“At Park Primary School we strive to create an atmosphere that fosters a love of reading. Once we have captured a child’s interest in reading, we hope they will be a reader for their entire lives. We regard reading as one of the most important life skills, because it is the key, which unlocks the door to a world of knowledge and other skills.”
“Our fantastic reading cafe contains hundreds of books and we also have a school library and reading areas in each class across school. Throughout the year we take part in many fun and exciting reading challenges as well as having a very popular dinner time reading club.”
“Our school is proud to foster a love of reading. Daily reading sessions are timetabled across school and are a great opportunity to enjoy learning to read. Accelerated Reader provides excitement, challenge and competitiveness for our pupils. If your child is interested in joining my lunch time FBA – Fabulous Book Award Club please send me a DOJO.”
Listening to Readers
Throughout school we consistently listen to children read using a variety of approaches from individual reading, guided group reading and whole class reading. Our teachers regularly read to the children in order to develop a love of books and access poetry, stories and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. Daily readers practice the technical skills of reading, the sounding out and breaking down of words with a smaller amount of inference and comprehension work. This becomes less frequent as the child moves up through school and a greater emphasis on whole class reading takes place . It is in these reading sessions where the skills of questioning, summarising and clarifying are taught. Small groups of readers are sometimes encouraged to support children who struggle understanding texts and lack pace.. Children are encouraged to think about texts and respond to questions or complete tasks based on their reading.
In addition to banded phonics reading books and accelerated reading books , all children have the opportunity to develop their enjoyment for reading having access to the school libraries and reading cafe,. Every classroom has a well-stocked reading corner, which further promotes and encourages reading for pleasure.
Although we assess children’s reading across school Year 2 and Year 6 children complete a SATs Reading Test in May.
Reading in Early Years
In the Early Years we provide a rich ‘Book’ experience, by giving endless opportunities to share books with adults. This develops a child’s enjoyment of books and other printed material, teaches them how to handle books and gives reading a real purpose. Together children can talk about stories or information, join in with familiar phrases and sing favourite rhymes, songs and jingles. Also they begin to make up stories of their own based on outdoor experiences, role playing adventures, or toys and jigsaws they have made. The Early Years has high quality book areas, where the books are accessible, owned and loved by children. With the addition of story props, sacks and boxes filled with desirable objects to enthuse.
From the beginning of EYFS we teach reading through a phonics approach we use the validated Anima Phonics: Letters and Sounds Updated which is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme providing all the necessary resources and training to achieve outstanding results. 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
Reading in Key Stage 1 continues with anima phonics where systematic, daily, discrete teaching takes place, with opportunities for the children to practice and apply their skills in the context of reading. At this stage, we emphasise that reading for fluency is important, therefore by giving children opportunities to re-read familiar books, we build their confidence and they begin to feel like real readers!
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.
Reading in Key Stage Two
Within Key Stage 2, the emphasis shifts to reading for pleasure and also reading to learn. At this point, texts become longer and less familiar, reading becomes more fluent and the pace of reading is quickened. However, if children are not reading fluently, they will continue with phonics intervention and additional support with their reading.
Children are introduced to whole class reading which focuses on discussions, new vocabulary and broadens their comprehension skills. Core texts are carefully selected by class teachers to ensure they are accessible but challenging and give children the opportunity to explore a wide range of genre and authors.
At Park we use Accelerated Reader across Key Stage Two, children are able to log on to MyOn at home or in school to quiz themselves based on the texts they have read, hence developing their comprehension skills. We have a board selection of books which are banded according to Accelerated Reader and accessible for children to choose themselves.
What if my child finds it difficult to read?
How can I help?
Children benefit hugely from exposure to books from an early age and finding books that fire your child’s imagination and interest is key. Make reading fun! Remember to keep reading to your child. This helps them to grow a vast vocabulary and understand the meaning of books. Children love routine, and reading is something that you and your child can look forward to every day. Some love fiction others non-fiction! It can be stories, information books, magazines, annuals, comic, signs, list etc. It all counts! Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to read whatever they have a love of, as it develops their fluency and expression.
Throughout the year, parents 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!