Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
'All pupils must be 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 also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.'
National Curriculum 2014
Reading At Home - Parent Booklets 1 and 2
Reading aloud is a key part of the Power of Reading and also reflects our wider commitment at St. Joseph's to reading aloud to our children every day.
Reading aloud enables all children to access quality texts but it also enables the teacher to model expressive and fluent reading to the children.
Our guided reading approach is informed by extensive research into comprehension strategy instruction, as recommended by the EEF.
The aims of the sessions are to engage with texts, respond to them, talk about them and developing deeper understanding (comprehension).
Once children have completed RWI Phonics, they take part in daily guided reading sessions.
During the sessions, we focus on developing the key comprehension strategies through careful modelling and supported practice.
The sessions utilise a wide variety of texts and seek to:
- Encourage critical and evaluative thinking through use of open prompts, questions and invitations
- Encourage reference to the text to support their thinking
- Build towards group dialogue
- Encourage personal responses from the children
- Enable children to support their opinions with evidence from the text and to change and adapt their ideas in response to others
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
― Emilie Buchwald
Key findings from the evidence include:
• Parental involvement in a child’s literacy has been reported as a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education (Flouri and Buchanan, 2004 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);
• Children whose home experiences promote the view that reading is a source of entertainment are likely to become intrinsically motivated to read (Baker, Serpell and Sonnenschein, 1995 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);
• Children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued (Baker and Scher, 2002 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006).
Reading Books Coming Home
Access to reading materials at the correct level is vital in setting children up to succeed in reading. Carefully matched reading books will be sent home for your children to read independently or read to you.
They will know all of the sounds used in the text because they match the sounds in the books they are being taught in class. This means they will be able to read the text with fluency and confidence – like a storyteller. They will enjoy reading to someone else or to themselves.
This does not mean the text is too easy for them – it means they are reading at the correct level. We do not send texts home the children cannot read because we always want them to be set up to succeed in their reading.
EYFS and KS1
Read Write Inc. Book Bag Book – This book will be changed on a Wednesday by their group teacher and is matched to your child’s RWI group. Please have this book in school every day.
Colour Banded Book (Collins Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree…) – This book is to share with your child and is an enrichment text designed to widen their reading experience. This book will be changed by their class teacher. Please have this book in school every day.
NB. In addition, your child in EYFS or KS1 may also have a school 'free reader' book that they have selected.
OXFORD BOOK BANDS OVERVIEW
Our Approach to Spelling
We use Read Write Inc. Spelling for Years 2-6 to meet the demanding spelling requirements of the National Curriculum and to build on the fantastic start our children make with Read Write Inc. Phonics. Reasons why we use this programme:
- Puts the complex requirements of the curriculum into snappy 15-minute lessons
- Makes spelling fun! Aliens from an exciting online spelling planet clearly introduce spelling rules and concepts
- Read Write Inc. Spelling Online includes an Extra Practice Zone including over 1,000 new activity screens for whole-class practice, focusing on the areas children often find challenging. A class login also enables or children to do the practice activities at home: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/
- Provides plenty of writing practice with a clear record of progress
- The emphasis is on teaching spelling, not simply testing spelling
- Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings.
- The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory.
How are children assessed?
Half-termly practice tests assess children’s spelling progress using the same format as the statutory assessments in England. Online tracking spreadsheets enable us to record and track individual children’s progress and identify units or concepts pupils might need to be retaught.
During the teaching activities each week, a number of assessment opportunities are also planned into the programme. The emphasis is on the importance of learning to spell, rather than being tested on spelling.
Extra Practice Zone
This booklet shows you how you can help your child practise and consolidate their spelling by using the Extra Practice Zone.
Writing Progress Wall
Displays work from each class and demonstrates progress in both fiction and non-fiction writing throughout our setting. Children, visitors and staff can instantly see the progress made.