Our approach to the teaching of reading
The school believes that encouraging children to read for enjoyment is key to their success as a reader. Teachers choose texts that will excite the children and motivate them to read more. Teachers in the school provide the children with a good model of spoken English, with lots of discussions related to the children’s personal experiences. All children listen to stories in class on a regular basis and have the opportunity to use our school libraries and class book areas. Throughout the year, we promote reading through our annual Book Fair, competitions, live webcasts and reading rewards. In addition to other books read in class, all classes have a ‘class author’, so that children can become familiar with different styles and genres.
Children who attend our Nursery will focus on a letter of the week and begin to learn its shape and sound through independent play and adult-led activities. The children will begin to read key word cards, picture books and books that will allow them to apply their phonics knowledge whilst engaging with books.
What can parents and carers do to help?
Reading and discussing books with your child is a great way to get them hooked on reading. Playing games when you are out and about, such as eye spy or asking your child if they can recognise letters and words on signs, is another easy way for your child to begin to practise their reading. For more ideas on helping your child with reading, please pick up a leaflet from school.
Year 1 – Year 6
Each class timetables English daily, where children take part in whole-class shared reading and/or writing every day. Comprehension skills are taught throughout the school, so that children learn to read for meaning. Children will also have the opportunity to share a book with members of staff to develop their fluidity of reading.
What can parents and carers do to help?
Even when children begin to read independently, it is important to find time to share a book or ask them about the characters and plot of the stories that they are enjoying. Although life can be busy, one of the best ways to model good reading is to let your child see you reading too. Take a trip to your local library and find out what is going on there during the holidays (Fairfield and Stockton libraries always advertise their holiday activities in school). Ask your child to look out for any of their weekly spellings in the books that they are reading, so that they are applying their word knowledge. For more ideas on helping your child with reading, please pick up a leaflet from school.
As a school, we use the Collins Big Cat Reading scheme, which links with the Collins Phonics programme that the children follow from Early Years. Children are given reading books according to their ability and age suitability. There are also activities in the back of the reading books to check children’s understanding of their reading. Children must choose one activity to complete, after finishing their book.
We encourage parents to listen to their child read 3 times each week and to make a quick note in their child’s contact book whenever they read at home. In KS2, we invite children to homework club if they have not read 3 times during the week so that they can catch-up on their reading (please ask your child’s class teacher for Homework Club days). Please note that the reading scheme is not a ‘tick list’: Children could read a few books from one colour band before moving on to another. As the books are banded on both ability and age interest, children may move into different coloured bands because the content is more suitable for that particular age range. It is more important that our child is able to talk about and understand the books that they have read, especially the new vocabulary that they may encounter when reading.
For more information on our Reading Scheme please talk to your child’s class teacher.