Learn More About our Reading Curriculum
In order for children to be effective readers they need to at first be engaged in the wonder and purpose of the written word. A strong reading culture is essential and we aim to inspire children so that they can confidently read for pleasure.
Children’s phonic knowledge and application needs to grow systematically alongside effective ways to learn sight vocabulary. Through our chosen phonics program, Essential Letters and Sounds, children learn the alphabetic code from the beginning of Reception. They quickly learn to blend sounds to read simple words and can apply this learning to read books from the very beginning of the program. Throughout Reception and Year 1, children will make rapid progress until they are reading with a good level of fluency and accuracy. When children encounter a word that they cannot read, they will be able to decode the word with confidence. Children will also be taught to read Harder to Read and Spell words (HRS words) which are not yet decodable at the stage of the program where they are introduced.
In Reception and Year 1, children take home a fully decodable reading book each week which they reread up to 4 times until they are fluent. Parental support with this is essential and we value the high levels of engagement that our children have when reading with parents at home.
Children are also encouraged to take home another book which they have selected themselves and they can share with their family. This book may well be above their level of reading skill but is intended as a book to share and enjoy.
Children need to be taught to read for meaning, and once they have mastered phonics, this becomes the focus for their reading lessons in Year 2. Reading is taught initially in small focussed groups but then as a whole class from the spring term. We teach the children skills such as retrieval, inference and summarising to enable them to be able to gain a full understanding of the text they are reading. The children practise these skills at more and more sophisticated levels as they progress through school.
In Key Stage 2, children share novels, poetry and non-fiction texts in whole class reading lessons. We teach these lessons using whole novels rather than extracts because we want to immerse children fully in high quality fiction. Through these lessons, we aim to inspire them to widen their own reading diet by reading other books by the authors they have studied or similar books within the genre. The texts for these reading lessons are chosen to be engaging, progressive in introducing new vocabulary and are also carefully planned in the year, so that where possible, children have knowledge from previous learning to deepen their understanding of the story. Children are taught specific skills but the lessons focus on applying these skills as a reader does to enable comprehension.
In years 4, 5 and 6, we use Accelerated Reader to help children select reading book which will enable them to make good progress. Our Reading Ambassadors help peers to choose books and promote reading for pleasure.