Reading and phonics
We encourage children to learn to read for enjoyment and for information.
Reading is taught through synthetic phonics using Letters and Sounds as a basis for planning, whole word recognition and reading for meaning. It is taught systematically in response to ongoing assessment and individual need. A phonological approach to reading is implemented throughout the school. A variety of books to read for pleasure and information are provided in classrooms and in our School Library. There are reading activities in every class, every day.
Our book bands
We teach reading through a ‘banded’ reading system which is made up of a number of different reading schemes e.g. Oxford Reading Tree and Big Cat Phonics. Different levels of books are banded in a particular colour. Children begin by reading books in the pink band and progress through the book bands, building on their reading experience until they have acquired the essential skills to be a secure reader. Books in the early colour bands have few words and are often phonically decodable.
At first children learn:
- that print conveys meaning, through a variety of structured reading schemes;
- the phonetic aspects of English;
- to read a wide variety of materials;
- to love reading through the enjoyment of sharing.
As the children progress through the colour bands, the texts become more challenging and the children become more confident and fluent in their reading. We ensure that children experience a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. We encourage children to reflect on their reading and express their reading preferences. Children experience a variety of books and characters, including fiction and non-fiction as they develop their reading preferences.
As children develop as readers they will:
- become capable of reading for meaning and making informed guesses based on visual, contextual and phonic clues;
- learn how to make inferences and deductions and develop an understanding of the structure of texts;
- be taught to reflect upon what they read, justifying their reactions by reference to the text;
- respond to books in terms of ideas, as well as such things as character and plot;
- develop the skills needed to retrieve information from texts by identifying key points;
- develop an awareness about the differences between fact and fiction.
Teachers will make decisions about when children move to the next book band level as a result of their ongoing assessments.
Every class has daily Sustained, Quiet Uninterrupted Reading Time (SQUIRT). We promote the importance of reading through our Star Reader initiative. Any child can become a Star Reader by reading at least six times a week at home. We encourage children and parents to record and respond to their reading through the child’s Reading Record Book.
If you would like to ask a question about reading, please speak to Mrs Gilmore, our English coordinator.