At Farcet Primary School, children will learn to read with fluency and understanding, providing them with the skills required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading and allow them to access the full curriculum with confidence.
Our Reading aims are:
- To promote reading for pleasure.
- To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading through access to a wide range of literature.
- To develop phonetic skills which lead to blending and reading accurately, fluently and confidently in all curriculum areas.
- To broaden children’s vocabulary.
- To develop comprehension skills, and enable children to analyse what they read and to participate in discussion and debate about texts.
- To encourage good home/school partnerships.
- To monitor each child’s progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies e.g. Reading Age tests, on-going reading observations, comprehension assessments.
- To support those children who require additional support with their reading.
EYFS and Year 1
Many activities take place which promote pre-reading skills. Children become aware of print in their environment and match pictures and words. Language comprehension is developed by talking and reading to the children.
The first books given to children are Dandelion Readers/Sounds Write books or texts which are fully phonetically decodable and based on the sounds the children are working on in their phonics lessons. They will then move on to highly decodable books, again matched closely to the sounds in phonics lessons.
Our year 2 reading books are organised into coloured Book Bands which are highly decodable . Children are assessed regularly and move onto the next Book Band when their fluency and understanding show that they are ready. Children move through the Book Bands until they reach the required standard to become join Accelerated Reader, choosing a book to read at the appropriate level from our well-stocked school library.
Below is a table illustrating our the coloured banding system:
As children move into Year 3, they move on to the Accelerated Reader Programme. AR helps teachers support and monitor children's reading practice. Your child picks a book at their own level and reads it at their own pace. When finished, they take a short online quiz to measure how much they understood. They will take an online reading tests up to 4 times a year to determine the right book level for them.
Across the whole school, specific reading techniques are used to ensure that all children join in with reading aloud. Additional scaffolding may be required for the slower graspers, for example, the teacher informs the child in advance which part they are expected to read, and children may pre-read the text with an adult ahead of the whole class lesson. As well as group or whole class reading aloud, there are regular opportunities for children to ask and answer questions and write specific sentences about the passage of text they have just read. After writing, the class then have an in-depth discussion about the passage they have just read. Teachers also carefully select vocabulary to teach explicitly and implicitly from the text and children are given plentiful opportunities to pronounce the word and use it orally in a variety of contexts. We give children child-friendly definitions and do not promote guessing definitions. We run our reading lessons in this way in order to expose children to high-quality literature and develop their fluency and prosody, as well as to increase their vocabulary breadth and depth.
Developing Reading for Pleasure
Staff at Farcet have designed a Literature Spine with the titles selected carefully considered - not just for their quality as stories or poems - but also in terms of how they can support the children’s understanding of the subjects covered in the school’s rich curriculum. We have endeavoured to ensure that the Literature Spine reflects not just established children’s authors but also classics of literature. In addition, we have strived to ensure that Literature Spine is as diverse as possible, in order for it to support the children’s development in becoming responsible, tolerant, well-rounded and well-informed young people. Daily reading sessions in which adults read to children are non-negotiable and enjoyed by all.
Each child is encouraged to take an additional book home from the class library each day to share with an adult or read themselves, we hope that this contributes to the children developing a love of reading.
Farcet Literature Spine
We try to encourage a love of reading by holding book themed days and events both as individual classes and across the whole school e.g. World Book Day.
Our well-stocked school library promotes authors and a range of reading material to appeal to all pupils. Children's suggestions for new books are encouraged and purchased.
In Years 2-6, weekly Dialogic Literary Gatherings (DLG) are used to raise the quantity and quality of interactions of all pupils through a dialogic approach of learning. The sessions involve reading a section of classical literature (such as Romeo and Juliet) and then sharing meanings, interpretations and reflections with the dialogic learning methodology.
Assessment of Reading
Reading is assessed regularly and monitored on the school tracking system. In addition, children in KS1 are assessed using running records to provide information of reading strategies and which is the appropriate book band for their needs.
Children in the KS2 are assessed using Star reading tests to check progress in reading age relative to their chronological age. Children in KS2 complete Accelerated Reader quizzes when they have finished reading a book, this assesses their comprehension. Liaison with the school SENCO and external agencies is arranged for children who require additional support and reading intervention strategies.
How can I help my child learn to read?
Keep reading to your child.
Many children are afraid that once they can read they will lose that precious snuggle up bedtime reading session. Make it clear that this will not happen!
Read when they are ready.
Find a time that works for your child and keep the sessions short and sweet. If they are tired, they will find it more difficult, get frustrated and give up. Once they hit a brick wall, it is difficult to get over it.
Enjoy the book!
Reading scheme books are highly illustrated. Talk about the pictures, make predictions, wonder out loud about characters, connect these reading sessions to other books you have read together.
Sound it out?
If your child comes across a word they cannot read help them sound it out. Not by each letter but by each sound (also called phoneme). The sounds that make up the word that can be represented by more than one letter e.g. sh, th and ng. So ‘shark’ would be sh-ar-k.
Some words cannot be easily sounded out and are often known as ‘tricky words’. They often appear in children’s reading books because they are common words which children need to know and they will very quickly learn to read them by sight rather than sounding them out. When you come across an unknown ‘tricky word’, sound out the parts that can be sounded out and then model saying the ‘tricky bit.’ So, ‘said’ would be ‘s’- ‘ai’ says e (that’s a tricky bit) - ‘d’.
Be a reading role-model.
If your child sees that you value books and reading then they will want to emulate you!
Open their eyes to the reading environment.
Children will learn to read by reading everything around them, not just reading books. When you are out and about talk about number plates, road signs, menus. It all helps.
Don’t push it!
Your child should be reading books with 90% accuracy (9 out of 10 words read correctly) in order to get the most from them. Reading scheme books are carefully levelled books so that children can read enough of the words to be able to enjoy the book without getting so frustrated that they lose interest and give up.
Do what works for your child.
Some children love reading and that is enough to get them going, whilst others are more reluctant and may need rewarding for what they consider to be ‘hard work.’ Read together, alternate pages, alternate sentences, share the reading load so that your child engages happily. You do not have to read the same book again and again until they can read it perfectly. If it isn’t working MOVE ON!