OFSTED 2013: “The school has a strong focus on improving children’s reading skills. As a result, attainment in reading is improving throughout the school.”
Learning to read is the most essential of the basic skills that need to be acquired during the Primary School years. The ability to read enables children to decode and understand written messages in and beyond school, to access the wider curriculum, to experience and enjoy a wealth of literature, and through experiencing stories, poetry and drama, non-fiction, visual, multi-media and multi-modal texts, to discover for themselves - a world of ideas and experiences.
The stated aims of the school’s reading policy are:
* To enable every child to develop as confident, independent readers through appropriate focus on letters, sounds, words, sentence and whole text-level knowledge, understanding and skills
* To encourage children to become enthusiastic readers through a whole school emphasis on the value and enjoyment of reading
* To facilitate accurate, imaginative, creative, reflective and critical responses to challenging, varied, high quality texts.
Environment and Resources
A love of books and reading is encouraged across the school through:
A focus on favourite authors
A wide range of reading material including dual language texts, audio books and kindles
Book Corner, Reception Class
OFSTED 2013: “The ‘Reading Corner’ in each of the classrooms promotes pupils’ enjoyment of reading.”
Winners, favourite character, Book Week
Story time, reading aloud, class novels, book / reading weeks, library visits, story assemblies and engaging lessons are regular features of school life that further encourage children to enjoy books and to read for pleasure.
We have invested in a wide range of reading resources to support the teaching of reading across the school. Newly purchased home readers include a mix of real books and publishers’ schemes (Big Cat, Rigby Star, PM). Whilst we have no particular reading scheme all books are all Reading Recovery levelled which is a more finely graded levelling than book banding and allows the level of challenge to be very accurately pitched.
Guided reading is very well resourced with all sets of books matched to Book Bands in Key Stage 1, and to reading levels in Key Stage 2. All classrooms have dictionaries and class libraries and the school library are well stocked with a range of fiction and non-fiction books with appeal to our different groups of readers. Stocks include for example multi-cultural, bi-lingual and graphic novels. Whole and half class sets of books are regularly purchased and used to support learning. Half class sets of Evolve books cover all fiction and poetry genres for each year group and further sets of books have been purchased this year to link specifically into topic. Topic boxes in classrooms contain non-fiction books exploring a theme. Extracts from other high quality texts are also displayed eg on Interactive board. McGraw Hill reading boxes support the development of reading comprehension. Access to the Internet is also available in the classroom, via the Smartboard and class sets of laptops. ICT / Interactive boards support the teaching of phonics and reading. Kindles have been purchased to engage reluctant readers.
At Christ Church, we value parents’ involvement in their children’s reading. All children are expected to read regularly at home and bring their book into school every day. Reading records are given to all children to track daily reading at home. Across the school, we aim to establish a productive dialogue with parents in all reading diaries.
Workshops are regularly held by class teachers and the Deputy Head Teacher to help parents support their children in reading. Parents are encouraged to develop their own skills in hearing children read, undertake training (eg Better Reading Partners) and volunteer in school.
We have very good links with Oldbury library. Children in all classes make regular visits to the library which is a short walk away. Library staff occasionally lead assemblies for example introducing the Summer Book Challenge. Events at the library were attended this Summer by children who participated in our Holiday Club in July.