Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will achieve at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as learning to read.
Teachers regularly read to the children, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. Children read from a variety of schemes which have been banded according to reading ability. Reception pupils begin with Lilac books which have no words and encourage discussion about pictures and the story as a whole. Pupils complete the scheme starting from Pink through to Burgundy and Black, by year 6. The teachers check the children’s reading skills regularly so that they can ensure the children have consolidated and developed their reading skills. Once this has been achieved, the children are progressed onto the next stage. Recently we have invested heavily in buying lots of new high quality reading books, to ensure the children have as good a selection of books as possible.
Children, from Year 1 upwards, take part in Guided Reading sessions as well as individual reading. Children are regularly assessed to ensure reading books are matched to their ability to read and comprehend. In Key Stage 2 we teach most of our English lessons through the Reading Approach which places high quality texts at the heart of the lesson.
How long will it take to learn to read well? Every child is different and children will learn to read at different speeds. By the end of Year 2, most children will be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 and beyond, we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on.
What can parents/carers do to help? Parents are a key part in the children’s ‘reading journey’. We encourage children to read at home on a daily basis. Please remember to record each time you read with your child at home so they can move up their classes reading track. (even if you read to your child, this can be recorded in the diary and used to move the child along the track). Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story. Make reading fun!
Remember to keep reading to your child. They will come across far more adventurous words than they will in their early reading books. You will be helping them to grow a vast vocabulary and understand the meaning of different stories etc. It will also encourage them to love books and want to read more!
We want every child to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly if your child is finding reading difficult. We can then look at if they need extra support to help them. We employ two highly trained reading teachers, one of whom who works with children in Key Stage 1, on Reading Recovery, the other works with groups of children across Key Stage 2.
Remember, all children are individual so some children take a little longer to learn to read.