Reading at Eastling Primary School
We aim to foster children who are enthusiastic, fluent and responsive readers who can learn and gain pleasure from the written word. We aim to provide pupils with opportunities to interrelate, consolidate and reinforce these skills within a broad and balanced curriculum.
At the forefront of our reading curriculum is our ‘reading for pleasure’ agenda, where we strive to provide experiences that encourage children to be intrinsically motivated to read, through ensuring they experience the rewards that reading practices bring.
Our broad and balanced curriculum ensures that teaching of reading is tailored to the children, with a clear understanding of the skills needed to be a successful reader and how these develop during each term and year. Teachers are clear of the barriers to learning to read and are forensic in identifying these in individual pupils and groups and they use a range of strategies to overcome these, including careful deployment of skilled adults. They also recognise the importance of ‘reading miles’ and plenty of opportunity for children to read independently is incorporated into the daily class timetable.
When teaching reading, teachers focus on the two dimensions: Word Reading and Comprehension (both listening and reading). As stated in the 2014 National Curriculum, it is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each. Teachers recognise that skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words.
Phonics is taught systematically using ‘Letters and Sounds’, and a focus on combining phonic skills with other skills for reading words is taught and encouraged in a range of contexts and across the curriculum.
Teachers recognise that good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, clear teacher modelling of effective comprehension strategies, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.
All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds (2014 National Curriculum).
Environments that encourage a reading for pleasure culture is promoted throughout our school and prescribed reading spaces such as libraries and book areas are well stocked and up to date with books that are class appropriate (in age, difficulty, interests or topics etc). Children are given ample opportunity to spend time in these spaces, allowing them to choose and discuss the books that they are selecting and reading.
Children are given the opportunity to borrow books:
- One book may be chosen by the class teacher in collaboration with the child, and this book goes home to read with an adult. These books are banded according to ‘Book Bands’ and reading levels.
- A second book is selected by the child also as a reading for pleasure book.
- Home Reading Diaries are given to each child to record what they have read each night and an adult signature should be recorded in the diary every time as evidence the child has read to an adult.
We ensure we pay close attention to the following aspects of reading:
- Word recognition
- Using strategies when reading texts
- Language, reading comprehension and enjoyment