will also coach the children to build their reading stamina and attention to detail when analysing texts.  Within the sessions, children will be expected to respond to the text in different ways such as verbal, discussion, paired, group and written.  This will ensure that in all year groups, there is a consistent approach to the discrete teaching of reading with a coherent model from which to work from.

All children will immerse themselves fully in language, literature and the love of story.
As part of the Gorse Academy Trust’s key drivers in engaging with The National Grid for ReadingReading Circles is an opportunity to develop their love and thirst for books and literature.  At the end of every day, children will listen to a recognised book from the teacher who models the excellence in tone, expression, mood, tension and excitement when reading a book.  In addition, teachers will develop children’s exposure to adventurous vocabulary and to celebrate the book that each class are reading, the reading area will be made into a cavern for children to go and extend their passion for reading.  Opportunities to read other books by the author, review and respond to books they have read, recommend books for their friends and listen to short stories from familiar authors, it will be a risk and pressure free area for children to experience language and literature.  Story Sacks is commencing in September as a parent class also and this is targeted mainly at our youngest children.

Click here to Download a Parent’s guide to reading at Ryecroft Academy
Click here to Download a Letters and Sounds Document