Reading is at the heart of all that we do at Malden Parochial School. We inspire our children to become confident and happy readers with a real love of books, which will last a lifetime. In order to achieve this, we use a number of strategies throughout school to develop their skills as readers.
In the summer term of Nursery and at the beginning of Reception, your child will initially bring home wordless books. Books without words have an extremely important part to play in the acquisition of reading skills. The ability to decode words is part of being able to read but being able to understand what is being read and to re-tell the story is vital. Alongside these books you child will be exposed to key words, words that can decoded (sounded out) and others that are ‘look and say’ (tricky words). They begin with simple phrases and captions to decode and move onto to simple one sentence a page books. These books will allow them to practice the phonic skills they have learnt and develop their understanding of text. As they grow in confidence, the books begin to have more complex sentences matching the phonic sounds learnt and a greater variety of vocabulary.
As a child becomes a more confident reader, we will further develop their interests and enjoyment of reading by choosing from a selection of simple ‘chapter’ books and age appropriate information books before ultimately moving on to even more complex texts as their skills develop.
All children are encouraged to enjoy sharing with their parents as many books and different types of texts as possible, not only to help them develop a love of reading, but also to begin to appreciate it as an essential skill and part of everyday life.
Guided reading, shared reading, 1:1 reading, whole-class reading
Our curriculum provides reading opportunities in all areas of learning. Reading skills are explicitly taught through guided, shared or 1:1 reading and according to the needs of the child. We have a variety of books to choose from in our scheme, starting with decodable books matched to each child’s reading ability, which is assessed regularly.
Whole class reading takes place throughout the day as the children read instructions, the day and the date on the board, refer to the class visual timetable, access labelled resources and read text from the Interactive White Board.
Reading is much more than just being able to read words. It is essential that children also read with understanding. As part of the teaching of reading skills at Malden Parochial, staff work on developing the children’s knowledge of the different text types and the varying ways in which information can be presented in books and other publications. Children are also encouraged to think about different authors, the style of books they write, their choices of vocabulary to involve the reader and how they build a story or write a poem.
We develop the skills of comprehension alongside the decoding and sight reading skills to ensure that children learn to read and comprehend at the same speed. We teach this skill through reading to and with the children.
In Key Stage Two, children further enhance their fluency, decoding and comprehension. This also helps to develop children’s independence as readers.
When developing research skills, children are asked to consider which texts and alternative sources are likely to best provide the information they need and to choose the most appropriate. They are taught how to ‘skim read’, pick out key words and information from a piece of text, interpret diagrams and graphs, answer questions and take notes.
We all know that to be able to read fluently, with understanding, is a crucial life skill. We continually use it to make sense of the world around us and to access and share information in the workplace. For some it is also a relaxation and a lifelong pleasure!