Leven Valley School promotes reading as an enjoyable activity and it is always a key focus with strong links developed between home and school. Children achieve very well in reading and obviously enjoy books.
Each class has a selection of books appropriate for the ages and abilities of the class. The school library has a broad selection of non-fiction books aimed at all ages and used to support topic work and children’s own interests. We use the County Library Service to provide excellent sets of ‘topic boxes’. The Library bus calls each term and pupils are involved in choosing books for their classroom.
Teachers ensure that opportunities are made for pupils to read and enjoy books in a quiet environment, where they can get absorbed in a book of their own choice. Classrooms 1 and 2 have pleasant reading areas with a broad range of attractive books available. Class 3 has access to the adjoining library area where they can sit comfortably with a book.
Phonics: is taught as the first approach to decoding text. In Class 1 (4 - 7 years) Phonics is taught daily for around 20 minutes. Children are taught in groups according to which ‘Phase’ of the Letters and Sounds Programme they are working at. To ensure that reading is learnt as a meaningful activity we teach phonics alongside spelling and writing and of course reading! Children continue with phase 6 of the Letters and Sounds programme at Key Stage 2 with provision made for children who need further phonic work (Life boats/ individual support.)
When learning synthetic phonics it is important to demonstrate how to pronounce the sounds of the English Phonic Code correctly by clipping them - as shown in the video below.
In all classes English teaching includes:
Listening and responding: the Class Teacher will read books from all genres poetry/fiction/non-fiction to the children and may share a class novel over a period of time. Books which are read aloud are usually more difficult than the child could read independently in order to immerse them in more complex literature and vocabulary.
Shared reading: reading is modelled and shared reading a large book or onscreen text with the children.
Guided reading: children read multiple copies of the same text in a group of similar ability, in the early stages the teacher provides support for small groups of readers as they learn to use various reading strategies (context clues, letter and sound relationships, word structure, and so forth. Guided reading offers excellent opportunities to really study a book and work on the comprehension and exploration of language and literary techniques and this becomes the focus as reading develops.
Individual reading: in Class 1 children are given carefully graded books (from a selection of reading schemes and some ‘real books’). The books are colour coded and children might refer to ‘being on the grey box’, for example. These books are kept in a book bag and sent between home and school each day with a notebook for parents, teachers and adult helpers to make comments. Parents are asked to listen to their child read every day and this support from home is of huge benefit to the children and the majority of families play an important role here. At school the Class Teacher, Teaching Assistant and Volunteers will listen to individual children read and swap their books as often as possible. As it is very time consuming, priority is given to readers at the earlier stages of reading development and this support will continue throughout Classes 2 and 3 for those who will benefit from it.
Quiet Reading: children read books of their own choice or from a selection available to them. They may read in pairs or share books with an adult. In the early years children are encouraged to choose books as one of their self-planned activities. Children are encouraged to get engrossed in books and to share this with others.
Comprehension and book study: as part of English lessons children are taught to analyse texts, to research and answer questions about them. They will have opportunities to do comprehension activities, write reviews, use books as a starting point for their own writing and to read to enhance their knowledge and learning as well as for enjoyment.
An information leaflet with good advice and golden rules about how to help your child start reading from Hamilton Trust.
Some good advice and golden rules about how to help your child keep reading from Hamilton Trust.