“The value of English in the curriculum? What can I say? Without English, nothing. And without good English, nothing very well”. Anne Fine, Author
At Stoke Bishop Primary school we believe that every child is entitled to high quality learning opportunities which enable them to develop their reading and writing skills in order to become independent and imaginative individuals. Children leave us with a love of English, they are confident, literate and ready for the challenges ahead.
Reading is promoted throughout the school and children are encouraged to borrow books from the school library in order to read for pleasure, knowledge and interest. Resources are drawn from classic and contemporary fiction, including literature from other cultures and from a wide range of relevant non-fiction books. Phonics is taught using a systematic synthetic curriculum throughout Early Years and Key Stage One. The children read phonic matched reading books to further support this development.
When children arrive at our school in Reception they are initially given lilac word less books. These are to support the children in book skills such as turning the page and telling the story. They are then given phonic-matched reading books to support early reading, namely decoding the words. Once they have reached a confident level they will move onto the coloured book boxes. These go from pink to white.
Once the children finish white level they move onto the “Rainbow Library” which has 4 levels within it; emerald, hazel, graphite, indigo. These are all real books which have been levelled to ensure an appropriate reading challenge. When the children become free-readers they can access the school’s main library for their reading books.
Throughout their reading journey they can all access the library for books to share with adults and for pleasure.
Monitoring and Progression
The skill of reading is paramount to your child’s development as is fostering a love of reading at home and at school. To ensure this is at the centre of our curriculum and home-school partnership we expect your child to read at least 5 times a week at home.
We are exploring ways to offer support to parents around decoding, comprehension, reluctant readers and book recommendations. However due to current restrictions we are unable to offer this in school at the moment, but are hoping to offer something online.
Supporting reading in school
We would really appreciate your free time to support us by hearing readers in school. We hope to have at least two adult readers for every class this year. Please note that due to present COVID19 restrictions you would be assigned to a particular class within the bubble until we have guidance otherwise. Please contact us if you are available during the week, even if its only half an hour!
Reading Guidance for Parents
What is Reading Comprehension?
Reading comprehension is the ability to understand what is being read. Children must be able to read the words in the text and combine it with what they already know to “think” about what the author is trying to say. Reading comprehension is NOT just finding answers in the text. Children must be able to interact with the text, think deeper, analyse, predict and be able to summarize what is written.
How can I help my child with reading comprehension?
- Fluency- Can they read the text with goo accuracy and fluency, if it is too hard and too slow they will not be able to read with understanding.
- Identifying unknown words- Before reading, look through the book and find words that your child may not know the meaning. Talk about the words with your child– discuss the meaning of the word and give examples. For example, “I was looking through the book and found this word, ‘ecstatic’. Ecstatic means very, very happy and excited. I was ecstatic when…. Can you think of a time when you were ecstatic?”
- Make a connection- Before reading a story with your child, look at the cover. Read the title and look at the picture if there is one. Talk about what you already know about the topic and try to make a connection with what your child already knows. For example, before reading a book on “Desert Animals”, you can talk about what your child already knows about the desert and animals that live in different areas. Activating this “prior knowledge” helps with reading comprehension.
- Text to self connection– While reading, help your child make connections with the text. When you ask your child a questions such as “how would you feel if that happened to you?” or “does this part of the story remind you of our vacation on the beach?” you are having your child make a “text-to-self” connection”.
- Make Predictions– Encourage your child to make predictions while reading. (“What do you think will happen next?” “Let’s keep reading and see”).
- Inferential questions, often starting with Why? And How?
Stay away from yes/no questions. Questions such as “Why do you think the boy was afraid?” is preferable to “Was the boy afraid?”
- Think aloud– Model what good readers do when they don’t understand what they are reading. “Think-aloud”, or verbalize, what you are doing. For example, “I’m not quite sure I what this means, I’m going to go back and re-read this part.”
- Summarize- During and after reading, have your child retell or summarize the text.
- Visualisation- Encourage your child to “make a movie in his/her head” while reading. This strategy is known as mental imagery and helps with reading comprehension. If reading a chapter book with limited pictures on the pages, stop periodically in the story and share with your child how you are picturing the scene and ask him/her to share with you.