Mr Moss is our English Leader
What is our approach to reading?
Reading is the gateway to all other subjects. Reading is often seen as no more than a set of skills, which if taught systematically, will lead to independent readers. However, this is not the case. Children need to balance the skills of being a reader with the will to read. We use as many opportunities as possible to promote the love of reading, such as:
Children being read to daily by an adult. This will mainly be within lessons, through use of high-quality class fiction texts but also includes non-fiction, poetry, and other wider-reading sources throughout the day. Children are also read a class novel either in the morning or end of the school day.
Children being actively involved in choosing books from the library. Within each classroom teachers create a reading corner, which children can free read from throughout the week. Our children are selected in groups to choose books from our library and refresh our classroom book corners, to create ownership in the books they get to read.
Children being given the opportunity to free read. Children are given daily reading time in which they can bring their own books, select from the reading corner or library, and read to themselves. These are books which the children can return to throughout the week at school and discuss with their peers.
Teachers explicitly teach learners:
- Knowledge of the alphabetic code (the letter-sound correspondences)
- The skill of blending sounds in order, all through a word to read it
- The skill of segmenting words into sounds, all-through a word to spell it
- The skill of letter formation leading to handwriting
These key elements are the essence of phonics, but they are heavily interlinked with vocabulary knowledge. Further phonics information can be found on the phonics tab from our curriculum page.
Readers need to be able to use a range of skills to understand what they have read. These skills are taught explicitly through whole class and guided reading (including modelling the reading process and close examination of the text) and articulated by the children when discussing what they have understood. The primary skill to become a fluent reader is phonics, however from EYFS onwards children will also be using comprehension skills taught through our 'reading monsters.'
Our reading monsters are used as a creative and visual tool to teach:
- Retrieval: Identifying and finding information in a text.
- Interpret: Infer and predict using evidence from a text.
- Choice: Understand choice of language and the impact on the reader.
- Explain: Work out the meaning of words, within its context.
- Review: Express understanding of structure within a text and express personal opinions.
- Performance: Using intonation, tone and expression informed by clues in the text.
The above skills broadly correlate to the STA reading domains, with which the teachers assess the children's reading during 1:1 sessions.
Children need to read independently every day to build reading fluency so home reading books are matched to the children's reading level so that they can build their reading stamina without decoding being a barrier. This includes books matched to their phonic stage in KS1.