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  • Our Approach to Reading

    At Emmer Green Primary School, we recognise that reading is the most fundamental skill children need to learn. The New Curriculum states:
    “All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.” (National Curriculum 2014)

    How is reading systematically taught at Emmer Green Primary School?

    Foundation Stage & Key Stage One

    • The ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme is used for a daily 15-20 minute phonics session. This is used throughout Foundation Stage and KS1 to ensure a systematic and comprehensive programme of learning.
    • Jolly Phonics songs are used to supplement ‘Letters and Sounds’ planning. Lessons all aim to address different learning styles i.e. kinesthetic, auditory and visual learners.
    • Children are streamed into phases for phonics to ensure there is appropriate challenge and support.
    • Children are tracked and monitored throughout phonics lessons to ensure they move on when ready.
    • Planning is shared with all staff to ensure opportunities are created to apply phonics in guided writing or shared reading sessions in Literacy.
    • Books are banded into colours to ensure that they match the child’s reading level. Within these bands, there is material from a wide range of reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat, Storyworlds, Treetops, Jets, Usbourne and Lighthouse.
    • Children are assessed using the PM Benchmarking scheme; this ensures children progress onto the next band of reading books when they are ready and can comprehend, as well as decode the texts.

    • Guided reading is timetabled daily: books are also colour banded to ensure this allows opportunities to apply the sound covered in phonics lessons.
    • 1:1 reading with the teacher or Nursery Nurse or Learning Support Assistant occurs at least once a week.
    • Colour banded books are sent home twice a week with opportunities for parents to hear their child read and comment in the reading record book.
    • Staff including Nursery Nurses, Learning Support Assistants and Teaching Assistants are trained to teach letters and sounds.
    • Staff are all trained to teach guided reading.
    • During Year 1 or 2, a daily ‘Reading Recovery’ programme is offered to selected children by a specialised accredited Reading Recovery teacher.
    • A Reading Evening is offered to parents during the first term in Foundation Stage to explain the systematic teaching of reading. In Year 1, a phonics parent workshop is held to increase knowledge and understanding of how phonics is taught and tested.
    • During KS1, guided reading and independent reading is timetabled daily.
    • Colour banded books are sent home twice a week with opportunities for parents to hear their child read and comment in the reading record book.
    Every classroom is equipped with a well-stocked book corner, including a range of picture books, poetry

    Key Stage 2
    • Year 3 phonics programme incorporating catch up for children in Phase 5
    • Guided reading and independent reading is timetabled daily with independent readers and use of banded books where necessary
    • Well-resourced guided reading collections for each year group
    • Intensive 1:1 reading for children requiring extra support
    • Reading Recovery style intensive programmes for children requiring intervention
    • Mentor texts timetabled for whole class book talk and reading activities
    • Literacy units begin with reading activities related to genre to ensure good understanding of the texts
    • Buddy Reading for Year 4 provided by Higher ability Year 6 readers
    • Level 6 Reading club to study texts and understand answering questions to include sufficient detail and reference to the texts
    • Reading records for children in Year 3 & 4 are used to comment on reading progress but also to communicate and encourage reading at home

    • Reading record for children in Year 5 & 6 are to keep a record of their personal reading and for parents listening to reading at home
    • The Junior library provides a range of fiction and non-fiction books and is run by our trained Year 5 librarians
    • Year 6 pupils independently run ‘Book clubs’ to study a chosen text
    • Every classroom is equipped with a well-stocked book corner

    How do we encourage children to read for pleasure at Emmer Green Primary School?

    “When you read often and with enthusiasm, usually just for the sheer fun of it, you lay foundations that last for life. You empathise. You access information more easily. Almost by osmosis you internalise the essential skills of spelling, grammar and vocabulary. You learn to express yourself verbally and in writing. You learn to interpret and potentially change your world.” (Alan Gibbons, Author)

    Reading for pleasure is promoted and encouraged at every opportunity at our school. Some of the ways we do this by:
    • Teachers reading quality texts aloud to the class or to assembled groups
    • Ensuring book corners in the classroom and libraries which are inviting and welcoming
    • Running reading competitions and library quizzes
    • Recommending books to peers, formally in book presentations and informally in discussions
    • ‘Drop Everything and Read’ sessions where the whole school stops everything and reads for 15 minutes
    • Allotting time in assemblies for children to perform poetry that they have memorised.

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