At Lady Elizabeth Hastings Primary School, children learn to read using a variety of carefully selected reading books. Children progress through stages, choosing books independently from within bands as they become more confident readers.
Foundation Stage / Key Stage 1
In 2015, we invested heavily in a new reading scheme for the younger children in school. Within this scheme, there is a huge variety of fiction and non-fiction texts for the children to choose from that appeal to the interests of all emergent and developing readers.
Linked to the reading book scheme is an online Bug Club that children can access from home. This initiative provides children with online books that mirror the ones that they access in school. Children receive an individual log-in, and staff then monitor and track the children’s online progress.
The children receive two books a week to take home. One is chosen by the child to promote reading for pleasure - some of the titles include popular characters, like Ben 10 - and the other is a book that is carefully selected for them by the teacher. This book is pitched at a challenging level and mirrors the text that they are reading in school. All books are directly linked to the taught graphemes and red words that the children have been learning in the classroom setting.
Children receive at least one guided reading session per week that focuses on blending, sight reading and comprehension.
Within the Ark, carefully designed reading corners are set up in each classroom. These are split into genres and are regularly accessed and explored by the children.
We also have inspiring ‘author of the month’ celebrations and engage in shared reading as a class.
Reading is taught alongside the Read, Write, Inc phonics programme.
Key Stage 2
In Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, the children self-select a reading book from colour banded books. Amongst the schemes that are currently used are books from Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Rising Stars, Rigby, Collins Big Cats and Tree Tops. We have also colour banded our own schemes in order to replenish stock and give the children a wide range of texts to choose from. All bands have a selection of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. There is always plenty of choice to help children to explore their own reading tastes and books are carefully levelled to build children’s confidence, fluency and stamina.
In addition to this, children receive at least one guided reading session per week with their teacher. These sessions concentrate on information retrieval, inference and deduction, lay-out and purpose of text and author’s language choices. For the guided reading sessions, Rigby Navigator and other levelled guided reading books are used, covering a wide range of genres. We have also recently purchased sets of classic texts that link with our new curriculum. These include;-
101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian, Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz, Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, Holes by Louis Sacher, Alone on a Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo, Call of the Wild by Jack London, The Silver Sword by Ian Seraillier and Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner.
The children also continue to be supported with their use of phonics and spelling patterns as they move into Key Stage 2 through. Statutory word lists are used to ensure that children’s spelling of words is accurate.
Children have access to the school library and a local mobile library to supplement their reading. We also take advantage of the School Library Service that is run by Leeds Library. Each half term, we choose topic boxes of books that relate to the curriculum for each class.
We encourage children 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 increase their vocabulary by encountering words they would rarely hear or use in every day speech. Reading also feeds children’s imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. We encourage children at all ages to ‘Get lost in a good book!’
There is an expectation that children read at least four times a week to an adult at home.
Even when children are confident and fluent readers, it is important that this continues so that they can develop higher level comprehension skills, learn the meaning of ambitious vocabulary and begin to apply their understanding of punctuation and grammar when reading aloud to an audience. There is an emphasis in the New Curriculum for 2014 on spoken language.
In The Ark, a ‘Four Times a Reader’ competition is run. Every child that reads aloud to an adult 4x a week is entered into a weekly draw. The winner of the draw wins a book.
A similar initiative runs alongside this in KS2. Each time a child reads aloud to an adult at home, they place a sticker on a chart. Once they have reached ten stickers, they will be presented with a certificate. They will continue to get a certificate for every ten milestone that they reach. Once they have read one hundred times at home, they will receive a book prize.