Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. In education, the term "Matthew effect" describes a phenomenon observed in research on how new readers acquire the skills to read: early success in acquiring reading skills usually leads to later successes in reading as the learner grows, while failing to learn to read before the third or fourth year of schooling may be indicative of lifelong problems in learning new skills.
This is because children who fall behind in reading read less, increasing the gap between them and their peers. Later, when students need to "read to learn" (where before they were learning to read), their reading difficulty creates difficulty in most other subjects. In this way they fall further and further behind in school. According to the Department for Education, Waltham Forest’s Key Stage 2 or SAT results (for pupils aged 7 to 11) in the academic year 2019, 72% of pupils reached the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, whilst 15% reached a higher standard. Both are above the England average (65% and 11%), as well as the London average (71% and 14%).
About one in four residents aged three and over (26 per cent) do not speak English as their main language compared to 8 per cent nationally (2011 Census). The majority (78 per cent), however, can speak English well or very well. About 6 per cent of the borough's residents (14,250 people) have said that they do not speak English well or at all.
At Salisbury Manor Primary, we want our children to:
- Become fluent, confident and expressive readers who have both the skill and the will to read effectively
- Read with enjoyment across a range of genres
- Read for pleasure as well as for information
- Read and respond to a wide range of different types of literature
- Understand the layout and how to use different genres and text types
- Understand and apply their knowledge of phonics and spelling patterns and use this to decode words with accuracy
- Build their bank of sight words to enable fluent reading
- Have an interest in words and their meanings, developing a rich and varied vocabulary
- Understand and respond to literature drawn from a range of cultures and literary heritage.
Our school understands the challenge that exists between teaching children to be fluent readers whilst ensuring that we support them to develop a life-long love of reading. To this end, we have worked hard to ensure that our reading scheme is congruent with the phonic phases and the sequence of teaching. Our reading curriculum is designed to achieve a balance between develop the Instructional Agenda (the skill) and the Pleasure Agenda (the will). This policy intends to promote a love of reading for all pupils whilst creating life-long readers who have the skills to access all areas of the curriculum with independence and confidence so that they go on to be successful in Key Stage 3, 4 and beyond.
Our reading curriculum is also planned in a way which promotes the cultural capital of all our children. We enhance our curriculum, especially for the most disadvantaged, by providing access to a diverse range of texts including those which promote different socio-economic backgrounds, disabilities, religions and cultures, and periods of history.
Reading at Salisbury Manor Primary is taught systematically. Some teaching strategies are generic across the whole school, whilst others are specific to key stages. Implementation is by the class teacher and is supported by classroom Learning Practitioners.