The aim of our reading scheme is to produce competent readers who read for enjoyment and discovery about the world around us.
We use a variety of different reading schemes at St Bridget’s. Initially, children are taught using Discussion books (with either none or very few words) – these are ideal for building confidence at reading picture clues and making up endless stories. This level is followed by a range of decodable and early sight vocabulary reading books. As a school, we use “Letters and Sounds” to provide phonic progression and structure, and the books we have selected support that progression within the different phases.
The books are “banded” so that books from different manufacturers, but of comparable level, are grouped together. The first few bands are divided into phonics based books and word level books. This provides for depth and consolidation for our children as they are learning to read.
Within the book bands are both, fiction and nonfiction, plus a wide variety of genres – poetry, play scripts etc. as well as novels and information books. As the children become more confident, they move onto carefully selected paperbacks, which are still “banded” to provide structure and guidance.
Right from the start, children are encouraged to use the school library (for fiction and non-fiction as well as story sacks) and the mobile library van, which visits once a term.
The children are taught to read in two different ways: on a 1-1 basis and in a Guided reading group. Both methods are taught by either the class teacher or an experienced teaching assistant.
One to one reading sessions – this is where the children are taught on their own with the supporting adult. Prior to actual reading the book the book cover and pages are discussed and ‘walked through’ – this way the teacher can drop into the discussion any key vocabulary that the child will come across. When reading begins it can take the form of the child reading it themselves or as a shared read experience with the class teacher (possibly reading alternate pages).
These are again delivered by experienced teaching adults. The books read in these sessions tend to be at an instructional level (where the children can read approximately 90-95% of the words). A similar format is followed to the 1-1 reading sessions prior to reading. Once reading is underway the children can either read aloud to the group in a turn taking manner or they can read silently with the teacher circulating around the group to hear individual readers. There is always a focus time in the session to discuss the book – to clarify understanding of the plot, vocabulary, and a synopsis so far and any prediction skills regarding what next or what would the children like to happen next.
These are introduced in class 2 and consist of a range of fiction and non-fiction book bags. Each bag includes a book, related toy or game and an activity linked to the children’s focus book. The kits go home once a week and on their return are re-circulated. The range of book bags reflects the children’s interests at the time. They are changed and updated regularly by the enthusiastic teaching assistant Mrs Ostle.
Enjoying stories throughout the curriculum
Children are read to at various times of the day – books feature regularly in the daily maths lesson as well as the more usual literacy lesson. At the end of the day the children are read to by one of the teaching adults.
Teaching Reading in KS2
In Class 3 and 4, Wellington Square is used to meet the needs of children who are having difficulty in learning to read. It provides straightforward progression through 5 levels of the scheme, from wordless picture books to storybooks with full-text. Wellington Square widens the pupils’ reading experience through age appropriate stories and stimulating support materials.
Wellington Square is designed to meet the needs of children aged 7-13+ who are having difficulty in learning to read. It provides straightforward progression through all 5 levels of the scheme, from wordless picture books to storybooks with full-text. Wellington Square widens your pupils' reading experience through imaginative and stimulating support material.
Accelerated Reader :
Accelerated Reader is used in St Bridget’s in the Junior Classrooms to encourage children to continue to progress with their reading through choosing books which are appropriate for their ability and interest level. Pupils develop reading skills most effectively when they read appropriately challenging books – difficult enough to keep them engaged but not so difficult that they become frustrated.
Children take a STAR Reading Test to determine their reading level. It is a computer based reading assessment program which uses computer adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to the child’s responses. If the child’s response is correct, the difficulty level is increased. If the child cannot answer a question or answers incorrectly, the difficulty level is reduced.
The books in the library have been colour coded according to their reading level. After taking their STAR Reading Test, the children are given a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) which dictates the colour of books they should be reading. Reading books within their ZPD will challenge a child without causing frustration or lack of motivation. It is important that children read with a high level of comprehension and within his/her ZPD.
Once a child has read their book, they log into their account to take a quiz where they get immediate feedback. Passing the quiz is an indication that the child has understood what they have read. The children respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills.
Every book that has an AR Reading Practice Quiz is given a points value. AR points are based on the length of the book (number of words). Pupils earn a percentage of points according to how well they pass the quiz. Once a certain number of points have been achieved, children are awarded a certificate and a Reader Certification Level. These levels are motivational benchmarks for the children which allow them to progress through 8 levels from Ready Reader to Honours Reader.
Guided Reading and 1-1 Reading
Guided Reading and 1-1 sessions also take place in Juniors. 1-1 sessions are mainly for children who are still needing a little extra help with fluency and understanding.
Guided Reading sessions take place where children are grouped by ability and work with a teacher or a teaching assistant to improve their decoding, inference and deduction skills.
Reading in the curriculum
Story books are often used in other areas of the curriculum such as: modelling writing, history, maths, RE, DT & Geography This allows children to escape back in time and find out what life was like for others, or to immerse themselves in a character’s life discovering their point of view.
‘We live to learn, laugh and play and enjoy every single day’
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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