Reading Spines

Reading Spine Intent

At Penny Bridge CE Academy we teach children both how to learn to read and to read to learn. Learning to read focuses primarily on the phonics skills of the children and being able to decode and blend sounds to read. This also includes alien words and high frequency words. Reading to Learn focuses primarily upon the reciprocal reading skills children require to read for pleasure and to develop subject knowledge. These reciprocal reading skills are taught explicitly in our daily in our whole class and group reading lessons. Alongside this, we understand how important reading is to ensure children develop empathy and experience opportunities to read books which reflect the wide world in which they live.

 “Books need to enable children to look through windows in order to see the realities of others and into mirrors in order to see their own reality reflected. ”Emily Style

A diet of fiction and non-fiction is promoted within our Reading Spine. At Penny Bridge CE Academy, we continue to focus on making links across the curriculum. We have organised our reading spine to ensure that it links each year group’s key concepts, school drivers and writing genres. We have also planned for each class to have a focus author and children to build up a knowledge of authors throughout their time at the school.

Our carefully thought-out Reading spine ensures that we plan our English lessons around high-quality core texts, which also link to the genre, text type or when possible set books link to our topics and to our foundation subject focus for that term.  The aim of this reading spine is to provide a list of books to use as class reads, recommendations for reading corners. 

Reading Spine Implementation

The books in the spine have been selected to consider three areas:

  • Learning to read.
  • Access to high quality texts to enable access for all during whole class reads.
  • To promote reading for pleasure.
  • To promote language development through reading information texts.

These texts have been selected through recommendations:

  • National Literacy Trust.
  • CLPE.
  • The Book Trust.
  • Consideration for areas covered in the curriculum (geography, science and history, RE etc) to encourage wider reading.
  • A variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts which have been sourced to complement writing genres. These are used to support the teaching of writing units and class reading lessons.

We have identified two key anchor texts for every topic taught in a year group – one for a reading focus and one for writing lessons. We have ensured our selected texts represent a wide range of diversity in authors and are engaging to encourage a love for reading. 

Our rationale and how it works in the Early Years Foundation Stage

We understand at Penny Bridge CE Academy that children thrive on repetition and by re-reading stories to children, teachers can deepen their familiarity with a story and increase their emotional engagement. As such, children in the Foundation Stage and going into Key Stage 1 will re-read their class reader books 3 times over the course of a six week term to enable them to explore the language and emotions more deeply.   Rereading allows children to hear new vocabulary over again, which helps them commit the meaning of new words into their long-term memory. Additionally, children have new opportunities to connect with characters and their feelings, and to relive the excitement and emotion of stories. 

How our spine works for Years 1-6: 

Each year group has a spine. The spine has a front cover to clearly illustrate whose it is.

Two anchor texts are illustrated for each theme. One English text and a key Reading text is illustrated for each topic. These are shown by key logos a pencil and a book. The book shows the reading text (group or whole class) and the pencil for the key English text. The books surrounding the page  are books which link to the key texts.

In the bottom right-hand corner of each page you will find a comprehension plus box. This box shows a picture of the reading comprehensions packs linking to the theme/topic on the Literacy Shed Plus website under Comprehension plus. Key stage 2 classes also use SATs and Rising Stars. After the pages for each theme/topic for the corresponding year group, you will find a class readers page. These are the books, documented for each term to read during their whole class reading slot. These books are for enjoyment and do not produce work alongside them.

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