Reading at Christ Church
“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.” Roald Dahl.
Reading in the Early Years
In the Early Years we provide a rich ‘Book’ experience, by giving endless opportunities to share books with adults. This develops a child’s enjoyment of books and other printed materials, teaches them how to handle books and gives reading a real purpose.
Together children can talk about stories or information, join in with familiar phrases and sing favourite rhymes, songs, and jingles. Also, they begin to make up stories of their own based on outdoor learning, role playing adventures.
From the beginning of EYFS we teach reading through a phonics approach, we used the validated Little Wandle Phonics Scheme (for further information please see the Phonics Page) which is a complete systematic, synthetic phonics programme providing all the necessary resources and ambitious learning journey to achieve outstanding results.
In reception, children learn to recognise 42 letter sounds (Graphemes), read CVC words (ship, cat, hat, shop etc) by blending letters together, recognise ‘tricky words, such as she, was, and learn letter names. They then move onto simple captions and sentences.
The children practice reading with a carefully matched decodable book at their level. Reading sessions occur 3 times a week to practice decoding, fluency and expression and reading for understanding. This book is then sent home to read with parents. A book to share is also chosen from the class library by the children to enjoy reading with their families at home.
Reading in Key Stage One
Reading in Key Stage one continues with Little Wandle Phonics where systematic, daily, discrete teaching takes place, with opportunities for children to practice and apply their skills in the context of reading. We recognise that reading for fluency is crucial, therefore by giving children opportunities to re-read familiar books, we build their confidence, and they begin to feel and read like real readers!
By the end of year 1, the Government require children to complete a phonics test and we do everything at Christ Church to ensure that the children are not worried about this test.
In Year 2, the focus, as the children become accurate decoders, is to continue to develop the skills to become fluent readers. The emphasis shifts to reading for pleasure and also reading to learn. This includes using smaller group and increasingly a Whole Class Reading approach .However, if children are not reading fluently, they will continue with phonics intervention and additional support with their reading.
Once fluent, Children move onto a colour banded home reader alongside choosing a book to enjoy and share.
Reading in Key Stage Two
In Key Stage Two the emphasis on reading for pleasure and increased fluency continues, with children reading less familiar and linger texts to build up reading stamina.
Our approach is to use Whole Class Reading which focuses on teaching the specific reading skills needed for reading to learn such as Inference, Retrieval etc alongside encountering ambitious vocabulary. Core texts are selected carefully by class teachers to ensure they are challenging but accessible and gibe the children the opportunity to explore a wide range of genre and authors.
To help choose appropriate books in Lower Key Stage One, the children will bring home a class readers as well as a book to enjoy from their class or Key Stage 2 Libraries. As the children become competent and confident, they are encouraged to choose a free reader as we believe this is where children start to develop a love of authors, subjects and genres of books. We carefully curate our selection of free readers to cater for all children and interests.
The children also access a range of high-quality texts during their English lessons. Each termly block of writing is based on a high-quality texts, sometimes linked to the class topic. Reading for pleasure is a key priority in our school and we ensure that every class has a book read to them by their teacher every day.
How can I help?
Children benefit hugely from exposure to books from an early age and finding books that fire your child’s imagination and interest is key. Remember that the most important thing you can do is read to and with your child. Encourage your child to read whatever they have a love of, as it develops their fluency and expression.
If you have any further queries about how we teach reading, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Hi there! We are currently enjoying reading our chosen book for the Lancashire Fantastic Book Awards (FBA). We are finding it very funny and very child-entertaining (even Mrs Rayner is chuckling along!). We have been making Monster Top Trumps based on the book and are looking forward to a live Zoom Q and A with the author, Gianna Pollero, in a few weeks time #exciting! Please do ask us about what we are reading as we love talking all things bookish!