Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Reading is the 'window to the world' and everything else depends on it, so we are putting as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We value the importance of early reading and actively promote reading for pleasure. Children are given as many opportunities to read as possible and they also have regular story times to further develop a love of reading. Children take home books matched to their phonic knowledge to support their reading at home and we value parental engagement with this.
The teaching of phonics is delivered from EYFS to Year 1 through a robust, systematic phonics programme. We teach reading through Read Write Inc which is a phonics scheme. Children begin their reading journey in the school in Nursery, where initial sounds are taught. Children are encouraged to develop a love of hearing stories read to them, both in school and at home, and for this reason they are sent home with a ‘reading for pleasure’ book. As the children progress into the Reception class, children continue to be encouraged to read for pleasure and when they are ready, they begin to take home a simple book with words matched to the phonics that they are learning in Read Write Inc.
In Reception and Year 1, phonics is taught through discrete daily lessons. Home reading books are linked to phonic knowledge and are part of the RWI scheme. In Year 2, the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme is introduced. This allows for phonic knowledge to be reinforced and embedded whilst the focus is now shifted to spelling patterns.
As part of their phonics lessons, children also practise reading and spelling what we call ‘red words’, such as ‘said’, ‘have’, ‘once’, and ‘where’.
For more information on how we teach phonics, click this link: Phonics One Page Summary
As the children move through Year 2 and complete RWI, they are moved on to Accelerated Reader books. This follows through from Year 2 to Year 6. All children are accurately assessed based on their reading ability and are given a reading book that closely matches their reading ability based on a ZPD score. Using Accelerated Reader, the children are tested for comprehension after they read each book by completing an online ‘quiz’. Children are encouraged to read independently and quiz on the books they have read.
Whole Class Reading
From Year 2 onwards, children also take part in daily reading lessons where they are taught the wider skills of reading once they have secured their phonetical undertstanding. They are given the opportunity to look at texts in more depth and practise a range of reading skills to support their comprehension development. Children have access to a range of texts including non-fiction, fiction, poetry, magazines, newspapers etc to widen their reading experiences. We also ensure that reading is given high priority in other curriculum areas as we understand how important reading is in order to access learning in other subject disciplines.
We follow VIPERS which helps to ensure children are taught the essential skills needed to be successful readers:
Reading is at the centre of our curriculum and all learning in English lessons is derived from quality key texts. Reading is also priotitised in the wider curriculum so once children have learnt to read they can then read to learn.
We read aloud to the children throughout the school, on a daily basis, so that they learn the lasting enjoyment of books and want to read themselves. Reading a story aloud is one of the most important things carers and teachers can do with children. Books and stories stimulate a child's imagination and expand their understanding of the world. It builds many foundational skills, introduces vocabulary and provides a model of fluent and expressive reading. For this reason, we ensure children experience a daily story time session with their teacher.
The best way to help your child achieve well in reading, and indeed across the curriculum is to hear them read, share and discuss a variety of reading materials as often as you can. Children at St James are expected to read at least 3 times per week at home, but we urge them to read more than this. The children are provided with a book banded reading book, matched closely to their reading ability, but are also encouraged to read widely.