At Shotton Hall Primary School we aim to foster a love of books and reading through creating a reading culture that starts with reading books and texts for pleasure.
In EYFS, we aim to foster positive attitudes towards reading and writing from the moment young children join our setting. We regularly share stories and rhymes, both familiar and new ones, and encourage the children to join in with them. We plan fun and exciting activities around stories we have heard such as role play and creative work. The children are provided with opportunities to share different types of books and to retell stories with their friends. We also encourage children to bring favourites stories and books from home, often related to our work in school.
Activities related to phonics are undertaken regularly both indoors and outdoors. We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme throughout Early Years. We begin by encouraging the children to tune into sounds around them and to differentiate sounds they hear. We play lots of fun games such as sound lotto and I spy. We say rhymes together and talk about words that rhyme. We also ‘sound talk’ words so we can hear the different sounds that make up a word.
Letter sounds are usually introduced during the Reception year. We cover four sounds a week and children are provided with activities to carry out at home. Lots of time is taken to practise our phonic skills of blending (when reading) and segmenting (when spelling). We also practise the correct formation of letters, using the formation ‘patter’ to help us. Tricky Words (words which we cannot blend) are introduced regularly and are on display in the setting to support writing and reading activities.
The children practise reading and writing regularly during our daily phonics sessions and during guided reading and writing activities. We aim to nurture confidence and independence when reading and writing throughout the Reception year. We work together with parents to give guidance with helping their children to develop literacy skills. The support children receive from home is vitally important.
In KS1, children experience a range of different texts including narrative, traditional tales and fairy stories, non-fiction and poetry. We have created our own school reading spine to ensure all children have access to a range of high quality texts.
Phonics in Year 1 is taught daily using the DfE Letters and Sounds programme. Children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. These phonemes include those made by just one letter and those that are made by two or more. As the children grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound, eg ‘ee’ can be represented as ‘ee’, ‘ea’, ‘e-e’, ‘e’. The teaching of phonics is of high priority to all teachers as it enables pupils to decode for reading and encode for spelling.
Children in Year One are tested on their phonic knowledge in a national screening check. We will support your child in the lead up to this test. Should you have any queries about this Year One staff will be happy to discuss this with you.
In Years One and Two, children take part in group reading sessions several times per week. They also develop their reading comprehension skills by completing seven book journals every year. Book journals are a collection of challenging and enjoyable activities linked to a particular text.
In KS1, children have access to a wide range of books which they can take home. This way, children can also read at home with their parents. Children are provided with a reading diary, and we ask that this is signed by parents at least three times per week. We are very grateful for the ongoing parental support which helps children to make good progress with their reading.
In Key Stage 2, we aim to equip children with the necessary skills and strategies needed to become confident and fluent readers. We use high quality books to develop reading skills through whole class shared reading of texts, smaller group reciprocal reading, book journals and the allocation of individual reading books suited to each child’s reading needs.
To encourage a love of reading, a range of exciting texts have been selected for use within the English lesson. Where appropriate, these texts will be linked to the class’s topic and will encompass a wide range of genres and authors. We have created our own school reading spine to ensure that, when they leave our school, children will have accessed a broad and inspiring range of texts.
In KS2, three hours curriculum time per week is dedicated to the explicit teaching of reading comprehension skills. Children also have reading books which they can take home and change them when they need to. This way, children can also read at home with their parents. We ask that reading diaries are signed at least three times per week by parents. We are very grateful for the ongoing parental support which helps children to make good progress with their reading.
Following assessment, identified children may also attend reading interventions. For children who may be struggling to decode, these will be delivered using Lexia or Toe by Toe. Those who require support with comprehension will access extra reciprocal reading sessions. These sessions will take place outside of the timetabled English lessons.
Introducing Collins Big Cat Reading Scheme
In Autumn 2021, we will be replacing our home reading texts with Collins Big Cat books. The Collins Big Cat Reading Scheme gives children from EYFS to Y6 access to colourful, engaging and inspiring texts. All books are carefully levelled, this ensures children will be given books that are perfectly matched to their reading ability. The texts are developed and written by award-winning authors and supported by beautiful illustrations and stunning photography. Teachers will also use Collins texts in Guided Reading sessions in school. We have purchased over 3000 new books, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. This has been a significant investment for our school.
Please also visit our curriculum page for more information on our English curriculum and texts the children will be reading this year.