At Ark St Alban’s Academy, every teacher is a teacher of reading. Our approach recognises that guiding all pupils to be increasingly confident and fluent readers will lead to their ever-greater success across the curriculum.
Pupil progress in reading is measured at the start and at the end of each academic year using the NGRT, a standardised and adaptive assessment. The reading ages produced by these assessments are used to place pupils into one of two cohorts, each with its own goal:
- Keep-Up Cohort: our aim for pupils reading at their chronological age is that they at least maintain this by making twelve months' progress each year
- Catch-Up Cohort: our aim for all children reading below their chronological age is that they reach their chronological age as quickly as possible by making at least fifteen months progress each year
We use a combination of universal approaches and targeted approaches, in recognition of the fact that our pupils join the school at different stages of their reading development. Our strategy includes approaches that address a range of needs including phonics and fluency, vocabulary development, and verbal and written comprehension.
Our reading strategy is built around three universal approaches:
- Academic reading: providing frequent opportunities for pupils to read challenging texts in lessons across the curriculum
- Signature strategies: explicitly teaching all pupils common approaches to successfully reading challenging texts
- Accelerated Reader: all pupils have access to the Accelerated Reader platform, as well as class libraries and MyOn
All pupils reading two years or more below their chronological age take part in reading intervention. Many other pupils reading below their chronological age also take part in reading intervention, which usually involves one or more of the following:
- Paired-reading: an opportunity for pupils to read aloud to an adult, 1-1 on a 2-week cycle to support with their decoding
- Fresh-start phonics: this small group, and often one-to-one, intervention, helps pupils make rapid progress in a number of areas, especially in decoding
- Lexonik Advance: Lexonik Advance trains learners who can decode to develop phonological awareness and make links between unknown words using common prefix, stems and suffix definitions
- Lexia: alongside in-person tuition, Lexia provides an online, adaptive platform which guides pupils in progressing through the building blocks of reading