Our approach to reading

At Ark Brunel, we want to provide all children with a broad and in-depth reading experience which involves challenging texts and a rigorous teaching of reading habits and skills. Every week everyone in the class will be exposed to the same high-quality reading text (regardless of attainment level) and learn to access 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, the children learn how to summarise and sequence the main points of the story. Day 3 has the children learning to make inferences based on evidence they have retrieved from what they have read. We ask the children a “Big Question” on Day 4 which allows children to practice their analytical skills using text evidence and their own experiences to understand the greater theme of the text they have been reading. 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, we aim to ensure all students are 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, which will enable them to be enthusiastic and lively writers.

Our approach to phonics

Ark Brunel uses Ruth Miskin's Read Write Inc. Phonics programme. It is used with Reception and KS1 children who are learning to read and write, and for lower 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 proven to develop:

  • 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. After identifying these children, we tutor them for an extra fifteen minutes every day which is provided by highly trained teaching staff.

Read Write Inc has been proven to produce excellent results for our end of year Y1 phonics tests.