First and foremost, we believe that children need to have a love of reading and we work hard as a school to promote and foster this in our children.
We teach a range of skills enabling children to become competent readers. As a school we use a variety of reading schemes, which include phonically decodable books, as well as ‘real’ books, which are banded, using the book bands scheme.
The provision for children’s reading is meticulously organised, from when children start in reception through to becoming literate 11-year-olds. Teachers read good quality texts to children as part of literacy lessons and there is time dedicated to reading to the children for pleasure.
Each class has a reading area with a variety of non-fiction and fiction books. Curriculum targets for reading for each year group are identified on a half termly basis.
Early Years and Key Stage 1
From Foundation Stage to KS1 the children have daily Letters and Sounds sessions. This is a national reading programme which enables children to use their phonic knowledge to read using blending and segmenting as a primary approach. The delivered programme is taught in six-phases to teach children how the alphabet works for reading and spelling.
Pupils are taught at their Phonics Phase across the three classes each day for 20 minutes. These groups can vary from whole class, to smaller groups.
Pupils are encouraged to use their phonic techniques to read the books and as they increase in difficulty through the stages they develop an awareness of the construction of story lines and character development on a simple basis. Guided reading and whole class reading sessions look at reading ability and also their comprehension of what they are reading.
This works well with our reading levels from the SAT testing at the end of Year 2 showing our pupils have achieved at least levels consistent with other schools nationally. From a base below national averages when they begin school, this shows the process is effective.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 (and for the more able readers towards the end of Key Stage 1) we begin to move from the reading schemes into real books. Our books are banded according to the complexity involved in reading. Pupils are able to choose books from the different levels that will enhance their reading abilities. There are Project X books and graphic novels which appeal to many children, but are designed to engage boys more in their reading
Weekly guided reading or whole class reading sessions take place with a range of good quality fiction or non-fiction group sets. This includes the use of Bug Club which is an online reading resource that can be accessed at home to allow follow activities and parental involvement.
Daily reading sessions are designed to develop a love of reading and pupils are encouraged to bring in their own books or choose from their class libraries.
Throughout KS2 we begin to look at more complex texts and develop deeper reading skills by utilising extracts from classic books or other longer books broken into chapters. Teachers plan lessons that allow them to question pupils about what they are reading and probe the children about what authors styles indicate about the characters and story lines.
All teachers have had training in developing children’s reading skills and assessing their progress using various reading criteria.
Promoting Reading for pleasure is a focus in school with regular book swaps, author visits, spotlights on authors in each individual class and the children enjoying regular library sessions when they enjoy their reading.