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We are readers

Subject Lead - Mrs Orchard

At Waterside Primary Academy, maths, reading and writing are at the heart of a child’s learning and therefore form key elements of every learning experience. 

Our children develop their reading skills every day to ensure solid foundations for learning. We believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. 

We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a deep knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from their reading. By the end of their time at our school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject. 

We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts. 

Our wider curriculum has also been designed to ensure that pupils not only read for pleasure but use books to research and gather new knowledge to extend their understanding in their class topics. 

The ability to read is fundamental to our children succeeding; enabling them to access the next stage of their education and beyond. 

Once the children are able to read accurately and fluently and come off the RWI programme, our children transfer onto the Accelerated Reader programme. This transition will generally occur at some point during year 2. Pupils develop reading skills most effectively when they read appropriately challenging books – difficult enough to keep them engaged but not so difficult that they become frustrated. This is their ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (ZPD). Every child at Waterside will have their own ZPD, which they use to select appropriate books to read and then complete a comprehension quiz. The children complete half-termly ‘Star Reader’ assessments which determines their ZPD moving forward and this is tracked regularly to ensure children who require additional support are given this quickly and effectively. 

Books can also be purchased from Accelerated Reader Book Finder, which allows parents and guardians to select appropriate books in consultation with the children. This allows books to be found which are within their ZPD, of a particular genre and also for their interest level. The link to AR Book Finder is below: