Learning to read is one of the most important things that your child will learn to do at Scissett CE Academy. As a school, we are striving to develop a culture for reading. We want our children to develop a love for reading a range of books, including fiction and non-fiction, but also have the knowledge of a range of amazing authors and their writing style. We are continuously updating the books within school to ensure children are reading books by up and coming authors, but also traditional books that still entice children, such as The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
At Scissett CE Academy we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.
At Scissett CE Academy, we teach reading in both direct and indirect ways, developing a reading culture throughout school. We follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Children are expected to read on various occasions, in a range of lessons to ensure that they are consistently applying the skills of fluency, inference and comprehension. We use Reading Records to record frequency and notes to help practice which every child should bring to and from school.
Within Early Years and Key Stage One, reading is promoted through the daily teaching of phonics. At Scissett CE Academy we use the DfE approved Phonic Scheme ELS. For more information on the teaching of phonics please see the separate Phonics section. As children travel through their phonic journey they will be provided with phonetic decodable books which suit their phonetic ability. The schemes used to match this phonic approach will include; Hero Academy, Alien Adventures and Traditional Tales, some of these are non-fiction texts.
To supplement this phonic approach each child will also receive a deepening read text. This text will be from a different range of schemes, some of which are phonically matched and others of which have been picked to extend vocabulary and comprehension skills. Teachers will help children and guide them through the colour banded series of books according to their specific needs. Children also take part in daily guided reading sessions. Within these sessions, children read in groups with adults, concentrating on phonetic ability, comprehension and vocabulary. When children are not reading, they are completing tasks which relate again to their phonics or comprehension based on the text they are reading. We also ensure children know the importance of looking after books and reading materials and recognise they can be used for different purposes. Children will regularly read one-to-one with an adult in their class. This regular practice ensures that children make a good and rapid progress. Reading books are sent home to be practised and the regular use of these ensures children achieve the age appropriate expectation.
In Key Stage 2, reading is planned into Book Study Sessions and reading lessons. We use VIPERS to help learn about the different reading strategies we need. Children within Key Stage 2 progress through the book bands within school, until becoming 'free readers'. As a free reader children will be guided into picking age appropriate challenging texts whilst building up a knowledge of authors and a love of reading.
How do we foster a love of Reading?
Reading Areas - Each of our classrooms has an inviting reading area with a range of reading materials available. Children will be encouraged to help organise these areas and will share opinions and recommendations for others. Books will be arranged in different ways and quality texts will be selected to be promoted and shared.
Our School Library - We have recently relocated our School Library into the Harper Room. Our School Librarian, Mrs A Jewitt, will organise her team of Year 5 librarians and the library will be open to all Year Groups from Year 2 to Year 5, allowing borrowing and sharing of both fiction and non-fiction books. They will also be organising competitions and activities for pupils to take part in.
Reading Challenge - Each Year Group has set a Reading Challenge. There are a variety of different reading tasks to complete, one a week, which give children a chance to read and explore different types of tests and genres. Awards of bronze, silver and gold can be attained throughout the year, for those who the challenge on.
Reading Buddies - Each year our Year 5 children are trained to be Reading Buddies. Their role is to work alongside our children in our Reception Class and to support and excite them with reading and a range of stimulating books.
Our Year 5s always look forward to this challenge and enjoy being great role models.
Reading Volunteers - We are extremely fortunate at Scissett to have an amazing group of volunteers come into school to help children practice their reading regularly. We know that regular practice is needed for best progress, so our volunteers will support and work alongside targeted children to ensure they made the best progress possible.
Book Study - In classes, especially KS2, we study books in depth, characters and writing techniques. The books we rear are carefully chosen so that we meet different authors and genres. We take part in lots of conversations about what we are reading and we often compare to other books we know.
Teacher Read Alouds - All our classes have times when our teachers read aloud to classes as Hearing texts which can sometimes add an extra understanding or enjoyment for pupils This can be a time for pupils to really work on their imagination or thinking skills.
Real Life Authors - For the past couple of years, we have been organising events where different classes meet real life authors. We have taken part in a range of workshops and have met and had talks from authors such as Sir Lenny Henry, Dermot O'Leary and Dame Floella Benjamin.
The sharing of their inspirations and techniques will hopefully allow our authors to see the possibilities they could achieve.
We try to organise one of these events each term.
Raffle Ticket Reading - As a new initiative this year, we are encouraging our home/school reading links. For every full page completed in their Home/School Reading Record a child will receive a raffle ticket which will be entered into our half termly draw. Three winners will be picked and will receive a special prize. We hope to see this encourage reading habits at home which we know are so important.
Dedicated Outdoor Reading Areas - Something we are keen to develop this year are safe, quiet reading areas which children can use and access at lunchtime. This will allow children the chance to relax and disappear into a good book when they would like to.
World Book Day and Book Fair - Each year we take part in World Book Day. Every two years we dress up as our favourite characters. Every year we take part in lots of different activities and quizzes. We also have a Book Fair visit us once a year where we get the chance to buy some of the new and exciting titles that we might have heard of or have had recommended to us.
Our Reading Journey
As a school we have created a reading pathway of texts to be read and shared in each year group. We have selected these texts to enrich the curriculum and reading experiences, ensuring a range of genres and authors, themes and structures are met throughout the child's reading journey with us.
This reading journey is reviewed each year and class teachers will select from the pathway to fit the needs and interests of the class they have.
We work hard to ensure our Christian Values and diversity can link to many of the texts discussed.
Our Reading Scheme
We have made a significant investment in the reading schemes that match our new phonic scheme. As a school we also use a colour banding system for the children to progress through from Reception to Year 5, this includes a variety of texts both fiction, non-fiction, poetry and playscript. This is regularly updated to ensure children's interest is maintained through the series of colour bands. At our school children are moved between bands when they are ready to be moved. Here at Scissett reading is progressive. This is so that our children develop their reading skills to become fluent readers with a good understanding of the text and are able to infer and take into account a range of punctuation.
At Scissett we want our children to become fluent readers who can read with clear understanding, intonation and expression. We want them to clearly understand the vocabulary, the context it is used within and the author's intention of impact on the reader. However, we also want them to develop a love for reading; one that excites them into reading a range of fiction and non-fiction books by authors that will become known to them throughout their primary experience. Children will enter Key Stage 2 from Key Stage 1 being able to use a range of strategies for decoding, relying on phonetic knowledge and other strategies. They will also be able to read for knowledge to extend their understanding of all subjects within the curriculum and communicate their research on a wider scale. We will assess phonics and reading skills regularly, both with formative and summative approaches. Where needed, intervention will occur to keep children on track.
What can parents do to help at home?
Within the first half term of starting Reception, you will be invited to a meeting so that we can explain how we teach reading at Scissett Academy and show you the resources and books that we use. During the meeting, there will be lots of suggestions on how you can help your child to read. Your support really does get your child off to a flying start and encourages them to make great progress!
You can help your child sound out the letters in words and then to 'blend' the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds.
Make reading fun! Remember to keep reading with your child. It's great to share a book! They will come across far more adventurous words than they will in their early reading books and you will be helping them grow a vast vocabulary and develop a deeper understanding of different stories. It will also encourage them to develop a love for reading and want to read more; if a child sees or hears an adult reading they are inspired by them. Reading alongside children of any reading ability can be a great way to show importance of reading and promote discussion.
Another great way to help children practise reading skills is to put subtitles on when watching television or films. This is a proven technique for increasing reading fluency and expertise, whilst enjoying another medium.
Here are some useful links to websites and documents to support reading at home: