Wood Street Infant School

Wood Street Infant School

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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 cosy, beautifully resourced book corners with a wide range of fiction both contemporary and traditional, information books, poetry books,  as well as decodable books the children can read. 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.


Essential Letters and Sounds Phonics

Every child receives a good quality 30 minutes phonics lesson every day. We follow the Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) Phonics Programme which is accredited by the DfE. The programme is detailed and systematic, and consists of 5 phases for teaching phonics from Nursery/Reception with the aim of children becoming fluent readers by the age of six. ELS is carefully matched to decodable reading books. Each child brings home a book which supports and reinforces the phonemes they have been learning at school.


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, decodable book which may be fiction, non fiction or poetry. The teacher will have planned which skills they want 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 daily.
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.


Home Readers

Children have the opportunity to change their home/school reading book every day. Parents are invited to support this task each morning. Parents add to teacher's Tapestry observation as a record of what each child has read and an opportunity to write comments based on their experience. The decodable books we use are Oxford Reading Tree and include series such as Project X: Alien Adventures, Hero Academy, Traditional Tales, Little Blending Books, Word Sparks and Floppy's Phonics.