Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we are putting as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
We start by teaching phonics to the children as early as our Pre-School. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. Children learn ways of remembering these sounds and letters.
Children also practise reading and spelling what we call ‘red words’, such as ‘said’, ‘have’, ‘once’, and ‘where’. They practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘red words’ they know. They soon start to think that they can read and this builds their confidence. Teachers read to the children too, so they get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books, modelling intonation and expression as well as promoting a life long love of books. They learn many more words this way which then helps their writing.
Children’s reading books are assessed and levelled using Oxford Reading Tree Assessments, along with teacher knowledge of the child and the national Curriculum 2104 objectives.
Reading Expectations at Home
Pre-School - Sharing stories together, promoting a love for stories
YR - Reading – 5-10 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the text
Y1 - Reading – 10-15 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the text
Y2 - Reading – 10-15 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)
Y3 - Reading – 15-20 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)
Y4 - Reading – 15-20 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)
Y5 - Reading – 20 minutes, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)
Y6 - Reading – 20 minutes +, 5 x week with an adult, including discussion about the comprehension and inference of the text (see suggested questioning)
Comprehension and Inference
All children from Year 2-6 also take part in comprehension and inference lessons where they are taught the wider skills of reading with the support of a teacher. They are given the opportunity to look at texts in more depth and practise a range of reading skills to support their development.
At Early Years and Key Stage One, their understanding of text is developed orally through open ended questioning. From Year 2 upwards, lessons become more formal, teaching children how to back up their thinking with evidence from the text.
We focus on developing four main types of questions:
CLOSED - A closed question implies that there is a predetermined ‘correct’ response in mind;
OPEN - An open question permits a range of responses;
LITERAL - Literal questions are concerned with the recall of facts or simple comprehension where the answer is clearly stated in the text;
HIGHER ORDER - Higher order questions make progressive cognitive demand on children. They encourage children to think beyond the literal. The effective use of higher order questions enables you to assess children’s understanding and thinking (inference).
In order to assist your child to make progress in the understanding of the texts they read, you may use the following questions to prompt discussion when reading with them 1:1.
Can your child find evidence directly from the story to answer your questions?
The answer is right there in the text.
What did……… do?
Who did……… do it to
How many……… were/are there?
Can you tell me what this word/bit means?
What kind of ……… is that?
Can your child think and search for the answer? The answers are found in different parts of the story and they might have to apply prior knowledge or personal experience to an answer.
How do you make/do……?
What happened when……… did………?
What happened to………?
What do you think might happen next OR what happened before?
How many times…
What examples can you find?
Where did this happen?
Where was…… when this was happening?
Can your child answer questions without referring to the story? The answer is not in the story, it is your child’s opinion and thoughts.
Have you ever…
If you could…
If you were going to…
In your opinion…
Do you agree with………? Why?
Do you know anyone who………?
How do you feel about……?