Gatehouse Primary Academy believes that all children have the right to be fluent and confident readers as this helps to unlock the doors to future success, for enjoyment and for academic and professional attainment.
Teachers have high aspirations of children and this is demonstrated through the school’s ethos of consistently striving for excellent teaching and outcomes for children in reading.
We believe in both the importance of developing children’s discrete word- reading skills and comprehension, and the need to engender a love of books and reading.
Our approach to the teaching of reading will encompass the key competencies in reading:
• word reading skills- both phonic decoding skills and the quick recognition of ‘common exception words’ (tricky words)
• comprehension- including retrieving information, summarising, making inferences and using evidence from the text to justify these.
We use the Conceptual Model for Teaching Reading which outlines that in order to make any inroads into comprehension children must be able to:
- have a secure understanding of the vocabulary within the text and will be unable to infer they do not understand the meanings of the words on the page.
- Empathise, connect and compare.
The act of comprehension is the result of many cognitive processes working together, at Gatehouse we believe that children are best supported in developing their skills when they are taught as a hierarchy – or journey – of skills.
Within our EYFS settings, we prioritise the development of communication and language (See First Federation Trust Vocabulary strategy). Focussing on language and communication is especially important for young children and supports the development of a range of early literacy skills as well as their wider knowledge and understanding. A range of activities are used to develop communication and language including shared reading, storytelling and explicitly extending children’s vocabulary.
Developing vocabulary forms part of a broad approach to improving communication, language and literacy. At Gatehouse we:
• provide children with a rich language environment (implicit approaches) as well as directly extending children’s vocabulary (explicit approaches)
• carefully select high frequency words for explicit teaching (Tier 2 words)
• developing the number of words that children know (breadth) and their understanding of relationships between words and the contexts in which words can be used (depth)
• providing multiple opportunities to hear and use new vocabulary
Teachers are explicit in using and explaining the vocabulary within these texts and ensuring children’s full comprehension.