Together We Can. Together We Read
At The Abbey, we are committed to developing the reading skills of our students through a clear, consistent, whole school approach. Reading is a vital life skill, impacting directly on a person’s independence and success as a lifelong learner. Our drive is for every student to leave The Abbey as a confident, competent and functional reader who finds enjoyment in whatever they read.
As a school, we work together to develop students’ ability to communicate, read and use language. We acknowledge the significance reading has on progress in all other areas of the curriculum and how it is crucial to building an individual’s self-confidence and motivation to learn.
The Abbey School is on a journey to being a highly successful Reading School with the vision, ‘Together we Read.’ Our aim is to support students in overcoming barriers to reading and developing a positive reading culture enriched with memorable experiences.
We aspire to ensure that all students leave The Abbey reading to the very best of their ability but also to have developed a love of reading that will last a lifetime!
An Abbey Student’s Reading Journey
To collate an individual reading profile for our students, it is imperative we understand exactly where a student is on their reading journey. Students arrive at The Abbey with varying levels of reading competency and attitudes towards reading. Often, previous experiences drive negative associations and a reluctance to read. Regardless of where a student is on their journey, our aim is to succeed in a ‘Together we Read’ culture.
At the start of the journey, precursor to being an Early Reader, we understand the need for good early language skills. Our aim is for those at an early stage of the reading journey to experience language and hear fluent readers during English lessons, reading afternoons and through listening to reading across the curriculum.
As an Early Reader, students experience a mix of ‘learning to read’ and ‘reading to learn.’ The skills of decoding and encoding are modelled, rehearsed and revisited. Students focus on word identification, building vocabulary and are beginning to show signs of fluency.
A competent reader, reaching the latter stages of their reading journey, can read with pace, fluency and comprehension. Vocabulary is continuing to expand, and unfamiliar words can be decoded with confidence.
On a student’s journey to being a good, competent reader, our aim is to deliver high quality teaching that focuses on both good language comprehension and good word reading.
“Children need both good language comprehension and good word reading to become good readers.” (DfE’s Reading Framework, 2023)
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.
As a whole school, we have prioritised the use of synthetic phonics and upskilled teachers in their phonic teaching and learning. Find out more about Phonics at The Abbey here
To achieve our vision as a leading Reading School, we have identified six driving forces. We address these as our ‘Six Strategies.’ Each strategy plays an integral part in every student’s reading journey to competency. The ‘Six Strategies’ are:
Together, the strategies underpin our approach both as a whole school and also in how we deliver targeted support for individual students.