The school believes that encouraging children to read for enjoyment is key to their success as a reader. Teachers choose compelling texts that will excite the children and motivate them to want to read more. Reading is implicit throughout the curriculum and as children mature their awareness of this is developed. Our aim is for children to develop a lifelong love of reading and equip them with the necessary skills to achieve success beyond primary school.
Early Years and Key Stage One
In order for children to become successful, independent readers, they need to process a variety of reading skills and knowledge. These include:
familiarity with syntax (sentence structure and grammatical arrangement)
good familiarity with the genre of stories
good auditory memory
recognition of letters and their sounds (synthetic phonics)
knowledge of the grapho-phonic construction of words
Teachers in the school provide the children with a good model of spoken English, with lots of discussion related to the children’s personal experiences. All children listen to stories in class on a daily basis.
The school adopts a multi-strand approach to the teaching of reading, balancing the daily systematic teaching of synthetic phonics (defined as teaching letter-sound relationships in an explicit, organised and sequenced fashion where the child sounds out and blends sounds of printed words to produce a spoken word which they can then hopefully recognise), combined with development of sight vocabulary through use of ‘Big Books’ and flash cards.
Reading is introduced through shared stories and discussion. So children understand the layout and structure of books; hear and join in with story language; discuss characters and plot; make predictions and develop a love of books. Books form the basis of activities in the different areas of learning. When appropriate, children are introduced to a structured phonic reading scheme and begin to share books individually with an adult.
In Nursery, children have a daily ‘synthetic phonics’ session, which introduces one sound per week and includes re-cap of previous work. The focus is on Phase One and Phase Two Letters and Sounds.
In Reception, this structured is continued at a more rapid pace with provision made for consolidation of Phase Two and extension into Phase Three and Four. All children read individually on a daily basis to an adult in the setting. Reading Scheme Big Books are used to develop sight vocabulary and a story based approach to reading, which encourages fluency, this works in conjunction with phonic strategies which allows children to learn through a multi skilled approach.
Stories are used as a basis for creative writing stimulus.
Parents/ carers are actively encouraged to support their child’s reading development through the school’s Shared Reading Programme. This requires parents to, on a daily basis, select a book from school to share at home with their child. Parents record this reading within the child’s shared reading record. Certificates are awarded for reading 10 books and a book prize given for every 50 books read.
Key Stage One:
Each class timetables daily reading opportunities:
Children take part in adult led guided reading sessions, where children’s ability enables them to, children read the same text in small groups. The teacher spends time with each child in the group listening to them read aloud and discussing the text with the group. This improves reading fluency , comprehensions skills and language acquisition.
In addition to these all children are heard read individually over the course of the week, with frequency depending upon need.
Children also take home a library book to share with their parents. This follows the format of Early Years practice.
Children listen to class story on a regular basis, which introduces children to longer stories at a level above their reading ability. This helps develop understanding of story language and structure and improve prediction and comprehension skills.
Daily Phonics sessions focus on Phase Five for all children with extension into Phase Six when appropriate. Interventions are used to support children insecure in Phases Three and Four.
Key Stage Two:
Reading is a vital aspect of every curriculum area; skills are developed to enable children to not only read increasingly complex, lengthier texts but to also access a wider range of written material to strengthen the depth of learning in all subjects.
Each class timetables daily reading opportunities:
Children take part in adult led guided reading sessions, where children’s ability enables them to, children read the same text in small groups. The teacher spends time with each child in the group listening to them read aloud and discussing the text with the group. This improves reading fluency, comprehensions skills and language acquisition. Dictionary and Thesaurus skills are developed to encourage independent understanding of text and broaden range of language used.
In addition to these some children are heard read individually over the course of the week, with frequency depending upon need.
In KS2 teachers encourage parents to listen to their child reading at least 4 times each week and reading books are changed on completion. Certificates are given to children who read regularly to encourage consistency. All children have a Home School reading record which parents are required to sign to confirm their child has read on that day.
Class novels are used to introduce children to text that challenge their reading ability. This also stimulates creative writing opportunities.
Year 6 participate annually in the excellent Reading Challenge ‘ Stockton Children’s Book of the Year’. This encourages children to read lengthier novels at an age appropriate level, which they review and then vote for their favourite. Children also have the opportunity to ‘Meet the Author.’
All classrooms have a library area where children can select and read books individually or in pairs. Early Years and KS1 classes have a quiet reading area.
The school uses the Oxford Reading Tree as its core reading scheme through Early Years, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. These include both phonics and story based books. Reading materials offer a balance of fiction and non-fiction reading for the children.
The scheme is supplemented with other reading materials to support children who are less confident readers or have specific reading difficulties. These include:
Project X Code (group or individual support)
These are structured sequential schemes which develop phonics, comprehension and prediction skills.
As children progress through Key Stage Two, they read progressively challenging texts with improved accuracy, fluency and understanding. Children are able to respond critically and sensitively to the texts they read. They use reference materials with confidence for a range of purposes. Most children become ‘Free Readers’ during Key Stage Two. Children are encouraged to read a variety of genres including: novels, poetry, comics, letters, short stories and non-fiction texts.