Through the provision of a variety and range of contexts, opportunities and experiences for our children we endeavour to develop in each child a confidence in and an enjoyment of language, the ability to read fluently, listen attentively, speak in an articulate manner and communicate expressively, clearly and legibly in writing.
We recognise competence in language and literacy as being vital to so many aspects of learning both as a means of acquisition and as a means of communication and expression.
Teaching Reading at St Ignatius’ Catholic Primary School
Reading is a fundamental skill; without it, accessing many different areas of life becomes very difficult. Whether reading for learning or for pleasure, we believe in nurturing and encouraging children at every stage of their reading journey so that they are able to develop a passion for the written word.
Aims of teaching reading at our school:
- To provide a reading-rich learning environment that encourages children to read from Nursery to Class Five.
- Offer a range of books to children that interest and engage them.
- Work closely with parents, particularly in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, to develop each child’s reading skills.
- Teach children the skills needed to read for a variety of purposes.
- Choose resources and reading materials that engage pupils at all levels, linking to other areas of the curriculum where possible.
- Monitor assessment and progress in reading every half term to identify pupils who require additional support at an early stage and provide relevant interventions to help them.
- Encourage a determination to succeed, underpinned by the Catholic ethos of the school, through high expectations and challenging targets to allow every child to achieve their full reading potential.
Initially the children learn to read in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, by following a structured phonics programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’. The programme is delivered four times weekly, and consists of six phases. The children work progressively through each of the phases one to six. Phase six continues through Key Stage Two. Click here to visit the Letters and Sounds section of the DfE website and to see an overview of the content of each phase.
In EYFS and KS1 children are grouped for phonics sessions according to their current phase. The children’s progress in phonics is closely monitored and assessed every half term. At the end of Year 1, children have a National Phonics Screening Check, which assessed their progress in phonics.
Throughout school, we use a variety of teaching methods to appeal to different learning styles. Guided Reading (reading in a small group) and one to one reading sessions are used to develop children’s understanding and comprehension skills. Shared Reading allows teachers to model the reading skills that are required to enable the children to achieve highly. Discussion of features of different types of texts and trying to understand the purpose of a piece of writing is also one of the skills developed through these methods. Reading to the class for pleasure, using a book that appeals to their interests, is also something that we promote in school to help children to forge a passion for reading from an early age.
Throughout Key Stage One and Lower Key Stage Two, children follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme of books which they take home regularly as part of their homework.
As with all subjects, we believe that planning and delivering engaging lessons will inspire the children to participate and achieve. Choosing books linked to our current topics, help to bring other areas of the curriculum to life. Similarly, participating in events such as World Book Day and running a ‘book club’ as part of the EOCT Riveting Reads Book Awards, provides enjoyment for the children and gives them a purpose to strive to be the best reader they can be.
What you can do to help and support your child with developing their reading skills
As with any skill, regular practice is needed. We strongly encourage that children are reading at home as much as they can. Below are a few tips and suggestions that parents can use at home to develop their children’s reading skills:
- Listen to your child reading their homework book as regularly as possible
- Encourage your child to ‘sound out’ out the letter sounds as they have been taught in class and blend together to say the word.
- Talk about the book before, during and after reading it. Here are a couple of examples of types of questions to get children involved in their reading: What do you think is going to happen by looking at the pictures? What do you think will happen next? What did you enjoy about this book?
- Shared read with your child (read a section or page each) so that they hear pronunciation and intonation in the book.
- Many children enjoy a longer book that can be read over a few days; they will be keen to hear the next ‘instalment’ of the story!
- Enjoy reading together. Reading should be seen as an enjoyable treat never a chore.
- Always encourage and praise your child. Be patient if they are struggling – some children do find learning to read a challenge.
The following websites are useful for helping practise reading and phonics knowledge: