At Normanton All Saints CE (A) Infant School we highly value reading and understand that reading is fundamental to function in today’s society. Reading is a life skill that needs to be taught, nurtured and developed. Enjoying books and reading stories from a very early age is crucial in reading development and therefore this begins with our youngest children in our nursery setting.
We value that reading teaches children about the world around them, develops imagination and enables them to understand and use a wide range of words. We understand the need for children to gain good phonics knowledge alongside an understanding of vocabulary and comprehension in order for them to become confident and fluent readers.
Reading has a unique contribution to learning as it enables children to achieve success in all other areas of the curriculum. Therefore, the teaching of reading is given a high priority throughout the school with all staff recognising the importance of teaching skills thoroughly and instilling positive attitudes towards reading.
Time in the school day is dedicated to story time where children have the opportunity to listen to a story read to them by an adult who brings the book to life through our ‘magic of stories’ approach. These books are carefully chosen to provide an engaging and enjoyable experience and aims to develop a love of reading. Initiatives such as the class reader of the week, our top 5 and top 20 texts, whole school book weeks, reading cafes, parent and child story time and weekly visits to the school library continue to promote reading for pleasure. High-quality books and texts are used to drive the curriculum and each classroom has an inviting and engaging reading area to promote a further love for reading.
We teach reading through:
- Structured daily phonics and additional ‘keep up’ for children requiring this.
- Group guided reading practice and guided reading.
- Literacy weekly teaching structure.
- Whole class taught reading sessions (ERIC), which focuses on comprehension knowledge and skills.
- Listening to pupils read individually.
- Reading for pleasure through dedicated story time.
Our Literacy curriculum is driven through high-quality texts for a 3 week period, which are used to stimulate writing and enable the children to read the text and become fully immersed in the book. The start of the literacy teaching will be focused on introducing the text in an engaging way and will provide the children with the opportunity to unpick the text and the vocabulary used by the author. As part of the literacy teaching, talk for writing will also be used focused on developing the children’s speaking and listening skills by ensuring they are confident in retelling a familiar text.
Reading at home
We encourage all our pupils to read regularly at home. Children will bring home books which are matched to the stage of their reading development.
Children will work through a phonetically decodable reading scheme starting in Reception. When children are assessed to be phonetically secure they then move on to free readers. The aim of our reading scheme is to ensure that:
- Children are applying their phonic knowledge to words and sentences.
- Children have the opportunity to read tricky words/high-frequency words linked to their current phase in phonics.
- Children work through a progressive scheme that links to their understanding of phonic sounds.
- Children are not asked to read words with sounds they do not know and they are not asked to guess words.
For early and developing readers phonics books will be sent home linked to the letters and sounds which have been taught. This book will have been introduced to the children in class during their guided practice session and therefore will be a familiar text to allow them to read at home with confidence and fluency and to celebrate reading success. The home books also allow the children the opportunity to practise reading words by blending and segmenting enabling them to gain secure phonic knowledge.
As pupils become confident and fluent in their reading and once they have a secure phonic knowledge they will then be provided with a large range of books from other publishers known as ‘free readers’. This will further develop children’s knowledge, vocabulary, language and comprehension enabling them to continue to read for pleasure.
Please see the 2021/22 Reading Flyer for further information about our home reading scheme.