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Reading

Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it! 

Our priority is to promote and develop a love for reading. We therefore work hard to ensure that children are exposed to a range of texts in a range of settings. Children will NEVER be asked to read as a consequence of poor behaviour. Opportunities to read are seen as a privilege and a pleasure. 

 

HOW DO WE TEACH READING?

EARLY YEARS

  • We start teaching children to read from the day they join us in Early Years by ensuring that children have regular opportunities to hold books, to look at a variety of texts, to talk about books and to listen to stories and rhymes being read from books. Our youngest children learn that all print carries meaning and they begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters. The process of learning to read starts with the teaching of phonics. We teach discrete phonics lessons daily in Early Years using 'Letters and Sounds'. Please refer to our 'phonics' page for more information about this.

KEY STAGE ONE

  • As children move into Key Sage One they receive a more structured approach to their phonics lessons which continue being taught daily. In addition, our teaching assistants are skilled in delivering high quality TELL (Teaching Early Language and Literacy) phonic intervention for any children who appear to be struggling with learning to read.
  • A daily, 30 minute, Guided Reading session is introduced.
  • Teachers provide regular Shared Reading opportunities in English lessons.
  • Every child will have the opportunity to Practice Read at least once a week.

 

KEY STAGE TWO

  • Phonics will continue to be taught as an intervention to any children who have not achieved the expected outcomes in reading by the end of Key Stage One.
  • Daily Guided Reading sessions will continue
  • Teachers will continue to provide regular Shared Reading opportunities in English lessons.
  • Children who are not fluent readers will continue to Practice Read at least once a week.
  • Children will have a Reading Journal where they will log their progress in reading including a Cold and Hot assessment task.
  • Teachers will deliver a Focused Reading session once a week to all pupils to develop the PEE (Point, Evidence, Explain) skill.
  • Children will complete an independent Stamina Read once a week in order to develop the amount they can read in a given time.
  • Each week the children will practice responding to a comprehension task.

 

HOW DO WE PROMOTE A LOVE FOR READING?

A right to read.

Through consultation with School Council, it was agreed that every class would adopt a 'RIGHT TO READ' charter. Every class contributed to the reading charter and every child and adult who works in our school is encouraged to support it. Please see below for our Right to Read Charter.

Reading to the class

Encouraging children to read for pleasure is about more than getting them to pick up a book; its equally important for children to appreciate a good story. Every half term the class will read a book together which will normally link to the theme of their topic.

Books for rewards

Reading will NEVER be used as a punishment in our school. In fact, the culture of reading is quite the opposite. We recognise the opportunity to read as a privilege and a pleasure. Through consultation with School Council, children made the decision to receive the reward of a book for their class book corner every time they achieve 50 house points. 

No schemes!

We do not rely on scheme books to promote a love for reading. Reading scheme books play a valuable role in helping a child learn to read. They do not, however, help to develop a LOVE for reading. This is generally due to their lack of plot or development of character. Therefore, children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 will always be encouraged to take a scheme book home but this will be taken alongside a book of their choice and the emphasis of interest will be placed on the chosen book rather than the scheme book. 

Book Fairs

We welcome travelling book fairs into school every term to provide families with opportunities to buy new books. 

Reading celebrations

Whenever appropriate we enjoy celebrating reading by joining in with national events such as World Book Day and Roald Dahl Day. In addition to this, we occasionally set reading challenges for children to participate in with their families such as Extreme Reads or Readathons. 

Book corners

A book corner can be found in every classroom. Teachers are encouraged to work with their class to make it inviting and engaging. The theme of the book corner will usually link to the class topic. Children will find a range of genres in their book corners which will also include books by a range of popular authors. Children are encouraged to select a book of their choice - sometimes they may select a book that is too easy and sometimes they may select a book that is too hard - what is important is that they have selected it for a reason. We encourage parents to share the books with the children by listening to them read, reading it to them and, most importantly, talking about it.

 

DEFINITIONS

Phonics:

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Children are taught how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make such as 'sh' or 'oo' and blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then 'decode' new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

Guided Reading:

A guided reading session consists of approximately six children focusing on an extract of text with a teaching assistant or teacher. The session lasts for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. It involves explicit teaching and children are given a clear focus for learning linked to one of the Content Domains. Guided Reading allows an adult to observe and assess a child's reading behaviour. It also allows quality time to provide immediate feedback to children.

The session begins with the adult introducing the text. A discussion will take place around the title, author and genre and pupils may be encouraged to predict what they think the text might be about. Following this the adult will prepare them for the text by focusing on 'tricky words' and reminding them about different strategies to independently decipher new or unfamiliar vocabulary. The adult will also set a purpose for reading in the form of a 'Key Learning Question'. This will be linked to a Content Domain.

Children are then given time to read independently. The adult has the opportunity at this point to move around the group and listen to individuals read

Following the independent read, children join together as a group to revisit the text. They highlight any words or phrases they found difficult and share their opinions on the text.

The adult will then encourage the children to respond to the text by asking for responses to the Key Learning Question. 

Shared Reading:

Shared reading is a reading experience that occurs when pupils join in or share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by an adult. The adult explicitly models the skills of proficient readers, including reading with fluency and expression.

Practice Read:

We refer to the occasions where one child reads to one adult as a practice read. A practice read provides opportunities for children to practice the skill of reading out loud. We provide regular opportunities for children to practice read until they are assessed as being fluent readers. 

Cold / hot tasks:

Cold and hot tasks are an assessment for learning tool. A cold task is an exercise at the beginning of every new unit of learning. Children are encouraged to complete the cold task independently. The teacher will mark a child's response to the cold task and assess what they are good at and what they need more help with. With this information a teacher is able to plan a sequence of learning which will target children's gaps in knowledge and skill. At the end of the learning sequence (which may last between 1 and 2 weeks) a teacher will provide the children with a hot task. This will generally by a similar assessment to the cold task. Children are encouraged to complete the hot task independently. The teacher will mark a child's response to a hot task and assess what progress they have made since the cold test.

Focus Read:

The objective of a focus read session is to teach children the skills they need to respond to comprehension questions. The children are taught how to use the PEE approach which represents POINT, EVIDENCE, EXPLAIN.

When answering comprehension questions children need to assert the POINT they are making. The EVIDENCE is the quote or quotes that they use to support their POINT and the EXPLANATION is where they expand on their POINT.

Stamina Read:

Having stamina for something means being able to stick with something for periods of time. This stamina, or endurance, builds strength. Stamina can apply to lots of different areas such as exercise or painting. It can also apply to reading. 

Reading stamina is a child's ability to focus and read independently for sustained periods of time without being distracted or distracting others. By developing this skill children are able to navigate longer texts and respond accurately to questions about what they are reading.

Content Domain:

Content Domains are the broad headings under reading skills have been grouped for assessment. They are useful to teachers for assessing where gaps in learning exist. 

Please see below for the Content Domains.