Reading

Reading

 

One of the greatest gifts that we can give a child is the ability to read. We encourage our children to read every day at home as regular reading ensures the best possible chance that that children will become fluent and confident readers. We recently undertook ( 22nd October 2021) a whole staff early reading training day (25 places ) which we found inspiring and refreshing. 

 

 We believe that reading should be an enjoyable activity and our approach to reading here at St George's  is based on this. 

We employ a variety of techniques to foster a 'love' of reading. 

We have a school Library Club, in school library sessions with a dedicated team of  librarians , curriculum linked whole class readers and shared reading texts, guided reading texts which are either quality texts which ensure a breadth and depth of reading or which are linked to the curriculum so that children read to learn, reading logs,  comprehension activities which are chosen on the same rationale as our Guided Reading texts,  a well-stocked and continually renewed reading scheme, Little Wandle daily phonics , daily in class reading from our Pie Corbett Reading Spine collection, a Golden Ticket Scheme to reward home reading , a Teachers' Book Club, a Poetry Step, World Book Day fun every year, visiting authors, Skype chats with authors and a healthy Twitter account regularly used to promote reading and well followed by the Twitter community. 

 

We update our Reading Scheme on a regular basis. We have opted for a mixed scheme in the past our of choice in order to offer variety however, recently we have invested in Big Cat Collins texts to provide consistency between the move from guided reading within phonics and reading from the wider school scheme. We have chosen Big Cat Collins for its quality texts and its suitability to the needs of our cohort. We have updated every Book Band across the Reading Scheme this year and we have invested heavily in Real Books from Badger Publishing within the scheme to keep interest high taking our inspiration from our Lunch Bunch pupil recommendations and our pupil interviews . 

We have an online reading resource called Bug Club to which every child has access. This has a read to me function to support any families who may find it hard to read with their children. Bug Club allows us to track pupil reading and progress and was invaluable as a reading resource during Lockdown. We now also Big Cat on line for youngest readers in order to further support phonics. 

 

We have a new school library system called Libresoft to ensure that children have experience of a real library where they can borrow and return books. This is a digital system which can also track children's reading. This system can track readers and reading habits across the school . Mrs Earp opens the library at lunchtimes and a Library Club meets every week . Reading Ambassadors who attend Library Club regularly drop into classes to take reading sessions with younger children or perform on the Poetry Step or take part in competitions . The Reading Ambassadors lead the way with book recommendations and help to restock and keep the library up and running. 

We have recently updated our Phonics and Reading Policies as a result of making the change from Read Write Inc phonics to Little Wandle.

We have managed to transition between Read Write Inc and Little Wandle to ensure that those children who historically had been taught Read Write Inc synthetic phonics continue to use the strategies and skills that they are familiar with to allow them to continue to make progress . We have Read Write Inc support groups in Classes Two to Four to support children who need to continually review and revise their phonological skills to allow them to become confident readers . 

To allow the smooth transition from our synthetic phonics schemes to independent reading , we have recently invested in Guided Reading texts and teaching resources from Orange and Turquoise Band though to Brown Band . Children transitioning to independent reading are guided in this process through taking home guided texts as home readers . We have found that this approach has raised confidence especially among our EAL pupils and also in response to the Impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic. 
We use Go Facts and Badger Guided Reading resources from Class 2 through to Class 4. 

In order to inspire our eldest readers , we have recently invested in a Black Band . These books are for our most competent readers and have been chosen to be content appropriate for primary aged pupils whist providing challenge . 

 

The staff have recently created a new St George's Curriculum and reading opportunities have been embedded and signalled within the new plans.  

There is a Reading File in each classroom where teaching staff can easily access data and record information about a child’s reading. We have catch up programmes for children who may need extra phonics support and we hear priority readers. We have intervention programmes to ensure children are taught the skills they need on a one to one basis to enable our most vulnerable pupils to keep up. 
We monitor reading though Bug Club scrutinies, Reading Log checks , half termly reading comprehension checks , single word reading checks , whole class and guided reading teacher assessment , one to one reading checks ( miscue ) and end of term and end of year reading checks . Reading progress is recorded on Pupil Tracker and is reviewed at Pupil Progress Meetings . As a staff we ‘Book Look Reading Logs and Guided Reading books . We conduct pupil interviews alongside the ‘Book Look ‘ process . The Literacy Coordinator had access to all pupils’ Bug Club accounts and the Libresoft Data base . 
We have recently invested in a phonics tracking tool so that phonics can also be tracked electronically . 

 

We run clubs and events to encourage and inspire our able readers. This year we have a Debating Club , A Play Reading Club and  our online Library Club Page . 

We have a continually updated read of display in a prominent place in the lunch hall where new reads are promoted regularly. 

We subscribe to Resources for Learning so that we can have access to regular fresh supplies of both fiction and non fiction texts in our classrooms.  

We reach out to parents through our social media accounts with regular support for reading and with the best  advice on reading and authors.  

We invite parents in to reading events.  

We have regular visits from Taunton Library and we take our children to the library to inspire them to join with their families.

The Wider Curriculum and Reading

 

We fully support and promote both reading for pleasure and to gain knowledge. Every day, each class either reads or is read to: this is to foster the love of reading and its use as a tool for learning. We have invested in the Pie Corbett Story Spine to ensure that well chosen texts are read aloud in each class though the school. Our aim is to build a rich 'internal library' for our children. 

 

In addition to daily phonics children in Key Stage One receive guided reading sessions through the week with an adult. These are planned to develop basic skills of prediction, sequencing, retrieval, and inference and understanding vocabulary. Little Wandle and Read Write Inc schemes incorporate phonics teaching with these reading skills though guided reading . 
We have recently invested in Little Wandle Big Cat Collins home reading books and Read Write Inc home reading texts so that books sent home have either been read in school or will be phonetically matched to sounds taught in school. We have had very positive feedback from parents on the quality of these texts and the impact that this approach has been having on pupils and their reading . All of the Read Write Inc and Little Wandle reading books are stored in the Key Stage One library . 

 

Children take home books linked to their phonic progress or shared texts that have been covered in class through shared story time or guided reading so that they feel confident as readers when they take home a reading book to share at home. 

In Reception , shared stories are regularly taken home . Children are encouraged to see themselves at story tellers though the Reception Class Helicopter Stories project .

 

This year , Class One has been sending home as many traditional tales as a shared story at home as possible to build our children’s internal story bank. We have also bought a whole class set of The Large Family books as a home reading project. 

In Class Two shared books for home link to topic wherever possible to encourage the link between home and school to support our families . Guided Reading texts and activities are often shared on Google Docs with this end in mind . 

 

As the children transition into Key Stage Two , the focus shifts towards reading for meaning although attention is still paid to fluency and decoding. The skills of prediction, retrieval, inference and understanding vocabulary are progressed . To build on the skills previously mentioned, the children will also learn how to summarise texts, connect ideas, make comparisons and discuss how language choices contribute to the meaning of a given text. As a school we linger over vocabulary whenever possible and we immerse the children in a vocabulary rich environment. We link reading and writing to displays and topics where possible and we use labelling and talk whenever we can . 

 

All of the above skills are  taught in discrete reading lessons, which are where possible linked to topic themes and English writing units (Literacy and Language) to immerse children in a variety of genre and content. We believe this approach gives children the opportunity to deepen their understanding of not only the skills required for reading, but also the knowledge of a topic or genre. We also believe that reading within a familiar topic raises confidence and allows children to focus on higher order reading skills .We have been looking into a new scheme recently entitled Read to Write which we hope will further link reading to writing across our curriculum . 

 

We use Head Start Materials for comprehension along with Deepening Understanding, Twinkl  and the questions related to the  texts in the Literacy and Language Scheme. We use a variety of sources for whole class guided reading  and comprehension in order to provide breadth and to allow us to match topic content. Many of these reading resources allow for differentiation. We have a school wide approach to whole class guided reading to ensure consistency. 
Guided Reading is taught as a mixture of whole class and group guided sessions though the year . 

 

Teachers alternate whole class guided reading with text extracts with the guided reading of whole texts from 'real' books within each class's guided reading selection. These selections have been created to offer a breadth of reading material and to allow for reading within topic. Across both Key Stages there are banded guided reading sets (Go Facts and book banded Badger Guided Reading ) with Teacher Packs to guide questioning.

 

Where there are no published packs for guided reading texts , teachers  create specific questions for chosen guided reading texts according to the skills they want the children to learn. These questions will be guided by formative assessment. Children are asked to give verbal or written answers on these texts. Lots of time is spent lingering over vocabulary before a text is read. We subscribe to the belief that vocabulary is vital.  Staff members have received Vocabulary is Vital Training from the Somerset Literacy Network and we use the principles from this training.

 

Children are guided to choose independent reading books from our scheme and have opportunities to read one to one to an adult through the week. Priority readers are heard more frequently. Reading Logs are checked in class weekly and by the Literacy coordinator at intervals through the year. Rewards are given in celebration assemblies for regular readers through our Golden Ticket scheme.  The appropriateness of scheme books are checked on a regular basis and children are moved through the scheme by staff according to need and as a result of ongoing assessment. 

 

St George’s subscribes to Resources for Learning, where we benefit from a speciallised library service. Each class has access to a wide range of books across a variety of genres  ( non-fiction, fiction and poetry ) . Boxes of books can be ordered to refresh class libraries or as topic book boxes so that children can be given the opportunity to read to learn.

 

We fully encourage home-school links. We promote home reading through social media and through our GDocs platform.

 

We endeavour to provide additional enrichment opportunities to promote the love of reading and storytelling. We celebrate and participate in World Book Day, we order Reading Gazebos for the children to explore and we run an annual book fayre for all children.

 

In addition, we relish opportunities to take part in National Read Aloud Days, Shakespeare week and the SLN Poetry Slam. We have hosted our own Poetry Slam in the past.  We invite in touring authors to inspire our children and have Skype interviews with authors. We have in the past had pen pals and reading buddies from other schools – before Lockdown  we were paired with Lyngford Park and we hope to reignite this partnership.

 

We have historically been a part of the Taunton a Reading Town hub group. We hope to restart this initiative very soon . We invite experts in to give talks to parents on the value of reading. We invite Taunton Library in to encourage the children to sign up to The Summer Reading Challenge. We have extreme reading events and internal reading competitions. We visit the town library. We celebrate the work of Shakespeare each year with Shakespeare Week.

 

In addition to our strong links with primary schools, we undertake extensive transition work. In the past , Year 7 pupils have 'buddy read' with Year 6 pupils. One teacher from a secondary came to teach a reading lesson and brought brand new texts for the children to keep and read over the summer in readiness for the first English topic of the new term. Our Black Band project hopes to support this and we have plans to take our Class Six pupils into the community this summer as Reading Ambassors in our local area reading to the elderly and to the very young .