Developing a love of reading is the single most powerful attribute that can make a difference to our children’s future success. Teaching our children to read is not enough – they must learn to enjoy it. With this in mind, our aim is to create a passionate reading community, which encourages our children to develop a love of reading and books.
At our school, we use a number of different strategies to promote a child’s love of books and encourage them to become confident, independent readers. Children are provided with many opportunities to read, enjoy and share books as well as being immersed in language rich environments with access to a breadth of vocabulary and print.
In Reception and Key Stage 1, reading is taught through daily phonics lessons using the ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics programme. More information can be found here:
The Read Write Inc. Phonics programme
Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
By the end of Year 2, the children should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for their age. In Year 3, we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own story book.
How will the children be taught?
We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class, whilst introducing initial sounds in Nursery during the Summer term. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters
The children also practice reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practice their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing
How will I know how well my child is doing?
We will always let you know how well your child is doing.
We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up.
What can I do to help at home?
Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. It helps if you know whether this is a book that your child can read on their own or whether this is a book that you should read to them. The teacher will have explained which is which. Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.
Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly at this link: https://ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/#lg=1&slide=2
Once this programme has been completed (usually by Year 2), children move on to Hackney’s Destination Reader programme. This approach to teaching reading focuses on:
Daily sessions include whole class modelling prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Every lesson, children use our Destination Reader bookmark to support them in unpicking and understanding texts in a meaningful way. You can find a copy of this bookmark, which includes the learning behaviours, key reading strategies and accompanying sentence stems uploaded on this page.
On top of the daily reading lessons being taught across the school, we provide children with many other opportunities to develop and strengthen their reading skills.