‘Teaching children to become confident and competent readers is surely the most
important thing that primary school teachers do; it quite literally changes lives.’-
We know that books and stories provide our children with the background knowledge and vocabulary they need in order to access the curriculum. Cognitive Science tells us that the more we know about something the more we are able to understand new information related to that topic. Without foundational knowledge, we cannot reason or problem-solve. These are skills which are extremely important to our children, to ensure they are able to compete nationally with their peers.
Our reading offer at Springfield is delivered through three key areas;
• Teaching Reading; This is delivered through high-quality phonic lessons and the use of engaging and stimulating reading books which are closely matched to the children’s phonic knowledge. At Springfield we use SoundsWrite Phonics Programme, which is a proven successful scheme to deliver high quality phonics to our learners, also incorporating excellent CPD materials. The majority of staff are trained to deliver this programme. This builds to the development of reading fluency and comprehension.
Reading is explicitly taught through four day whole-class reading lessons where children are taught to deepen their understanding and interrogate high quality and specially selected texts. There are also opportunities for regular one-to-one reading sessions where AFL takes place to monitor children’s next steps in their Reading.
- Cross-curricular Reading within the wider curriculum
- Reading for pleasure
Our school library is well stocked with high-quality texts. Leaders spend time ensuring that the library provides access to a wide and varied range of literature, including classics such as The Secret Garden. We know this is crucial to informing and shaping our children’s knowledge and understanding of language and we want to ensure that our children are exposed to high order language when reading.
All children are provided with a levelled Reading book. We ensure that texts are phonetically decodable for pupils and matched to their reading age. We predominantly use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme at Springfield. Children also take a library book home at least once a week, to read alone, or with a parent/ guardian. We see this as a very important part of our Reading offer as it encourages both parental engagement and reading for pleasure.
Another important aspect of our Reading for Pleasure offer is the daily class novel and timetabled Reading time every afternoon. We believe that sharing books and reading aloud is vital. It enables all learners to become part of our community of readers whilst being exposed to language and stories they may not be able to access independently. We also recognise that reading aloud to children provides them with an excellent model of reading skills such as expression and how to make a text come alive.
We know that most of our children see us as their prime role models when it comes to Reading. Pupil Voice tells us that reading is not always readily seen in the home. It is therefore up to staff to make recommendations, introduce new authors, genres and broaden the range of what the children would normally read. Children are actively encouraged to talk to staff, and each other, about what they are currently reading. Recommendations are key to developing literary tastes and preferences; the foundations of Reading for Pleasure.
At Springfield, we have reading ambassadors and librarians. These are enthusiastic readers themselves who lead by example and promote a reading culture within school; listening to children read, recommending books and taking responsibility for the running of the school library. We also encourage children to complete our Reading scrapbooks each class to share their Reading enjoyment and recommendations with their peers.