Our approach to reading
At Ark Brunel, we want to provide all children with a broad and in-depth reading experience involving challenging texts and rigorous teaching of reading habits and skills. Every week, each class is exposed to a high-quality reading text (this includes all learners regardless of attainment level) and spends time accessing its vocabulary and meaning through a systematic series of lessons. Day 1 focusses on the high-level of vocabulary in the text. On Day 2, children learn how to summarise and sequence the main points of the story. On Day 3 children learn to make inferences based on evidence they have collected from what they have read. On Day 4 children practice their analytical skills by engaging with a “Big Question” about the text, where they use both text evidence and their own experiences to develop their understanding of the greater themes of the text. On Day 5, students practice these skills on a new reading text.
By exposing all children to the same challenging texts, and by focusing on the same reading skills and habits each week, students become independent, reflective and fluent readers, with an innate desire to read for pleasure. Our children are able to read for purpose and meaning across all subject areas, helping them to become enthusiastic and lively writers in turn.
Our approach to phonics
Ark Brunel uses Ruth Miskin's Read Write Inc. Phonics programme to teach Reception and KS1 children to read and write, as well as KS2 students who need to catch up. It is a complete literacy programme taught for 40 minutes a day in Reception and an hour a day in Year 1 and above. It has produced excellent results for our end of year Y1 phonics tests, with a proven record developing:
- fluent, enthusiastic readers
- a deeper comprehension of texts
- confident speakers
- keen writers
Throughout the programme, children are taught to:
- learn to read and write letter-sound correspondences quickly
- decode effortlessly, spell and handwrite easily
- comprehend what they read
- read with fluency and expression
- write confidently using oral rehearsal
- work effectively with a partner to articulate their learning at every step
There are some pupils who need more support than most. Those identified as needing more support receive an extra fifteen minutes' tuition every day from highly trained teaching staff.