We love reading at Norfolk! Teaching a child to read is vital. We use a range of strategies, in addition to phonics, such as a variety of decoding methods, teaching high frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and book study to develop inference. We understand that reading is the key skill that unlocks all other learning and life opportunities.
Children are taught the very basics of reading at a very early age – you are never too young to enjoy a good story, and even our two year olds have books, toys, teddies. puppets and puzzles that will help them to love stories and language. Our nursery children are also taught to recognise sounds in words and around them through games, songs and rhymes.
Alongside the phonics teaching we encourage children to love stories, books, authors, poetry and plays. We have lots of ways that parents and children can borrow books and story sacks to share at home. We have a beautiful library which children can visit, as well as lovely books in the classroom for them to read. We have had plenty of writers visiting our school, people such as “The Two Steves,” David Harmer, Paul Cookson and Berlie Doherty have talked to the children about their work, and have inspired children to have a go at writing themselves. We have strong links with our local library and we take children to the library as well as promoting their events, in particular the annual Summer Reading campaign.
Each half term, classes have a focus novel that they study through drama, role-play, text analysis and writing in role. This is often linked to the topic that the class are learning about. Alongside this, the class will have daily story sessions, as well as opportunities to explore related fiction, non-fiction and poetry that further supports the whole class text. We have a dedicated library space within school and teachers also use the Sheffield School Library Service to ensure that their classroom libraries are reflecting their class's interests.
Children are encouraged to read at home through our “Five a Week” campaign. We want children to read at home at least five times a week to help them become good readers who enjoy a wide range of books.
Opportunities for reading
Pupils read regularly in all areas of the curriculum and in every part of the school day through:
Reading in KS1
At the start of Year 1, teachers and/or teaching assistants listen to children read individually once per week.
These reading sessions focus on each child’s reading target (word reading and/or comprehension). Teachers make notes on individual running records, including children’s next steps. During these sessions, staff ensure that the children are reading the correct level books and identify and work on their next step targets. Over the course of the year, children build up to starting guided reading groups.
In Year 2, guided reading takes place five times per week. Teachers record these sessions on the Record sheets which are kept in the class reading folder. Each session focuses on a word reading or a comprehension objective from the National Curriculum. At the end of the session, teachers record whether each child has met the objective or is working toward the objective as well as any specific comments.
In Year 2 class teachers and teaching assistants regularly listen to children read individually.
Records of individual reading are kept in the class reading folder. During these sessions, staff ensure that the children are reading the correct level books and identify and work on their next step targets.
In KS1 children follow the reading scheme. They are given books from the scheme to take home to read. Children are also able to choose a book that interests them to read at home. Class teachers monitor how often children read at home and support any children who are not regularly reading.
Reading in KS2
In KS2, reading has a whole class approach and is taught discretely for half an hour five times per week. Each week, a text is chosen and focused on in every lesson. This text is revisited each day to develop children's fluency and competency with the text. Then across the week, different objectives are taught: vocabulary, prediction, inference, summarising and comprehension questions. At the end of the week, the children apply their reading skills to a new text. The majority of reading sessions are taught through the Power of Reading text currently being used in English. Where appropriate, teachers use other texts to ensure that children are exposed to a wide variety of topics and genres, including non-fiction and poetry.
Children complete their reading records / homework diaries when they have read at home. We encourage all of the children to read at home for 20 minutes, five times a week.
Reading for pleasure
At Norfolk Community Primary School we are continuing our drive to encourage more children to read for pleasure. Research shows a positive link between reading frequency and enjoyment and educational attainment. Furthermore, reading for pleasure has positive emotional and social benefits, improves text comprehension and grammar skills and increases general knowledge. We have many initiatives that will be taking place in school over this academic year to encourage reading for pleasure.
Our key principles for developing reading for pleasure are:
Developing an ethos and an environment that excites, enthuses, inspires and values
High quality texts with depth and interest in story, character, illustration, vocabulary, structure and subject matter
A read aloud programme
Teachers who are knowledgeable about children’s literature
Creating a community of readers with opportunities to share responses and opinions
Planning for talking about books and stories, providing structures within which to do this
Understanding the importance of illustration in reading both in terms of creating a text and responding to a text
Using drama and role play to help children to understand and access texts
Working with authors and author/illustrators to understand the process of creating books
Using literature beyond the literacy lesson – cross-curricular planning with quality literature as the starting point
If your child is finding it difficult to know what they want to read, here are some ideas:
We greatly appreciate all the support you give in supporting and encouraging your children to read at home and we are looking forward to an exciting year full of reading ahead!
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