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English - Reading


English is at the heart of all learning. It is the study of the spoken and written word and it is used every single day to communicate ideas and emotions to others in the form of speaking, reading and writing.


Here at Southville, we know that reading is the key skill that children need for every piece of learning, in every curriculum area at primary school and more importantly in the world of tomorrow. Our approach teaches children to read easily, fluently and with good understanding so that they are fully equipped with all the knowledge and skills they need. Our aim is for our children to develop their listening skills and most importantly they expand their vocabulary to enable them to communicate effectively. We want our children to develop the habit of reading for pleasure and for information, by reading a range of rich and varied texts that will spark their imaginations, satisfy their curiosity and guide them in the world of tomorrow.


Our approach to teaching reading is multi-layered: children begin by listening and sharing nursery rhymes and stories on a daily basis; they learn to decode; they take books home to read aloud and to read together with their parents. Alongside this children are taught to respond to the books they read, both orally and in writing, using stage appropriate skills and techniques.  

In Nursery, children are surrounded by small selections of books that are regularly rotated. They listen to nursery rhymes and stories everyday led by adults. They choose books that are relevant to their learning in the class independently and they have a book corner where they can share books. Every week, children choose a book to take home and share with their families. 

In Reception, children have phonic lessons everyday where they learn to decode the letters and sounds and they practice their reading skills weekly with the class teacher, who teaches them how to improve their decoding, their fluency, their knowledge of words and how to find the main idea in the book. They listen to lots of adult-led storytelling sessions in the discovery area and every week children hear good quality stories or fairy tales that are linked to their learning in the wider curriculum. In every class there is a Book Corner that children use every day: they read books with their friends and they choose books to take home to share together with their families at home. These are their special Bookworm Books.

In Year 1, every week, children learn a nursery rhyme or short poem with their teacher and they listen to the class story, during story time at 3pm every day. At least once a week, their teacher listens to them read and teaches them how to improve their decoding, fluency, retelling, predictions and finding word meanings. They have daily phonic lessons where they learn the letters and sounds needed to help them decode and read fluently. Every child takes home a phonetically decodable book matched to the letters and sounds they are learning in these lessons, alongside a Book Worm book that they have chosen themselves from the Book Corner to share with their parents at home. 

Year 2 children listen to different stories linked to the wider curriculum and to stories by the same author in story time at the end of the day. At least once a week, their teacher listens to them read and teaches them what they need to practice next with their reading, which might be decoding , fluency, retrieving or summarising information or predicting what will happen next. As soon as children are secure with their phonics, they move onto book banded books that they learn to read fluently and develop their basic comprehension skills. Alongside this children borrow books from the Class Library to read together with their parents at home. It is in this year where some children become fluent and move onto reading chapter books; these children often move onto our Key Stage 2 reading programme Accelerated Reader.

Key Stage Two

From this point forward, children in year 3, year 4, year 5 and Year 6 increase their familiarity with a wide range of quality fiction (from a range of genres) during three, forty-five minute, reading lessons where they develop both a love of reading and their comprehension skills. During these lessons, the class teacher reads aloud complete chapter books, while the children follow along with their own copy of the book. After each chapter, the children practise their comprehension skills, focusing on one key skill during each lesson. The skills the children learn to develop are progressive and Alongside this, we have a robust home reading programme called Accelerated Reader that is designed to support children to work their way progressively through quality fiction (using a numbered system – ZPD) and give them the freedom to choose books they love; they take these home to read and then they take a quick quiz to show they have understood the book. The programme allows the class teacher to see individual children’s progress and provide support with their reading comprehension skills, where they are needed. At 3pm everyday, children read their Accelerated Reader books. During this time, class teachers listen to children who are still reading book banded or phonetically decodable books read and guide them on what they need to practise to move forward.  

In Year 3, as part of our transition from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2, children continue to have 1;1 reading sessions with the class teacher until the end of the autumn term. Whole Class Reading Lessons then start in the Spring Term, starting with a picture book. Children who have reached the expected level for Key Stage One then start our Accelerated Reader Program, where they choose their own books from the class library at the correct level for them. Some children will continue to read 1;1 with the class teacher to support with oral comprehension using book banded books and then take these home to read. A few children will continue with phonics lessons and reading 1;1 with the teacher using phonetically decodable books; they continue to take these home to practice.

Reading review(3)
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