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How We Teach Reading

Our ethos about reading

We believe that children learn to read by reading, reading and more reading. Our school has a strong book culture; books spill out from every corner of the school and every area of each classroom. We have a cosy beautifully resourced book corner with a wide range of fiction both contemporary and traditional, information books, poetry books, newspapers, magazines, puppets, story sacks, large books,  miniature books, pop up books and many many more. We also have a beautiful library which is well maintained and well used by all children. Every week children borrow library books and experience a library skills lesson to support their understanding of book language, retrieval of books, how a library works and of course a love of books. We have authors, poets and illustrators who work with children to share their expertise.  In this way our children bump into books at every opportunity all around the school.  From our very first meeting with our new parents we stress the importance of a rich, exciting and varied  experience of books right from a young baby.

In the classroom

Letters and Sounds Phonics Programme

Every child receives a good quality 20 minutes phonics lesson every day. We follow the Letters and Sounds Phonics Programme which was introduced by the Department of Education in 2007. The programme is detailed and systematic and consists of 6 phases for teaching phonics from Nursery/Reception with the aim of children becoming fluent readers by the age of seven. At Wood Street we ensure the session is interactive and lively with lots of movement. We provide a range of high quality resources to engage and interest children. More details about the programme and free downloadable resources for schools and parents can be found at www.letters-and-sounds.com


Key Word, Phonic Books and Spellings

YR children take home the key words that the children are learning as well as the sounds they are learning.  To support children to learn key words and phonics we also have Card Master Machines which children use regularly as well as lots of games both indoors and outdoors.  In KS1 children have weekly spellings which they take home for parents to support spelling skills.

 

Reading in the classroom
Listening to and composing stories
All children have the opportunity to listen to stories both read and told to them every day which become more complex as children move through the school. Children regularly compose stories whilst teachers model story language.  The more stories children read the more imaginative ideas and quality language and vocabulary they will have to draw upon.
 
Shared Reading
The whole class or groups have the opportunity to share a Big Book or read together from an extract on the whiteboard. In this way many skills are developed such as decoding skills, opportunities for the teacher to model what to do if children come to a word they don’t know, predicting what might happen next, discussing the use of particular language and vocabulary, discussing characters etc. At Wood Street we place a huge emphasis on understanding and comprehension of what children read so we ask a lot of questions.
 
Guided Reading
Children are grouped according to reading ability and all children have a copy of the same book which may be fiction, non fiction or poetry. The teacher will have planned which skills she wants to develop for that particular group and together they will each read the text at each child’s own pace whilst the teacher supports and questions. Sometimes children will be given a comprehension task as part of their guided reading session. Guided reading sessions take place every day.
 
Book Corners
Children have the opportunity on a daily basis reading on their own or with a friend in our cosy book corners furnished with little sofas, soft cushions and soft lighting. There are also CD players for children to listen to stories.
 
 
 
 
Reading Resources

At Wood Street we do not have one predominant scheme but a range of books from different publishers and schemes as well as many other contemporary reading books. Our books are carefully graded by reading levels known as book bands. This means that when you know your child’s book band, you will be able to select books with confidence knowing they are right for  your child. Each book band has its own colour. We also use other resources to support reading. Magnetic boards and letters are one of the most effective ways to help children learn letters and develop their reading and spelling skills in a multi-sensory way. Children find using them enjoyable and easy to understand and apply.

Other useful resources include:

· Flash cards

· Wall Frieze or poster

· Alphabet puzzles

· Alphabet games such as ‘I-Spy’, Phonics Lotto

There are also many ICT programmes which support reading skills.