At Holy Family School, reading is promoted as an intrinsic part of teaching and learning; it forms a pivotal part of our curriculum. Teaching children reading skills and supporting them to become resilient readers is essential to their success. Reading provides the foundation to be able to access the full breadth of the curriculum and is a key life skill. As well as this, and equally important, reading can develop imagination, creativity and curiosity; it can open up new ideas and concepts and all kinds of new worlds.
At Holy Family the children’s reading diet is jam-packed including daily guided reading lessons, visits to the library, daily class book, independent reading time, reading with the head teacher, Book Week, book buddies, reading volunteers and performances. Children are rewarded for their reading at home with Dojos, and a choice of their own book every time they reach a multiple of 100 nights reading.
In EYFS we want our children to be excited by books and stories, to ask questions and become intrigued and to be confident with decoding, segmenting and blending. Children will be able to demonstrate that they have secured the phonemes in phases 1-3. They will demonstrate the ability to read and understand simple sentences by using their phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. Reading activities are set in in a carousel during these phonic lessons. One of these activities is always sharing a book that includes the new sound learnt that day from the reading scheme.
By the end of KS1 we want our children to be fluent readers – confident with strategies to use if they are stuck and to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the text through comprehension questions. At the end of KS2 (and beyond) we want children to be developing a life-long passion for reading and see the benefits that this can bring. Children will be confident entering the next stage of their learning journey armed with a range of strategies to understand the text and its impact on them.
In Years Two to Six the children take part in whole class reading for 30 minutes every day. Every week the children are exposed to a variety of text styles covering fiction, non-fiction and poetry throughout the week. Their comprehension skills are then built upon using VIPERS questions. In Year One, guided reading is organised slightly differently due to the emphasis on decoding and blending. Their lessons are based on the same VIPERS principles but organised into small groups and carousel activities.
Phonics and spelling
Enhanced by the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to begin to develop fluency by the end of EYFS and become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. Teaching is tailored to the children’s need through high quality teaching and timely, rigorous assessment in order to match learning to enable continuous, speedy progress.
At Holy Family, the teaching of daily phonics in KS1 and teaching of spelling rules and patterns in KS2 is given a high priority. Our children’s journey to becoming fluent readers is bolstered through the provision of home reading books that are matched to their reading ability. This provision is school-wide to ensure that all children access reading books that are appropriate to their reading ages and abilities, whether these books are phonetically matched or allocated using their reading and comprehension age.