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. We are determined that every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.
Early Years Foundation Stage
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 Little Wandle phonics programme. We begin by encouraging the children to tune into sounds around them and to differentiate sounds they hear. We play lots of fun games linked to our phonics learning. 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 introduced early during the Autumn Term of Reception. We cover four sounds a week and children are provided with activities to consolidate this new learning. 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.
Key Stage 1
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 continues to be taught daily using the Little Wandle 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 several 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 Big Cat colour banded 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.
Key Stage 2
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 topics 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, an average of three hours of curriculum time per week is dedicated to the explicit teaching of reading comprehension skills. Children also have colour banded 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.
Please also visit our curriculum page for more information on our English curriculum and texts the children will be reading this year.