In our Early Years, we strive to develop a love of books, instilling a lifelong love of reading from the children’s first day at St Ives. Everyday, we share stories in our story times and we also give careful consideration to the texts that we select and share with the children throughout our themes. Each half term, we have a “Favourite Five” set of books that we share and read continually to enable the children to know a set of stories in depth and also encouraging a love of books. When picking our books, we aim to promote their vocabulary and story language as well as giving them the skills to recall familiar stories. The stories are carefully selected to include traditional tales, rhyming stories and books with rich vocabulary and also we select books that consider other aspects we deem as important such as diversity. Through these texts, children develop and practice their oral storytelling skills and language, predictions and recall as well as joining in with texts that contain repetition, rhyme and rhythm.
Early Years provides the building blocks to the foundations of reading. It is the initial stage of providing children with the knowledge and skills to be able to decode words accurately as well as developing their understanding of texts. The children are taught to read through systematic phonics sessions following the Read Write Inc scheme.
In addition to this, teachers model how to be successful readers by tracking the text left to right, top to bottom and ways in which to decode new and unfamiliar words through group reading sessions. These sessions also focus on the development of comprehension skills. Children are given fully phonically decodable books that match the sounds they have learnt in RWI during 2 group reading sessions a week. Children take home the book they read in group reading to read at home to promote fluency and stamina through re-reading. They also have access to a library selection of books that they can select from to share with parents.
At St Ives Primary School, we strive to ensure all pupils are confident and fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One; we believe that reading is the key to success and underpins all learning. Having high expectations and a consistent approach to phonics ensures children are given the best possible foundation for reading, writing and communication and language skills.
Phonics is taught daily following the Read Write Inc Scheme. At St Ives we teach consistent, high-quality phonics sessions that allow for progression and continuity. We plan and deliver engaging and well-paced phonics lessons as part of a broad and rich curriculum.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage One developing a love of reading is at the heart of everything we do. Careful thought is given to the texts we select across the Key Stage. We aim to build on the excellent introduction the children have had to reading. Year One children continue to read and share illustrated stories during story time which occurs every day. Whole class reading in Year one takes place through during Phonics Sessions where the children continue to follow the RWI programme. Group reading follows a similar pattern in KS1 as it does in Reception. The children have their books changed twice a week during group reading sessions but are encouraged to continue to reread these books at home to build on their pace, fluency and stamina.
The children's phonological skills are tested at the end of Year One through the Phonics Screening Test.
The use of Chapter books is developed in Year Two where the children read along with more challenging books in order to stimulate discuss based round predicting the plot lines, discussing the characters and making comparisons between authors.
In Year Two the children are encouraged to become independent readers. Comprehension skills are formally tested at the end of Year Two. In order that children are ready to undertake such testing they are given regular opportunities to answer more formal comprehension questions. In the Summer Term, in preparation for KS2, the children start reading a whole class book and are expected to have read certain parts of the books at home as well as having parts of the book read to them in class. Greater depth readers are also challenged in Year 2 by taking part in a reading intervention programme called Reading Plus.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage Two, our aim is to continue to develop a love of reading by building on the skills and knowledge that children have learned throughout Key Stage One. Each half term, each class read a different core text that has been selected carefully to ensure that children are exposed to a wide range of genres and also experience classic and modern texts too. To see each classes’ half termly reading lists, click here.
These texts are taught through a range of ‘Whole Class Reading’ sessions, but primarily in “Group Reading” sessions which focus on the teaching of statutory requirements through the use of the reading content domains. Throughout lessons, children are exposed to comprehension questions in a variety of formats. These aim to enhance their skills in both their written and oral work.
At the end of each school day, classes have Class Story Time, where class teachers read to their classes a different book that the children have voted on together. Independent reading (both within school and at home) is continually encouraged within Key Stage Two and children have continual access to their independent reader books which follows the Oxford Tree levelled books. However, children still have the opportunity to “branch off” from the Reading Tree so that they still access books for the pure enjoyment. Once children have completed level 20, they become “Free Readers” and are able to select book titles of their own choice which class teachers monitor to ensure it still poses a suitable level of challenge.
Comprehension skills are formally tested at the end of Year Six. To ensure that children are ready to undertake such testing, they are given regular opportunities throughout Key Stage Two to answer more formal comprehension questions within the given time limit. We also utilise a programme called Reading Plus which is a personalised programme which assesses children’s current reading levels and supports them with comprehension, vocabulary and the tracking of the text.
Promoting a love of reading.
At St Ives, we are very aware of the importance of children making steady and continued progress in reading each year. We support this by ensuring children, in EYFS and KS1 who have not learnt all their sounds, have access to fully decodable books appropriate to their level. Once the children have learnt and been exposed to all their sounds, they select books from our levelled book scheme. This occurs in KS1 right the way through KS2 until they have finished the schemed books and become a Free Reader.
However, we also believe strongly in promoting a love of reading and books and we do not want to stifle children’s desires to read other books which may be too challenging currently. Therefore, we supplement the children’s individualised, targeted book with access to our KS1 library selection and KS2 classes also have their own selection of other book titles. Finally, we also provide each year group with recommended book lists, which we accept may be too challenging for certain readers to read independently currently, but we encourage parents to share and support children in accessing these books at home to continue growing and nurturing our children’s love of reading. To gain access to each classes’ recommended reading list, click HERE