Freemantle pupils in EYFS and Year 1 have dedicated daily phonics lessons. As well as this, pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 have explicit English lessons which incorporate reading and writing. These lessons are taught using texts from our Freemantle reading spine which has been carefully curated to provide a high-quality, varied and culturally rich balance of books that ensure every Freemantle pupil leaves our school with a deep knowledge of texts.
Our texts have been purposefully and thoughtfully chosen carefully chosen to provide engaging, culturally-rich texts incorporating a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, modern and from our literary heritage, all of which is designed to inspire a love of reading within our pupils and expose pupils to texts they may not choose to read themselves. Our texts link to our thematic curriculum map wherever possible, and texts are used widely across the curriculum to support learning.
An example of our lower school reading spine:
A typical sequence of lessons in Key Stage 1 includes:
A typical Key Stage 1 English lesson contains:
Key Stage 1 lessons have different foci, but within every 2-3 week unit:
Pupils in Key Stage 2 are taught explicit reading lessons 4-5 times a week; these lessons follow a typical format and classes have a single class text that they read each half term in its entirety – we do not read extracts from books. All pupils read the class text in a shared-reading approach to learning, derived from the research Reading Reconsidered and the Education Endowment Foundation.
An example of our UKS2 reading spine with non-fiction texts embedded into the themes of our fiction texts to maximise the knowledge gains our pupils and support their understanding of our challenging fiction texts:
Each Key Stage 2 reading lesson follows a clear lessons structure:
Implementation Beyond the Classroom:
We recognise the vital role parents and carers play in developing positive reading habits and nurturing a love of reading. All pupils throughout EYFS and KS1 (and pupils who need access in KS2) take home fully-decodable Big Cat books every day, where we expect parents and carers to read with their children at home.
Pupils who have finished our phonics programme take books home from our library; we encourage parents and carers to either read at home with these pupils or support daily independent reading at home, which we track in school.
Every child has a home reading diary to record their home reading. We set homework and expect children to read at least 6 times a week, but we target 7. On Fridays, teachers acknowledge the reading diaries and use this as an opportunity to track home reading and follow up with parents and carers when necessary. We also track Key Stage 2 pupils’ reading habits using Accelerated Reader reports and share these with parents and carers at key moments throughout the year.
Every class has a reading area and pupils across school have daily opportunities to explore, change and read books from our book corners as well as the library. KS2 pupils also have access to the online library ePlatform, providing another means of accessing over 1500 books from home.
For pupils who may not have access to books at home or struggle to read at home, we run book and homework clubs in school where pupils spend time with their teacher reading a new text together for pleasure.
Pupils who need intervention are offered additional support in afternoons.
Our reading is sequenced carefully from Nursery through to Year 6 in terms of both what children read and what skills they develop at which points. We sequence texts purposefully to develop our pupils' deep knowledge and understanding of the themes and conventions of a wide range of genres that they may not choose to read themselves. Take a look at our reading spine to see what this looks like.
Take Year 3 as an example and you will see pupils read Cakes in Space and The Iron Man during the Autumn term. This extended introduction to the world of science-fiction and fantasy allows them to develop deep knowledge of the genre over the course of a full term. That knowledge is then built on in Year 4 when they read The Way Past Winter and The House With Chicken Legs. This is then developed further in Year 5 with Skellig and Brightstorm, and then again in Year 6 with The Knife of Never Letting Go.
Equally, in EYFS, pupils are introduced to familiar tales and fairy stories, such as Rapunzel (Nursery) and Little Red Riding Hood (Year R). This knowledge is then built upon in Key Stage 1, where pupils explore modern, subverted versions of these classic stories such as Little Red and Rapunzel (Beth Woollen). At this point, they're able to draw on the characters and plots of the originals to compare with the new, modern versions.
This constant building upon prior knowledge allows our pupils to develop a deep and broad understanding of quality fiction and enables them to analyse, explore and extract deeper meaning owing to their understanding. Look further down the page for evidence of some of this in our reading journals.
You will also see in our spine our skills coverage and sequencing; pupils do not simply acquire 'inference skills' for example. A pupil may be able to infer in their favourite book series because they have the knowledge to do so, but may yet struggle to do so in an unfamiliar text. We revisit skills regularly throughout every year group and build on them over time.