Learning to read
At Leven Valley, we aim for every child to learn to read as soon as they can and to develop a real lifelong love of reading. We use phonics as the primary approach to decoding text, but work with each child on an individual basis to support them in finding the strategies and techniques that work best for them, on their journey to becoming a happy and confident reader.
Direct teaching of phonics takes place every day for all children in Class 1, from the start of the Reception Year. The school follows a systematic synthetic phonics programme and children are taught within groups according to the phase of phonics that they are working on. Children in Class 2 and 3 who require further support in learning to read and write will continue to use a phonics-based approach, alongside other reading and spelling intervention strategies.
We hold a phonics information session for parents each year, in order to help you support your child in learning to read and write.
Some good advice and golden rules about how to help your child keep reading from Hamilton Trust
It is crucial that children have a good understanding of what they are reading, so reading is not taught in isolation, but alongside other language-building activities, including speaking, listening, drama and role-play.
During English lessons, children build directly upon their language comprehension skills. They are taught to develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by discussing and expressing views upon a broad range of text types. They are given lots of opportunities to practise the skills of retrieving and recording information, predicting what might happen next and inferring meaning from the text.
Each class has a selection of books appropriate for the ages and abilities within the class, which is regularly updated with new and engaging texts that will capture the interest of the children. The school library has a broad selection of non-fiction books aimed at all ages and this can be used to support topic work and allow children to undertake independent and guided research. In addition to this, we receive excellent sets of topic books, linked to each class’s theme every term, from the county’s library service. The library bus visits school twice a year and gives children the opportunity to choose their own books to add to the class’s collection. Special events, such as World Book Day, help to develop a culture in which reading is celebrated and enjoyed across the school.