Reading in Upper School at Freemantle Academy
At Freemantle, we recognise the enduring power of reading in the classroom, and beyond it, which is why we have placed reading at the core of our curriculum, our day and the very building we learn in. All subjects depend upon rigorous reading ability and excellence across the curriculum depends upon it; we therefore prioritise the teaching, learning and development of a genuine love of reading in every Freemantle pupil.
We approach reading from three different angles: developing reading for pleasure and communities of readers at Freemantle; developing reading across the wider curriculum; and teaching reading fluency and reading skills explicitly.
Our reading curriculum has been designed with the intent that every Freemantle child develop the skills and knowledge required to be confident, fluent and insightful readers with the background knowledge, vocabulary and understanding to tackle the increasingly challenging texts both at Freemantle and beyond.
Goals for Developing Upper School Readers
Prioritise the teaching of phonics for pupils who still require it
Some pupils in Key Stage 2 require further phonics support and we prioritise this with daily phonics teaching using the Little Wandle Rapid Catch Up Programme, building on the work that began in Key Stage 1.
Prioritise the development of reading fluency
All Upper School pupils are read to daily multiple times and for multiple purposes. Our teachers model reading fluency and we build in opportunities in our reading journeys to develop our pupils' oracy and reading fluency through active, exciting Reading Theatre sessions.
Develop a deep working vocabulary in every pupil
Freemantle pupils speak over 50 languages and come to us with a wealth of experiences and knowledge. We teach vocabulary explicitly across the curriculum. In English, thematically linked vocabulary is taught through precise and explicit sessions within each lesson where pupils have opportunities to speak and write using new language.
Develop a deep knowledge of literature - genre, conventions, themes, our literary heritage
Our reading spine is supported by individual class texts for every pupil; we read together daily, and every pupil reads along with the teacher making them an active reader in every session. We read complete books at every opportunity and embed non-fiction into our reading journeys to explicitly develop Freemantle pupils’ understanding of their world, local and beyond, and build a stronger foundation of knowledge to support their understanding of the texts they read.
Develop a genuine love and respect for reading that remains with our pupils for life
We share with all upper school pupils our own passion and love for reading, prioritising reading in the timetable through explicit daily reading lessons, library sessions, book clubs within the school day, and independent reading opportunities so all pupils develop their identity as readers. We are determined to expose all of our pupils to the wonders of quality, exciting books read as a community, through our reading spine.