Reading has a high profile at Simonside Primary School. It is at the core of everything we do.
It is the key to effective learning. Children are encouraged to appreciate books, to read independently, to make good progress and to take immense pleasure in reading. We aim to foster skills which will remain with the children for life.
We aspire to support our children to become language rich. We believe that this can be best achieved through reading widely and reading ambitiously.
Reading For Enjoyment
We strongly promote and encourage reading for pleasure as an element of English at Simonside. It’s key to developing that love of reading which inspires children to explore, learn and grow, integrating ideas for themselves.
Children throughout the school are encouraged to enjoy reading and are provided with opportunities to hear a wide range of stories and to interact with texts, both fiction, non- fiction, film, poetry, and internet based. In all classes, teachers read aloud with children on a daily basis. The school has drawn up a core canon of works/texts that are used in Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2, shared with our children and read for pleasure and enjoyment.
In all classes a reading area is set up with the interests and needs of the children in mind. Children work alongside staff to choose books to enhance reading areas on a termly basis.
Early Reading in Reception
In the Reception classes, we encourage ‘book talk’. The children learn to handle books, they talk constantly about what’s happening and they begin to recognise a few key words. All this is happening alongside the Letters and Sounds phonics programme so that, when the children are learning letters and sounds, they can always apply these skills to the books they are reading. Therefore, you will see a story book and a phonics reading book go home in the children’s book bags.
Early Reading in Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2)
In Year 1 and Year 2, as well as the teaching of phonics, there continues to be a focus on reading for enjoyment with an additional focus on comprehension.
‘Guided Reading’ takes place in classes daily, where children will have an opportunity to read individually or in a small group with an adult. We use books linked to the phases that the children are working at in the Letters and Sounds programme.
We add to this stock of books regularly so that children can experience many different types of texts. Each group works at least once a week with the teacher and once a week with a teaching assistant.
Additional Support with Reading in Key Stage 1
We have a support structure in place to give further help to children, if needed. All Year 1 and Year 2 teaching assistants have been trained in boosting individual readers to ensure all children are provided with the help they need to get off to a good start in reading.
Reading in Key Stage 2 (Years 3 - 6)
We are happy to see most children are reading fluently by the time they enter Key Stage 2. Our task now is to make sure the children’s understanding of the text is keeping up with their ability to read fluently. They progress from using books linked to the phases that the children are working at in the Letters and Sounds phonics programme to ‘banded’ books which are carefully graded to move the readers quickly, using one small step at a time.
The teaching team ask highly focused questions that challenge children's ideas.
In fiction, we will be developing the children’s ability to infer, deduce and to speculate on the reasons for authors' character, setting and plot choices. We will be using new texts as an opportunity to grow a rich spoken vocabulary.
We will use non-fiction texts to deepen the children’s understanding of topic work across the curriculum. We are seeking to ensure children appreciate reading helps them to understand the world around them. Again, we aim to use reading as a tool to increase the children’s vocabulary across every subject area.
Guided reading continues in Key Stage 2. Most children are taught guided reading in a whole class lesson but some also continue to complete guided reading in small groups.
Additional Support for Reading in Key Stage 2
Reading interventions become increasingly specialised as the children move up the school, often tailored to the individual needs of each child. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator or the SEND Teaching Assistant are on hand to advise teaching teams as needed.
Hints and Tips
For how to support your child to make good progress with reading
We are ever keen to involve parents/carers and families in the children’s reading journey. We invite parents/carers to a ‘Books and Biscuits’ session every other Friday afternoon in Foundation Stage and Key Stage one and half-termly in Key Stage Two. This is a session to promote reading for pleasure and to provide time for parents/carers to share books together. Reading Tips are shared with parents/carers on alternate Fridays by a ‘yellow letter’.