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.
Reading in the EYFS and Year 1
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 practise 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.
In Reception and Year 1, we teach children to read through reading practise sessions three times a week. These are taught by a trained adult with small groups of approximately six children. The books are matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge. The groups are rotated and monitored by the class teacher who works with each group over the week. The children’s phonic knowledge and ability to blend is assessed at the end of each half term.
When the children are able to blend, each reading practice session has a clear focus on the key reading skills.
- decoding: application of the knowledge of letter-sound relationships, including knowledge of letter patterns, to correctly pronounce written words
- prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
- comprehension: teaching children to understand the text
Children who find decoding tricky will have extra blending practice built into their small group time.
Reading in Year 2
Reading in Year 2 follows a similar pattern to Year 1, with three reading sessions a week. The lowest 20% of the class being heard daily where possible in 1:1 sessions.
Key Stage 2
Reading in KS2 continues to be of a high importance and children in the lowest 20% of the class will be heard at least three times a week where possible in 1: 1 sessions.
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.
Click on the links below to see 50 recommended book titles for your child to read and share with you.
Year 2 – Year 6
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, information on the board activity sheets and topic material.
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!
In Reception and Year 1, decodable reading practice books are taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. Parents are also encouraged to share and read to their children for pleasure – books from the classroom will be sent home to read and share together.
In Years 2-6, children have access to a wide range of books in the classroom which they can enjoy for pleasure. Our expectations are that children should read for at least ten minutes every day, and this should be recorded in children’s reading records/planners. Children from Nursery/Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with school and the school will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school. From Year 2 – Year 6, each class has a termly class reader which is read together in class and used in English lessons.
All classes should have access to an inviting reading area with interesting displays. These may include an interactive element where children can add recommendations or book reviews. In Nursery/Reception and Year 1, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are regularly refreshed.
Special Reading Events
Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (book fairs, author visits and workshops, World Book Day etc.)
Poetry and rhyme are an important part of learning to read and at Malden Parochial the children listen to poems, recite poems, and have lots of opportunities to read and write their own poems. It is an excellent way for young children to develop an awareness of new language, phonic patterns, and rhythms. Poetry broadens reading choices and can foster empathy and build emotional connections to language. It enriches the children’s vocabulary from as early as listening to stories with rhyme, where the repetition of words can strengthen their understanding of new words. Poetry is an important tool to teach different literacy skills. It can support the children’s learning of phonics, heighten their awareness of individual sounds within words through alliteration, assonance and rhyme. Daily poems and rhymes enrich the children’s learning.
At Malden Parochial, children are encouraged to learn poems to recite aloud in class and in front of other classes during the year. We also hold a biennial Poetry Competition where children from Nursery to Year 6 take part. Learning to recite a poem aloud encourages rhythm in speech, voice control and develops the confidence of performing.
Click below on stars to view recommendations of poetry books for the different ages.