At Upton Junior School we believe that all children should leave primary education with the necessary
English language skills to enable equitable access to education, employment and culture, regardless of
background and starting point.
We are mindful of the power of English language. Ability in speaking, listening, reading and writing, while
exercising breadth and depth of vocabulary, can unlock restrictions and broaden horizons. Fluency in
English enables development culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
In developing our planning across the curriculum, we intend that children should be enthused by language
in all forms. By developing vocabulary actively, we intend that our children are empowered to communicate
ideas and emotions fluently, question, and create the necessary links to build knowledge and
By exposing children to a wide variety of quality texts, we intend that our pupils not only
develop a life-long love of reading, but can reflect on authorial choices to aid understanding and are able to
make their own considered choices when writing themselves.
It is our wish that Upton Junior School pupils not only have a respect and passion for the power of words,
but are linguistically equipped to participate in and enjoy all aspects of life as fully as possible
As teachers, it is our job to instill both a love of reading in various forms as well as the skills required to read. Our Literacy curriculum is centred around core texts, from which we plan learning term by term. You can the high-quality core texts we use in each year group in the long term plans pdf documents below.
To teach reading comprehension skills, we use Reading VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Predict, Explain, Retrieve, Summarise), where we focus on specific comprehension skills, to ensure children have a firm understanding of the texts they read. Everyday, the children benefit from a reading lesson with quality text and clear modelling, opportunities for partner talk and to independently practise the VIPER skills (for further information on VIPERS, see the attachment on this page.
How do we encourage a love of reading?
Along with carefully chosen tests that we share in lessons, we have a combination of permanent and occasional fixtures and events to raise the profile of reading:
At Upton Junior School, we want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers and to develop a love of books. We introduce the children to a range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books through our whole-class guided reading and class reader sessions.
When needed, we run a catch-up phonics reading programme to teach children to decode words using phonic skills as their main approach, alongside which we teach sight vocabulary. We use a systematic synthetics phonics programme provided by Sound-Write to quickly intervene and close any knowledge gaps in our year 3 intake.
Once phonics is grasped, the focus for developing reading is on understanding and comprehension. Your child will read with their class teacher or teacher assistant at least once a week and also during the whole class guided reading lessons. In addition, the children also read in pairs in class three times a week.
At Upton Junior School, we use a phonics programme called Sounds-Write to quickly catch-up readers with missing phonics knowledge.
Sounds-Write is an expertly structured synthetic phonics programme based on the science of reading. This multisensory, code-oriented, comprehensive approach to literacy has been designed by teachers and for teachers.
We have been implementing the programme as a successful intervention solution across years 3 through to year 6. The programme is especially good at teaching the different ways that sounds can be spelt.
Key members of each year team have been trained to deliver the Sound-Write programme. We monitor the impact of the catch-up programme through national phonic screeners, Sound-Write assessment trackers and through measuring progress in reading ages. This monitoring helps us to identify and rapidly close gaps in phonics knowledge.
The intervention is having a positive impact on reading progress, with 86% of children taking part in the programme making faster than expected progress.
Our library is arranged into book band levels. We use an online service from Lexile to assign a score on the Lexile scale, in which lower scores reflect easier readability and from which a reading age for the the book can be assigned.
In addition, we also use books from Oxford Reading Tree. This a levelled scheme which allows books to be assigned a reading age and book band colour. You can see the Year groups, book band level and lexile score in the chart below.
Alternative Schemes of Books for Less Confident Readers
Phonics catch up readers in Years 3 and 4
|Daily phonics lessons using the SoundWrite phonics programme.||These 30 minute daily lessons follow the systematic approach of the SoundWrite programme and are taught by staff trained in this programme. The programme is supported by books from the Alba and Totem series which are published by Phonics Books.|
|Phonics catch up readers in Years 5 and 6||Daily phonics lessons using the SoundWrite phonics programme.||These 30 minute daily lessons follow the systematic approach of the SoundWrite programme and are taught by trained staff. The teaching is supported with books from the Totem and Talisman series which are published by Phonics Books.|
|Rapid Reads - dyslexia friendly texts for children not making rapid progress with catch up phonics||One of our interventions for struggling readers working behind expectations and for children with special education needs||Rapid Reads are read on a 1-1 basis with children as part of their 3 x individual reading sessions. These books also come home in reading folders for children taking part in the intervention.|
Reading at Home
Developing readers will bring home a Phonics Books book (Dandelion, Alba, Totem or Talisman series) and a levelled book (according to their stage of development) and a 'love of reading' book. In addition, some children may also bring home a Rapid Read book.
All other children will bring home a self-selected book levelled book from our library, along with a 'love to reading' book which can be from their reading level or above if they wish to share it with an adult or sibling at home. Please encourage your child to change their book regularly, so they can read each evening; speak to your child's class teacher if you believe this is not happening.
We recommend that your child read at home for 15 minutes or more each day when possible, or at least three times a week. Your support is very important for developing their reading skills.
Even if your child is an independent reader, it is still important for you to read with them, listen to them and discuss the books they are reading. Please fill in your child's reading log, so that the class teacher can see what your child is reading at home.
Reading logs will be collected weekly, so please can you ensure that the children bring in their reading records in every day.
Please look at VIPERS document at the bottom of the page for guidance on questions you can ask when reading with your children.
All children also have access to Oxford Reading Buddy. This amazing online resource provides your child with access the Oxford University Press Reading Tree library. Your child has been allocated books at theor reading level by their teacher. Please use their login details to access this online library. Please notify the class teacher, if you require further assistance to get your child using this fantastic resource.
We follow a reading into writing approach, where pupils have the opportunity to read high quality texts and models of writing, which illustrate what they are aiming to achieve and develops a love of reading. A progression of grammar and spelling skills are integrated into the learning.
The children experience writing for a range of purposes - both fiction and non-fiction. Writing tasks are linked to the whole class reading texts or films, enabling children to write for a range of audiences. The children are encouraged to be independent when writing an extended piece of writing. Children are encouraged to self-edit and up-level their writing. Each classroom has an interactive working wall display with models, vocabulary and grammar advice to help the children become successful writers.
You can find the writing progression from Years 3 through 6 below and also find details of the quality texts used in the reading into writing journey.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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