Reading is how we discover new things as well as developing the mind and our imagination. Reading aloud enables children to hear correct grammar and vocabulary and encourages them to use expression. Children who read well do better in all subjects throughout their school life.
At Forest Town Primary School we have used the Every Child a Reader principles to promote a reading culture and to encourage children to ‘learn to read so they can read to learn’. We are working hard to improve our teaching of reading and to reward reading so that children improve and develop a life-long love for reading and books.
Moving away from hearing readers to teaching reading
Staff will listen to children read as often as possible and will praise and prompt them to ensure that their reading moves on. Children read aloud, learn to listen to others read and develop their skills and comprehension strategies in weekly Guided Reading sessions. Every class also has regular ‘story time’ where the teacher reads a story to the children for pleasure, modelling good reading whilst also allowing children to develop their listen and attention skills and a love of stories.
Reading in the Classroom
All children, in every classroom, have access to a range of books, print and information. We encourage them to access books at every opportunity and our classrooms have dedicated book areas where children can choose and enjoy reading books.
All children from F2 to Year 6 have a school reading book which they take home to read and to be shared with adults at home wherever possible.
Our books have been sorted into coloured ‘book bands’ so that books can be chosen to match each child’s reading ability.
We encourage and reward our children for their reading at home through ‘Read for the Stars’.
Each time a child reads a home, their parent signs their reading booklet. After 60 reads, children can choose from a selection of books to take home and keep. Each week, the class which has accumulated the most reads, earns time in The Enchanted Forest (our library). They will also be involved in a special reward afternoon each term where they can choose different activities such as cooking, sport, crafts or another exciting activity.
They will also be in with a chance of winning an extra prize at the end of the year—last year we gave away a Kindle e-reader!
We recognise that some children struggle with reading and early aspects of literacy and we are committed to supporting these pupils in the most effective way possible.
As well as reading books and other reading material, it is important for children to learn to read from a computer screen and get used to using computers in different ways.
All children from F2 to Year 6 have a unique username and password to access more reading ‘e-books’ on the online primary reading scheme ‘Bug Club’.
The online reading scheme is safe, interesting and engages children in fun, screen-reading of books. Each book has been carefully chosen by your child’s teacher and is at an appropriate level to support their reading skills at home.
Promoting Reading Beyond the Classroom
We are always trying to provide more and more opportunities and reasons for reading for pleasure:
Read Every Friday
A weekly family reading session called ‘Read Every Friday’, where all children can come into school early every Friday and read with their grown-up. Our children love it – and so do the grown-ups! Join us every Friday at 8:35am – 8:50am in your child’s classroom.
Reading with Ruby the dog!
Every week, a few children in Key Stage 1 are chosen to read with Ruby, a gentle and beautiful dog who is provided to us by the Pets As Therapy programme. Ruby is a very good listener and the children are always excited to be reading to her.
We are so grateful that we have a dedicated team of parents who give up their time to come into school and support the reading skills of some of our most vulnerable pupils, giving them the extra practice they need to become confident, able readers.
Each year, we invite children and parents to bring a book to school which they have read but no longer want, so that they can swap it for a different book. Last year, 1/4 of the children in school swapped at least one book, with over 400 books being available to choose from!
If you would like to discuss any aspect of your child’s reading or would like to help us in school by listening to readers, then please see your child’s teacher or pop in and see Mrs Purchase, our Literacy Subject Leader.