Listening to Readers
In addition to banded reading books, all children can also develop their enjoyment for reading as they have the opportunity to access the school library and reading cafe, to choose a wide range of information books and every classroom has a well-stocked reading corner, which further promotes and encourages reading for pleasure.
Although we assess children’s reading throughout Key Stage 2, Year 6 children complete a SATs Reading Test in May.
Reading in Early Years
From the beginning of Nursery we teach reading through a phonics approach. At the very beginning, the focus is on listening to and hearing sounds, rather than recognising the actual letters (graphemes), which come later. Our children have opportunities to explore different sounds in their environment, how to make and change sounds using musical instruments and create rhythms. This teaches them the pattern, pace and expression reading requires. Through listening, our children learn to link sounds and letters in the order they occur in words, as well as naming and sounding letters in the alphabet. Oral segmenting (breaking up letters in words) and blending (putting them back together) plays a huge part in the steps to teaching a child to read.
In Reception children learn to recognise 42 letter sounds (graphemes), read CVC words (ship, cat, hat, chop) by blending letters together, recognise ‘tricky’ words, such as she, no, go, was, the and learn letter names. When they have achieved this, they begin to read short captions and simple sentences (The farmer gets up at six in the morning). Now it’s time to practice reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know, with our Book Band system.
Reading in Key Stage One
By the end of year 1, the government require children to complete a phonics test. At Park Primary School, we take every measure to ensure that children are not worried about this test. The children are used to phonics in their lessons and we incorporate the test into normal lesson time. Most children are not even aware they have actually completed a test.
Reading in Key Stage Two
During whole class literacy lessons, a large chunk of each unit is spent reading through and analysing high quality texts based around the genre that they are covering. Children will explore the texts further during guided reading sessions. There is also ample opportunity for children to use library time, and free choice reading time, to explore books of their choice.
What if my child finds it difficult to read?
How can I help?
Throughout the year, parent will be invited to come to our Reading Cafe. This is very relaxed environment for you and your child to enjoy a ‘book and a brew’ and it provides an opportunity to share lots of suggestions on how to help your child read. Your support really does get your child off to a flying start and encourages them to make good progress! One simple way is to help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘blend’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names.
If you have any further queries about how we teach reading, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!