Reading & Phonics
We believe that learning to read is every child’s right. Being able to read is such a fundamental part of a child’s development in all areas of learning that regular practice, reading across the curriculum and reading for pleasure are all-important parts of daily school life at Harrington Hill. In 2016, we were selected to be a ‘Destination Reader’ hub school, meaning we regularly share our great reading practice with other Hackney schools and host reading conferences.
Reading in Year 1
In Year 1, we teach daily phonics lessons to help children segment, blend and decode to read words accurately. We use the Read Write Inc phonics programme by Ruth Miskin to achieve this. We also teach daily guided reading sessions which run separately to phonics lessons. In guided reading we have a much larger focus on the child’s understanding of what they read and we use sentence stems to help children voice their ideas. Each day, the adult led groups focus on a key area of the Year 1 reading curriculum whilst the independent groups complete follow up activities linking to the same curriculum area. This helps children to embed the skill. We are very lucky to have Mrs Prior leding on early reading provision at Harrington Hill so if parents would like any support or advice regarding reading and phonics with their child, please do let us know.
Visits to Clapton Library
This year, we have built a link with Clapton Library, enabling each class to visit the library once every half term. Nursery to Year 1 take part in a story time with the library staff whilst Year 2 – Year 6 browse the library’s extensive selection of books and choose a book to bring back to school. The children (and staff!) talk about how much they enjoy this experience and it certainly facilitates rich discussion about books back in the classroom.
Reading in Year 2 – Year 6
Across Y2 – 6 at Harrington Hill, we teach daily 45 minute reading lessons that follow a fantastic reading program called ‘Destination Reader.’ Destination Reader is an approach to teaching reading, which can be applied to all texts. Its main focus is on:
- Key reading strategies, which support comprehension.
- Learning behaviours, which support pupil talk.
We explore and unpick extracts of text together using our focus reading strategy. Then, pupils practice the same strategy in partners with a different piece of text. Our children do lots of reading and talking through their ideas about books with their reading partners.
On Fridays, we answer questions about a text, using our reading strategies to help us.
The 7 key reading strategies that we teach are as follows:
- Making links
You can find copies of the sentence stems for each strategy, which are used by the children in lessons, uploaded to this webpage. The learning behaviours enable pupils to engage with a text in pairs or groups and use the strategies to help them unpick and understand the text in a meaningful way. You can also find examples here of the language we expect pupils to use when sharing their ideas with each other in reading.
Furthermore, at Harrington Hill, we are always striving to promote reading for pleasure. Books are there for us to enjoy and we want our pupils to develop their own reading preferences and a general love of reading. Overall, our aim is to develop our students in to able readers who have the skills they need to read independently by the time they leave us and who read books because they love to. If we can achieve that, we know we’ll have made a holistic difference to their life-long learning.
This year, some of our Year 5 pupils have been trained up as reading assistants. Every lunchtime, the reading assistants visit their reading buddy in Year 3 to support them with their reading. The pupils know what an important role this is and the Year 3 pupils involved in the program look forward to their session each day. Take a look at these photos to see the reading assistants in action!