Reading at East Wichel Primary School and Nursery
Reading is the single most important indicator of future success in all subjects. At East Wichel Primary School and Nursery we are passionate about ensuring that all the children read at age appropriate levels. We place great importance on reading therefore every lesson at East Wichel Primary School and Nursery incorporates reading. We strongly believe that reading unlocks many adventures for a child; develops knowledge of the world and allows a child to live many lives through escapism within a text.
Read Write Inc Phonics
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. The explicit teaching of phonics allows children to blend the sounds of letters together to help them decode unfamiliar or unknown words by sounding them out. The children who are on our Read Write Inc phonics program will be assessed regularly based on accuracy and fluency, and assigned a Read Write Inc colour text. Each child will receive a daily speed sound sessions at school and tailored phonics sessions for their ability. This lessons will be based around a ditty or Read Write Inc text. These texts will then go home to provide additional opportunities for children to re-read the text and over learn it to develop fluency.
Story time is an extremely important and treasured part of the school day for children in Early Years and Year 1. It is vital that from a young age children develop a positive attitude towards reading.
Story time provides children with the opportunity to broaden their vocabulary, identify with characters and make real-world connections. It also develops social skills among our youngest children. This upholds our school values of Love and Community as it is a time where all children gather together to listen intently to a story being read. At East Wichel we place great importance around children knowing traditional stories and fairy tales and story time is an opportunity for these well-known stories to be embedded as they are revisited throughout the year. As well as reading the story, teachers also use props to aid learning and these are then used in play base provision for children to have an opportunity to re-tell the story.
Book Talk is introduced to children from year 2- year 6. This is an opportunity for children to read a high quality chapter book appropriate to your child’s age. Each child has their own copy of the text and a book mark to track along. Every class has at least 6 Book Talk texts a year which are selected carefully in order to gain children’s interest, revisit prior learning, broaden their vocabulary and most importantly, support a child’s love for reading.
A Book Talk text that has been chosen well should make a child truly think and reflect. It is so powerful that it enables children to develop empathy and live many lives from their own classroom chair. Before the book is read each class teacher shares the BOOK HOOK which is a collection of real objects, maps and items from the novel to bring the story to life and deepen understanding.
There is also some pre-teaching of new vocabulary and knowledge needed to be able to understand the chapters that are being read that day or week. This enables every child to have an understanding before they read. And whilst the chapter book is being read the teacher will involve the children through time to think and visualize, choral response and asking questions to ensure understanding. On a Friday children will have written questions to complete surrounding the chapters they have read that week. These are questions based on retrieval and inference and after the children have completed the questions, they are marked together so children get the opportunity to tick or fix their work and see where maybe they have made mistakes so that they can learn from them and from each other.
Our Reading Areas
At East Wichel every classroom has a reading area that is used differently across the school but has well matched books for your children. For our youngest children these are areas where children will select a book and read within the inviting, comfortable area. Moving up the school these are areas for children to see a range of chapter books that are specifically selected to engage and entice children.
We are also fortunate to have an Early Years/KSI and a KS2 library placed in the central heart of school. These have high quality texts that we have chosen based on award winning literature books that we update annually. As well as this, we have deliberately selected books that link to our schools topics and sequels/ graphic novels of our Book Talk texts that promote a further love of reading. In addition, we have developed an Eco and Fairy Tale spine that runs throughout the school therefore both libraries have carefully titles to supplement and extend this too. Children are invited to get lost in the wonderful illustrations and magnificent stories to truly develop a love for reading.
Reading at home
In order to embed phonics knowledge and support your child, as well as reading at school, it is vital that the children have the opportunity to read at home. Initially, this will involve sharing books with an adult but as your child progresses through the school they should become more and more independent. If reading at home is to be effective, it should take place regularly and become a habit for life as children find their own love for reading. To further encourage this we have also developed a daily reading and reward system that recognises the pupils’ efforts.
Each day if children have read at home children will be rewarded with a House Point. Children’s reading diaries will be checked every morning in Early Morning task so please help remind children to have their diary open on their desk. If children have read more than 5 times a week (including the weekend) they will be rewarded with a bonus house point on Monday. In addition, when your child reaches the following milestones, they will be rewarded with special sticker/certificates as stated below.
- I have read 20 times- Class teacher sticker
- I have read 50 times- Key stage leader sticker
- I have read 100 times- A 100 reads certificate
- I have read 150 times- A Deputy head award sticker
The children who show real commitment and read on 250 days at home a year, will each receive a special Head Teachers award, certificate and a reading ambassadors badge in our celebration assembly
We recognise, of course, that there may be occasional days, when reading at home is not possible (please just record this in record books – e.g Beavers tonight) but we urge you to try keep these to a minimum.
Guidance for Early Years and Year 1
We ask that Adults share books with their children and have discussions surrounding the content, pictures, setting ect daily at home. We ask the children to share books at home each school day as well as once over the weekend. During the earlier stages of learning to read, we encourage the children to read the same text many times until their expression, confidence and fluency develops. We ask that details of the books they have read be written in their reading diary which we will check daily in school. Please be aware that a response is not always written in reading records due to time limitations. We ask that children always have their readings books in school with them alongside their reading record.
Guidance for Year 2, 3 and 4
We expect all children to read for at least 15 minutes every evening each school day, and once
at the weekend. We ask that an entry is made in the reading record each time your child reads. We like the children to comment on what they have read; they can explain what has happened, or comment on how they feel about an event or character. Or, they may read a word or phrase that they particularly like and think they could use in their own writing; they could jot this down in their reading record. One or two complete sentences is enough. We expect these classes to write their own entries (although this can, of course, be with the support of parents as we appreciate that recording after reading can sometimes be a chore for the younger children and can take some pleasure away from reading itself). Reading records are checked by a Teacher every day. Please be aware that a response is not always written in reading records due to time limitations. We ask that children always have their readings books in school with them alongside their reading record.
Guidance for Year 5 and 6
We encourage the children to read a wide range of different texts, both fiction and nonfiction and aim to ensure that children will leave primary school fully engaged in reading habitually for pleasure and for information to assist them with their work. We have introduced a Year 5 and Year 6 recommended reads (please see below) and the books have been carefully chosen for their excellence, their diversity, the variety of genres and including some non-fiction and poetry. The books are kept in the classrooms for home reading loan and a copy of the reads is in the childrens' reading record so they can tick them off.
We expect all children to read for at least 20 minutes every school day, and once over the weekend. After reading, we expect that children will write an entry (of at least 2 sentences) in response to what they have read. In order to challenge all readers at an appropriate level, child-specific instructions may be given from time to time to support their development. A Teacher will check the reading records daily. Please be aware that a response is not always written in reading records due to time limitations. We encourage the children to also read books from home, although we may suggest other titles if we feel more variety is needed! We ask that the children always have a reading book in their book bag – whether it is the one that they are reading at home or one that they are going to read in school.
At East Wichel Primary School and Nursery we purchase new books regularly, below are pictures of books we have purchased for September 2020.
We chose these books because we identified gaps within our curriculum or we noted areas we would like to further strengthen.These books include our school values, confidence building and empowerment, celebrating diversity, bereavement and ecological books that help children understand how to care for our planet.