Reading is a priority and we aim for all the children to thrive in reading and have a love for literature. Our school library is an exciting space which is used extensively by the children, as are the well resourced book-corners in every classroom. The children have a weekly allocated library session when they can choose up to three books to take home. These can be books that they want to share with adults at home or books that they really want to read themselves. These sessions are particularly important for our free readers who have progressed from the reading scheme. We encourage the children to recommend books to each other, both books from school and those from home, and to write book reviews. Our Year 6 librarians manage their own weekly book recommendations, which they display in the library with helpful notes about the books and authors.
In Key Stage 1, the children receive explicit daily phonics instruction in which the children are taught the strategies for applying phonics to everyday reading. This instruction is delivered to achievement-based groups, where the children have ample time to read and to learn the needed skills and strategies. Progress is monitored regularly, with time allocated to revisit and review.
Reading instruction also takes place in the classrooms, with whole class shared reading, small group guided reading, co-operative paired reading and individual reading. Our school reading scheme, for both Key Stages, contains a wealth of books, including phonic readers and books covering a range of genres, in a variety of formats. The children are monitored regularly, as they progress through the scheme, to ensure that the stage they are on offers appropriate reinforcement as well as a level of challenge.
In Key Stage 2 , the teachers manage to blend the teaching of skills like phonics, spelling and vocabulary with an immersion into literature. Higher order reading skills are taught, such as inference, deduction and critical thinking, along with the development of the children’s background knowledge about language and literature. As with Key Stage 1, the children are taught reading as a whole class, in small guided reading groups or on an individual basis.
We welcome a willing group of parents who regularly give up their time to help children throughout the school to practise their reading skills. Many of our parent helpers have received in-school training in phonics and how to ask effective questions in order to promote comprehension and higher order reading skills.