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How we teach Reading

At Purlwell Infant and Nursery School we aim to develop children into confident and capable communicators. Developing language skills enables children to effectively communicate their thoughts, feelings and experiences and therefore we strive to give children quality first experiences to interact, discuss and communicate effectively.

One way we promote and develop our children's communication and vocabulary skills is through the teaching of reading. Learning to read is one of the most important skills your child will achieve at our school and we aim to promote an enthusiasm for reading as soon as children enter the school.

Purlwell has a clear and consistent, whole school approach to reading. Competence in reading is the key to lifelong learning and is given the highest priority, enabling children to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Success in reading has a direct effect upon progress in all areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children's confidence and motivation.

The Teaching of Reading

At Purlwell we teach reading through a blend of focussed phonic sessions, group and whole class guided reading sessions, individual reading, shared reading across the curriculum and the opportunity to read for pleasure. A love of books and reading is also developed through a range of exciting and stimulating texts which are used as a stimulus and underpin the cross curricular themes across a range of subjects. Strategies such as ERIC (Everyone Reading in Class) are used which sees everyone, including adults, reading at the same time. Each classroom has a book area that is stimulating and promotes the love of books by having a ‘Book of the Week’. Children are also encouraged to bring books from home to share at school and talk about their likes and dislikes.

Children read from a variety of schemes which have been colour banded according to reading ability. In the early years, children are supported with this choice initially, so that the books they choose are in line with the phonics and common exception words that they have learnt. We soon encourage children to then access their home reading book independently. The variety of text types that we offer allows the children to have the opportunity to access rich reading materials which appeal to their different interests. Some of the schemes that we use include:

  • Oxford Reading Scheme
  • Project X
  • Jelly and Bean
  • Floppy's Phonics
  • Storybook Phonics
  • Collins Big Cat
  • Book Band Progression Overview

Teachers teach the full range of reading strategies including phonic and grammatical knowledge, word recognition, graphic and contextual knowledge and they regularly check children's reading skills, so they can ensure children have consolidated and developed their reading skills. Children also engage in independent and adult supported English tasks which include phonic and reading tasks to further develop their reading skills.

For more information on how we teach phonics please click here.

Children continue to work on deepening their understanding of stories and texts through daily group or whole class guided reading sessions. In these sessions we teach and model the following reading strategies:

  • Summarising
  • Predicting
  • Clarifying
  • Questioning
  • Inference
  • Making Connections
  • Evaluating

Children read books or short sections of texts independently and then discuss them, building their understanding through dialogue.

If children are working below their chronological reading age, targeted intervention and support is put in place.

At Purlwell we ensure all children read widely across fiction and non-fiction including different genres, poetry, comics and texts that promote cross curricular links. Each class also has a book area, which the children are encouraged to use for their own personal reading and to read with other children.

Children in all classes still have access to story time or have a class book for a sustained period. This ensures that reading is correctly modelled to children as well as giving them the opportunity to enjoy being read to!

All children take books home every day that are closely matched to their fluency and comprehension abilities. Children are also able to borrow books from the school library should they wish to do so. We also carefully monitor the children's reading at home and encourage parents to be fully active and engaged with us in this, in order to support their children's ongoing development. As well as their reading books, children take home word cards to practise and develop their recognition of High Frequency Words.

Our Reading Promise

The Staff at Purlwell Infant and Nursery School offer our children a reading promise:

  • You will have a new reading book at least once a week
  • A teacher will listen to you read, individually or in guided reading at least once a week
  • You will learn about key authors

In return we ask our children to read at home as often as they can.

Working in Partnership with Parents

At Purlwell Infant and Nursery school we want to encourage every child to read with a grown up at home every night. Children who read with their families grow in confidence much more quickly and develop a love of reading that can last a lifetime.

We hold a meeting for all parents early in the autumn term in order to explain our reading schemes, procedures and expectations. Throughout the year we offer sessions for parents of children in all year groups, to explain how they can support with reading development at home.

 Each year group invites parents into the classroom every week to read and share books with their child. It is also an opportunity for the teacher to talk about the children’s progress and give advice to parents about how to move forward with reading.

Our school library is also open every week for parents to share and change books with their child. The children are given opportunities each week to go to the library during school time but if parents want to change books more frequently they can.

Hints for listening to your child read

  • When reading together at home try to make the time relaxed, enjoyable and positive.
  • Vary it. Read together, read to your child and take turns or have them read to you.
  • Before reading, talk about the cover, the title and the pictures, and discuss what the book may be about.
  • During reading, discuss what has been read up to that point and predict what might happen next.