The Importance of Reading
Reading is a skill that most of us take for granted, yet is one that is essential for being able to get on in life. As a child grows up, being able to read well not only enables them to discover new facts and to learn at school, but also opens them up to a world of new ideas, stories and opportunities. As such, all our staff are committed to ensuring that all children become independent and fluent readers during their time at our school.
Our children’s love of reading is fostered through access to a wide range of stories, poems and non-fiction books and carefully selected whole class readers. Books are used in all areas of the curriculum to help teach specific projects, as well as broadening children’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural awareness.
We truly believe that by inspiring children to read, being read to on a daily basis by an adult in their class and by giving children opportunities to explore a range of rich and appropriately challenging texts through a variety of reading activities they will, in turn, succeed.
Our structured approach to reading is carefully designed to ensure the best results for our children. It all begins with a focus on phonics and in Reception, children learn a sound a day, through adult directed activities. The scheme of work that we use to teach phonics across EYFS and KS1 is Letters and Sounds. This learning is reinforced through enhancement tasks, songs and fun, practical activities related to the corresponding letter formation. Children begin their ‘book-reading journey’ with non-worded books, which encourage storytelling, discussion and develop questioning and prediction skills. Children are continuously assessed and as their segmenting and blending progresses, they are given activities and books to match their learning. These include picture/word matching cards, CVC word books, caption/picture matching cards and the early reading books from our school scheme.
Children could not make the progress they do without support from home and we work closely with parents to help them understand how to pronounce the phonics correctly and have strategies to develop their child’s reading skills. Year group curriculum evenings help contribute to how early reading is taught. Videos of the correct pronunciation are uploaded on our website. ‘Phonics Play’ and ‘Teach your Monster to Read’ are a popular apps which children have access to both in school and at home.
As the children's reading progresses, we work on developing a pupil’s vocabulary and comprehension skills through structured whole class guided reading sessions. Activities are carefully planned to ensure that reading stamina also develops as children progress through the school.
In addition to this our class reads ensure that all our pupils are exposed to high quality challenging texts. This allows for an immersion in more sophisticated vocabulary and therefore helps them to build their own vocabulary that will be wider, challenging and more specific.
We work hard to ensure this joy of reading extends beyond the classroom and support, promote and value the contributions that parents and carers make to their child’s reading at home. We run termly reading challenges in each year group, not only to encourage our pupils to read a wide range of literature, but also to share and discuss these books at home.
Children enjoy taking part in the Shrewsbury Children's Bookfest each year. Author and storyteller visits are organised to further ignite the children's interest in books. A highlight of our year is World Book Day, when we celebrate our love of reading. The children particularly enjoyed participating in our 'Get Caught Reading' challenge this year.
Even, Mabel, our school dog is involved in promoting reading. Both Mabel and the children enjoy the opportunity to read together.
To ensure the best outcome for all our pupils, assessment is used continuously to identify any child who is in danger of falling behind. Targeted interventions are used to help these children ‘catch up’ and their progress is carefully monitored by class teachers and school leaders.