At Suffolks, we understand the importance of reading as a life skill and the associated future prospects of being a literate adult. By the time they leave primary school, we want our children to develop a love and enjoyment of reading, which is underpinned by specific reading strategies and models to develop higher order comprehension.
We have created a reading pathway which outlines the different stages that our children will move through on their journey to becoming a confident, independent reader. There are 5 stages to our pathway. Reading is taught every day for 45 minutes across the school. Children are regularly assessed to see which stage of the pathway they should be working on, regardless of what year group they are in. This ensures that children are taught according to their reading needs rather than their year group needs.
Children listen to stories and poems read to them as well as enjoy rhymes and songs together. They develop their language by using and understanding introduced vocabulary. Repetition of keywords and phrases support the children's language development. Children take home a reading for pleasure book. This is for parents to share with their child in order to develop a love of reading. Additionally, a wordless book will also be sent home which will be used for oral story telling.
Stage 2 and 3 (phonics and early comprehension)
At Stage 2 and 3 the main focus is the teaching of phonics. We use the accredited Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics programme to teach the 44+ phonemes that the children need to know before they move onto Stage 4 of the pathway. The reading lesson is split into 2 sections: phonics and group reading. The children have the opportunity to apply their phonic skills in class and at home by reading fully decodable books that match the sounds that they know. There is also a focus on developing early comprehension as we realise the importance of teaching the children to understand what they read as well as decoding.
Stage 4 and 5 (Developing comprehension and competency
At stage 4 and 5 the main focus of our reading lessons is the development of the many strands that are needed to ensure that children become confident and skilled readers. Lessons across the week focus on deconstructing a text, with a strong focus on understanding key vocabulary and phrases. Children are also taught how to answer different question types (domains) by focussing on the skills needed to answer these questions. A wide range of diverse texts and genres are used which reflect our multicultural community. Texts are also used that link to other areas of the curriculum that the children are learning about. Children on Stage 4 and 5 use the Accelerated Reader programme as their home reading book.
As one of our 4 curriculum drivers we feel it is vital for children to develop a breadth and depth of vocabulary during all reading sessions. From Nursery to Year 6 children are given the opportunity to focus on the learning of new vocabulary. Visualisation, paired talk, thinking aloud and role play support the children in developing a deeper understanding of new words. With a developing vocabulary the children become more proficient readers.
Accelerated Reader Programme
AR is part of the Renaissance Reading software package adopted by the school to encourage and improve reading, measure growth of the individual reader and to provide quality reading for all. It allows for personalised learning targets to be set up and for progress to be easily monitored.
Your child will choose a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. When finished, they will take a short quiz on the computer. Passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood the book. The AR books chosen by your child will provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed.
Reading at Home
Reading together for 10 minutes a day can make all the difference. Children at Stage 2 and 3 will be given a book to take home from our banded phonetically decodable text scheme to read. At Stage 4 and 5, children are encouraged to make free choices of books based on their own interests from the library (linked to the Accelerated Reader programme)
At Suffolks, we have a well stocked library filled with a range of engaging books to help promote a love of reading. Children are able to select books from a wide range of genres and cultures and can take them home to share with their families. The library is also for a variety of other purposes such as 'read to me sessions' research and a quiet space for children to use at lunchtimes.