Wilton and Barford Primary School was rated Inadequate in April 2018 by Ofsted. Under its new Head, Richard Boase, the school then joined the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust (DSAT) in the Autumn and reopened under its new name ‘Wilton CE Primary School’. Reading SATs results have picked up from a low of 50% meeting expected, to 60% last year and 70% this year (2019) with 30% at greater depth.
We had been using Oxford Reading Tree but since the trialling of Reading Planet, which we have been involved in for two years, we have now chosen Reading Planet to be our reading scheme going forward. The teachers prefer it and they feel that it has contributed to the improved reading SATs results. We will be rolling it out to KS2 as more books become available. We prefer the high-quality books and images, and the children are engaged and the scheme is easy to use. It fits with Letters and Sounds which we are using as the basis for our phonics teaching.
In year 2, we use the Online Library for whole class shared reading – the children enjoy the audio syncing and the quizzes and they are fully engaged throughout. We do whole class Guided Reading for 20 mins a day every day after lunch. We like the comprehension questions in the Reading Planet books – they are pitched right with inference questions, not just retrieval questions, similar to SATs questions. Year 2 are on Phase 6 phonics now except for small group having intervention. We use Phonics Play (based on Letters and Sounds) and that fits well with Reading Planet. Reading accuracy of the children is mostly good but comprehension could be better so the comprehension questions at the back of the books are helpful. Our TAs also use the Teacher’s Guides for support.
We have very wide range of parents – some whose first languages are not English, some affluent, some not so – many will read with their children, many will not. All come to our parent consultations so we can point them to the Online Library then.
In interventions, we have children from Reception to Year 6, often in mixed groups. The main diagnosis SLCN but also the full range – autism, ADHD, dyslexia etc. Reading Planet really engages the children with Special Needs. Having it on-screen, big, bright and colourful, and being able to use the audio and quizzes really helps them to stay engaged or re-engage when their focus drifts. We use the Online Library for shared reading – we discuss the pictures and the children love the characters – they feel they know them and like to see which character is going to be in the story this time. Using the Toolkit and being able to highlight elements in the text on-screen helps to reinforce spelling and phonics. We also use the print books for small guided reading interventions.
In Year 1, we use the books for Guided Reading 3 times a week and for individual reading to an adult twice a week. We do half an hour phonics every day and the books do link in well. Reading ability in class goes up to Purple. We enjoy using the Galaxy books because lots of them fit with the cross-curricular topics. We use the Teachers’ Guide resources – the teacher and TA are with 2 groups in Guided Reading session, whilst the other groups use TG resource sheets to work from. In terms of a reading scheme, it’s brilliant – it really works. It has good texts, lots of variety of texts and good support activities, with very good guidance on Guided Reading.
Richard Boase, Ben Gunn, Bev Davis, Vicky, Wilton CE Primary School