World Bookday


Key Stage 1 & 2 (excluding the teaching of phonics)

The Teaching & Learning policy specifies that when learning to read at St. Gabriel’s, pupils:

Benefit from 30 minutes guided reading teaching each day. Where timetables allow almost all pupils benefit from being able to read with an adult daily.
The focus of Guided reading at St. Gabriel’s is reading for meaning, retrieval, comprehension, inference and deduction.

Have a class reading list specific to their age group with a selection of stretching books. This ensures that pupils read widely and often at a high level.
The pupils have to read at least one book per term from the list and produce a book report. These are then celebrated in a prize giving ceremony each term.

Have access to class libraries, a well-stocked school library, loans from the School Library Service and half termly visits to Pimlico library.
We believe that pupils with access to a variety of texts learn to read and enjoy reading.

Undertake weekly reading comprehension lessons in upper Key Stage 2 to explicitly teach principles of inference and deduction of unseen texts.

Have access to over 50 volunteer readers through the Beanstalk charity. All pupils below national expectation in years 1 to 6 read with a reading volunteer at least once per week. These volunteers are invaluable in ensuring progress and building reading confidence and come from The National Audit Office; Random House publishers; London South Bank University; local Pimlico residents and from the London School of Economics.

Phonics Teaching

To teach pupils to decode effectively we teach synthetic phonics, using the Sound Discovery scheme. All pupils in Reception and Key Stage One:

Have a discrete twenty minute session of phonics, which is streamed across the year groups to ensure a close match between the taught curriculum and a child’s current needs.

Are encouraged to use blending and segmenting as their first strategy when reading and writing.
Are assessed on a half-termly basis. Groups are taken by teachers and TAs. Phonics sessions happen every day.
Children learn that our alphabetical system has 44 phonemes (sounds) and throughout Reception and Key Stage One they learn how to represent these sounds with different graphemes (the way the letter is written). Children learn how to blend and segment these sounds to read and write. This consistent approach to phonics enables the children to access many books and prepare them for Phonics Test which occurs at the end of Year 1. This test is also repeated for Year 2 children who were unable to reach the pass mark.
Alongside this the children learn high-frequency words or ‘tricky words’ which cannot be sounded out or are words that the children haven’t learnt yet.
In Key Stage Two, if children still struggle with reading then the phonics programme will continue as necessary.
In addition, pupils in Key Stage 1 benefit from guided reading sessions which:
Group children by reading ability for personalised teaching with each group given a target for the week, set by the teacher.

Benefit from high levels of staffing, so that at least four groups read with an adult, while one group works independently doing an activity based on the book they have read the previous day. This activity is set by the adult leading the group, and should further advance the learning intention for the week.

Ensures children read a mixture of phonetically-decodable and whole language texts during guided reading. Phonetically-decodable texts should be picked from the books which match the group’s current stage on the Sounds Discovery programme. Whole language texts are levelled using coloured book bands.

Children should choose a book from their current book band level to take home each night to read with their parent/carer.

If children struggle with reading interventions are put into place to ensure rapid progress is made.