The Teaching of Reading
We believe that reading for pleasure is important and try to give as many opportunities to develop this love of reading as we can. Each year, we celebrate World Book Day with a day devoted to reading, dressing up as book characters and talking about authors. The Infant School also invites parents along throughout this week to read their favourite story to the class.
The programmes of study for reading in Infant and Junior School consist of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading).
Every class in the Infant School has an allocated time slot to read a story at the end of the day. These can range from short stories to longer novels and are read by an adult (or shown using a short video clip). It is an opportunity for Infant School children to access a wider range of vocabulary and a more complex storyline compared to their home reading books.
Every class in Junior School will read three novels together throughout the year. This is an opportunity for the class teacher and children to model the mechanics of reading. It is an opportunity to develop a greater knowledge of grammar and punctuation, to demonstrate the organisational devices of texts, identify spelling patterns and grammar, extend knowledge of vocabulary and focus on all levels of comprehension: literal, inferential, evaluative and critical questions.
Children will be grouped according to their ability and resources will meet the needs of the children. A reading comprehension teaching sequence will start with a text introduction followed by a 'teach lesson', a 'talk lesson' and finally a 'write lesson'. The children will have the opportunity to read independently, with prompts for word solving, before returning to the text as a group for teaching points and key questions for responding to the text.
Phonics is taught for fifteen minutes each day in the Infant School. The children are streamed into groups appropriate to their level. We use systematic synthetic phonics, an approach associated with the teaching of reading using phonemes (sounds) which are isolated then blended together to form a word. Interventions are also in place for children who are struggling, by a member of the teaching staff who feel that the child may need further guidance.
Independent and wider reading
Every child in Infant and Junior School will be given opportunities for sustained independent reading throughout the week to help develop a love of reading.
In the Infant School, three reading books are sent home per week with each child; these books are selected by the teaching assistant and supervised by the teacher. The reading books will be at a suitable level based on the school's independent coloured banding system. The home reader will be a book suited to the child's ability, which they can read to their parent or guardian. The child should be able to read the majority of the text independently. Once the children have reached the end of a level or the teachers feel they are ready to progress, they are assessed using the 'Benchmark' assessment package in school. All reading is recorded in a reading record and the children are expected to read for 10 minutes each day. In school the children participate in guided reading sessions for two weeks and with individual readers the following week. Guided reading sessions are delivered in small groups and are led by an adult at a level above their home reader level. This enables the teacher to support the children with a variety of techniques, including how to decode and recognise spelling patterns in words.
In Junior School, children choose a personal reading book from a wide range of books located in their classroom. The children's reading books are grouped in stages, this gives pupils the opportunity to develop reading skills with texts that have appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure for the child's ability. Once the stages for the year group have been completed, the children are given a list of 10 recommended reads to choose from. The class teachers have personally selected the recommend reads, to reflect the interests of the class and to introduce the children to a range of authors. All reading is recorded in the child's reading record and they are expected to read daily for 20 minutes. The number of books that a child reads is celebrated with our 'Reading Champion' programme, children can earn pencils, bookmarks and postcards home.
All children are encouraged to take books home from the school library to read independently and with parents. Each class has been allocated a session during the week to select new reading material and read to the teacher.
Pupils also have the opportunity to develop their reading skills through research work. These skills may be taught through other subjects as well as in English. This may be carried out through topic work using a variety of sources, including non-fiction books, C.D. ROMs and the Internet.