Statement of Intent
Purpose of Study
The National Curriculum is clear: reading is central to a high-quality education. The English Purpose of Study highlights the cultural, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual development that pupils achieve through reading. Reading is the vehicle which enables pupils to both acquire knowledge and understanding as well as build upon what they already know. It is essential to the skills underpinning all aspects of communication, including spoken language and writing. The Programme of Study highlights the importance of pupils establishing an appreciation and love of reading across a wide range of genres as well as fiction and non-fiction. This breadth of exposure feeds children’s imaginations, allows them to step into other worlds and experiences, and opens up a treasure trove of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
Ofsted – The Early Reading Deep Dive
Inspections will, rightly, focus on the teaching of early reading, ensuring that every child learns to read well from the start. It is imperative that children learn to fluently as quickly as possible so they can access other parts of the curriculum and gain knowledge for themselves. As the Reading Agency stated, ‘Strong early language skills give children the essential foundation for learning in primary school. High quality systematic phonics teaching, as well as a rigorous drive to develop children’s communication and language, is vital in preparation for learning to read.” A reading deep dive is mandatory under the 2019 Ofsted framework and inspectors look at seven aspects of early reading (see paragraph 298 of the Ofsted Handbook for further guidance).
Becoming a Reader
Reading needs to be at the heart of learning in order to inspire children to become lifelong readers. If education is to be, as Amanda Spielman said, ‘about broadening minds, enriching communities and advancing civilisation...leaving the world a better place than we found it’, then reading is one of the most powerful tools to achieve this. Children who enjoy reading and can read well by the age of 11 have the door opened to new discoveries and wider interests, to knowledge, creativity and confidence.
Reading is the key to unlocking every child’s full potential and opens up a world of possibilities. (Kayte Lawton & Hollie Warren – ‘Read On. Get On.’ campaign)
Reading at Five Spires Academy
Five Spires Academy Curriculum’s richly-resourced, book-based learning transforms children’s attitudes to reading and writing and has a highly positive impact on learning. The model is strategically and creatively designed in order to deliver a complex curriculum in a coherent, contextualized way that appeals to children’s curiosity. Learning objectives are covered through vibrant and cohesive long-term plans, using high-quality text drivers to complement and enhance children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. Comprehension, in the widest sense, is maximised through the use of carefully- chosen, appealing and challenging texts and text types from a variety of genres and cultures. This breadth of texts is essential in ensuring that children grow to understand, love and use their reading skills well so they can apply them effectively across their learning. Through fictional books, children ‘experience’ time and place through a character’s eyes. For example, a pupil learning about the experience of a refugee, or a child living through a world war, is instantly transported in a more meaningful and engaging way and can relate more easily to any given experience. In the same way, carefully chosen, non-fiction books enable children to research, learn, question and explore across a huge wealth of age-appropriate topics and subjects.