In Our Lady Immaculate Primary School we place reading at the heart of our curriculum;
We recognise that being able to read well is a key life-skill for children whatever their background or personal circumstances and believe that every child can learn to read with the right teaching and support;
We ensure that all children are given opportunities to study a range of good quality and interesting fiction and non-fiction texts from a variety of genre. Your children will have the opportunity to read ‘real’ books and newspapers, big books, posters, ICT based texts on E readers, individual computers and interactive Whiteboards, large texts, information booklets and banded guided reading materials.
How we teach children to read
In Our Lady Immaculate Primary School, reading is taught through Shared Reading sessions, Guided Reading sessions, Individual reading and Independent reading. We use a book band approach to reading using the following schemes; Oxford Reading Tree, New Way, Project X Code, PM Story Books, Sails and Lighthouse and in Key Stage Two Rigby Star and Rigby Navigator. Whilst using published schemes, we also read a range of books by significant children’s authors including Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, Shirley Hughes, Michael Morpurgo, Frank Cottrell Boyce and David Almond. These are all enhanced by the promotion of Reading for Pleasure.
In EYFS and KS1, phonics is taught through letters and sounds. This initiative promotes a strong and systematic emphasis on the teaching of synthetic phonics to aid the teaching and learning of reading. As part of this programme, the children will be taught to:
- discriminate between the separate sounds in words;
- learn the letters and letter combinations most commonly used to spell sounds;
- read words by sounding out and blending their separate parts;
- study written representations of a sound and how it looks;
- recognise on sight vocabulary identified as ‘Tricky words’
During shared reading, guided reading and individual reading sessions, teachers and teaching assistants use a wide range of strategies to try to enhance the teaching of reading. They are aimed at encouraging children to discuss and debate their opinions about books, this is also enhanced through reciprocal reading and book talk.
Some of these are outlined below:
Modelling and discussing the features of written texts through shared reading of texts;
- giving direction to develop key strategies in reading;
- demonstration – e.g. how to use punctuation when reading, using a shared text;
- explanation to clarify and discuss e.g. need for grammatical agreement when proof reading;
Questioning to probe pupil’s understanding of a text;
- investigate ideas – to understand, expand on or generalise about themes and structures in fiction and non-fiction;
- discuss and argue – to justify a preference;
Opportunities for reading in Our Lady Immaculate Primary School
“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.” Marilyn Jager Adams
The whole class shares a text, which is beyond their independent reading levels, often using an enlarged text (paper or ICT based). Shared reading allows for teacher modelling, teaching and applying reading skills (word, sentence and whole text level). It is often enhanced through Reciprocal Reading techniques and drama. This develops a child’s abilty to comment on and respond to events and experiences within a text. These sessions also allow the teacher to check a child’s comprehension, by asking literal and inferential questions, which aid deeper understanding of the plot and themes of the story, also increasing their vocabulary and story sense.
Being read aloud to
Children are read to aloud everyday by an adult daily through shared class novels or picture books.
Guided Reading takes place in a small group, with a teacher or teaching assistant, and focuses on developing children’s ability to become independent readers, thinkers and learners. The children are grouped by ability and read individual copies of the same text, which matches the reading level of the group. Guided Reading within school uses a combination of books which are decodable (to promote children’s blending and decoding skills), books which enhance other reading strategies, books linked to the children’s interests, we sometimes use packs which include posters, leaflets or letters etc to link with curriculum topics and books which promote comprehension strategies from children retrieving information to using inference and deduction skills. The teacher/teaching assistant tailors the teaching of reading according to the children’s needs. Guided reading allows the opportunity to teach reading skills in a small group situation, allowing greater focus on developing skills, rather than just ‘hearing readers’.
We hear children read individually regularly and conduct an informal reading interview to try to find out what their view of reading is. This also helps us to complete running records to be able to assess what the childrens reading behaviours are and to find their correct instructional level.
Independent reading and Reading for Pleasure
“The stories we love best do live in us forever.” J K Rowling
We provide the children with a range of high quality literature (including poetry, play scripts, comics etc) to access both at home and at school, lots of these books have been recommended and chosen by the children themselves. We have a brand new library area and each child has the opportunity to take home free choice library books as often as they want.
We are about to introduce “RFP” time where children have dedicated sessions throughout the week to foster a love of reading. During this time teachers act as models reading their own chosen material to reinforce the above philosophy. Reading for pleasure activites will be enhanced and celebrated through things such as author visits, World Book days and various competitions.
Children in younger year groups are given the opportunity to read with a number of trained Year 3 children during the week. This opportunity not only helps to develop the child’s fluency and understanding of a text, but also allows them to build on their interpersonal and social skills while again enriching their love of reading.
Children in reading interventions have individual or sometimes group lessons for about 30 minutes several times during the week with a trained teacher or teaching assistant. The lesson series is primarily for children in Key Stage One and some children in Lower Key Stage Two who may still need help with their reading. The programme is different for every child, starting from what the child knows and what he/she needs to learn next.
Better Reading Partnership
This initiative involves children from Reception to Year 6, reading with a trained Teaching Assistant for three twenty-minute sessions, on a one-to-one basis, each week.
It focuses not only on the decoding of words, but also on understanding themes, characters and the plot of the text, as well as promoting positive attitudes and motivation towards reading.
Read, write A to Z
Children taking part in Read, write A to Z are normally based in EYFS or Year 1. Children work in groups with a trained teacher or teaching assistant on a daily basis. They read a specific series of books together, then write a short sentence.
One of the main aims of the initiatives is that there is also a strong partnership with the parents of the children involved, in order to maintain and develop a wide range of reading skills at home.
“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” Victor Hugo, Les Miserables