At Church Lench C E First School we want our children to develop a love of reading through high quality texts. We do this through carefully choosing books that will excite, inspire and ignite curiosity in our children. Throughout their journey in the school children will have been immersed in a variety of genres, adventurous vocabulary and texts that enhance our curriculum as well as taking them to places they may never have been before. By the time children move on from Church Lench C E First School we aim for them all to be confident, fluent readers who can ask and answer questions about author intent, retrieve important details, make inferences, have the ability to skim and scan texts and share their own opinions.
There are many different ways we teach reading at Church Lench C E First School.
Whole Class Guided Reading
We believe that there are essential elements of whole-class guided reading which benefit all pupils. Whole-class reading sessions mean that children of all attainment bands are immersed in the same high-quality literature and the discussions that these texts promote. A variety of texts are used including stories, non- fiction, picture texts, graphic novels, poetry, magazines and newspaper reports that will often link with a class topic.
The benefits of whole class guided reading
* Children learn from each other and so mixed-attainment pairs or groups are often encouraged , to allow for frequent, paired discussion. It is essential that less confident readers are exposed to the high-quality reasoning of more confident readers and become part of these discussions.
* The text chosen should provide a clear challenge for all members of the class. Often the texts that are chosen are slightly beyond the reach of our higher attaining readers; that is to say, beyond the reach of their independent reading of it and comprehending of it. However there are times when the teachers will use a simpler text or books without any text to inspire pupils’ imagination, encourage the use of interesting vocabulary and develop comprehension skills.
* When reading, our teachers model good use of intonation, speed, movement, volume and expression. Children pick up good reading styles from teachers’ performances. Eventually, they start to emulate this in their reading and performances.
* Teachers actively monitor pace, to ensure high levels of engagement throughout the lesson. Reading and listening to reading for long periods of time can be challenging for some children so we ensure that we intersperse longer stints of reading with paired discussions/independent follow-up tasks to keep pupils level of engagement high and their learning as active as possible.
* Teachers use targeted and open-ended questioning. Targeted questioning is not only good for Assessment for Learning but also a good way to ensure all children engage with the lesson – if they don’t know who will be asked to provide a response then they are more likely to consider the question and make good use of their talking partner.
* When discussing literature, the teacher models, and expects from children, high-quality responses with evidence and explanations. Children need to be able to say a response before they can write one; developing this skill at primary is vital for success as they transfer to middle and secondary school. Teachers model and encourage children to make good use of sentence stems and vocabulary that has been written to engage the reader.
* All follow-up tasks are carefully thought out to provide challenge for all children and support for those who need it. Follow-up tasks are a good way for children to reflect on what they have read and an opportunity for teachers to observe/assess the individual understanding of a piece. Tasks can include verbal discussions, role play, written responses in groups, pairs or individually. Some tasks are differentiated to support and challenge the pupils. There are many key skills that children learn from whole class guided reading including inference, prediction, explaining, retrieval and summarising which become increasingly more challenging through the year groups.
Pupils' independent reading books are chosen from our book banded section at their reading level (please see phonics section). Children change their books once they have been shared with teaching staff and / or with adults at home. Staff who hear children read at school will comment in the child’s reading diary and the same is expected when parents/ carers hear their child read. Our school expectation is that children will read their book at home at least 4 times a week.
In school, class 1 and 2 pupils are heard on average twice a week and Class 3 pupils are heard depending on the need of the child. For the more able pupils who are accessing ‘free reader texts’ (maroon onwards) the reading of texts is assessed through whole class guided reading responses to language in the class texts that are shared.
Reading for Pleasure
Every class has time allocated each day for the teacher to read to the children. This enables children to access high quality language from texts they wouldn't necessarily be able to access. All classrooms have a book area where children can choose to engage in texts independently or with friends. We encourage reading at home during holidays with things such as reading bingo and sponsored reads. We have had an author visit the school and this is something we would like to pursue more as it had such a positive impact on the children.
We expect our children to be reading at home at least 4 times per week and having their diary signed by a parent/ carer. The children who read regularly are making more progress across the whole curriculum and this is evidenced through their reading levels, writing and understanding of key concepts. We encourage all children to work together as a class to earn a reward for reading regularly at home.