Our Approach to the Teaching of Reading: LIRA Milefield's approach to reading in Y2-Y6

At Milefield we believe a high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. This policy works in conjunction with LIteracy, Spelling/handwriting and Phonics/Early Reading policies/sparks.

Carefully chosen literature, plays a key role in enabling pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.

Intent - The National Curriculum and LIRA

In order to build on the strong foundation formed through our early reading approach where phonics is prioritised in the early teaching of reading to beginners when they start school. It is paramount that once these skills are embedded children are exposed to comprehension skills drawing on linguistic knowledge and on knowledge of the world. In order to address this, we have developed the LIRA approach.

LIRA sessions ensure comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.

Finally, we ensure children are exposed to a balance diet of reading skills by covering age appropriate literal, inference, reader response and authorial intent objectives.

Implementation - the delivery of LIRA

HCAT reading trackers are in place in every year group in order to build on skills progressively throughout school. Each reading tracker is segmented into the four key areas of comprehension; literal, inference, readers’ response and author’s intent.

The HCAT trackers ensure teachers are carefully choosing age appropriate objectives and lessons are pitched correctly. See below for each tracker.

The LIRA approach takes place in years 2 to 6 where the teaching of comprehension skills is based on Literal, Inference, Readers’ response and Author’s intent questions. Through this approach pupils are supported to develop the skills needed in order to answer different types of questions. High quality texts are utilised effectively with a focus on exposing pupils to a broad range of authors and developing vocabulary. A blended approach to LIRA and Phonics is implemented in Y1/2 to support the transition for those pupils who have passed Phonics screening but still require key skills embedding.

Impact - Assessment and progress

Effective formative assessment, daily marking and feedback and adult interaction within lessons is firmly embedded into our approach to teaching and learning. All pupils are supported to develop, progress and move their learning forward through support, questioning and feedback. Pupils demonstrate the impact this has on improving their learning through editing and response.

The use of clear learning objectives and success criteria ensures pupils to understand their learning and become self-regulated learners who aspire to achieve to their full potential. The use of Achieve, Challenge and Aspire success criteria allows children assess their learning independently. Pupils and teachers refer to this throughout the lesson when they are assessing the progress they have made

Reading is assessed by teachers who use the HCAT trackers for their year groups to allocate a level and next steps for each pupil. In addition to this two formative assessment points are scheduled within the academic year. Cross moderation occurs in school every term during moderation challenge meetings.

Love of reading...

All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Parents are regularly invited into school to work with their children and gain some vital skills from teachers.

We take part in World Book Day annually and invite authors to visit and share books/experiences with our puppils. We have trained up a selection of UKS2 pupils to be librarians in our brand-new library. They have ownership of the library space and support pupils across school to choose appropriate books.

We firmly believe reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-chest of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

Therefore we believe it is essential that, by the end of their primary education at Milefield, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.


Created with images by Christin Hume - "words of knowledge" • Alfons Morales - "Knowledge" • Hope House Press - Leather Diary Studio - "notebooks-cambridge" • Joel Muniz - "untitled image"