We all know that there is nothing better than a great book and nothing worse than a bad one! As teachers of young children it is our job to instil both a love of literature in various forms as well as the skills with which to read. At Roebuck we are learning much from the children and have taken on Accelerated Reader from Year 2 upwards to help us to provide highly engaging, fun and challenging books. In Reception and across Key Stage One we also use Daily Supported Reading.
Our English curriculum is also centred around a core text, from which we plan learning term by term often using the text to deliver learning in a number of genres. Coupled with a topic focus, we aim to immerse children in connected learning for several weeks before moving on, allowing them to deepen their understanding of the knowledge and skills involved.
Reading at School
At Roebuck we want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers and to develop a life-long love of books. We introduce the children to a range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books through our whole-class, core-text approach to teaching reading, and during their weekly guided reading sessions.
In the early stages of reading, we teach children to decode words using phonic skills as their main approach, alongside which we teach sight vocabulary. Once grasped, the focus for developing reading is on understanding and comprehension. Your child will read with their class teacher once a week during their guided reading session, then independently supported by teacher set activities during the rest of the week.
Reading at home
Developing readers will bring home levelled books (according to their stage of development), each week. Independent readers will bring home a self-selected book from their class reading library or Main School Library. Please encourage your child to change their book regularly so they can read each evening; speak to the class teacher if this is not happening.
Your child should be reading at home for 15 to 20 minutes or more each day. Your support is hugely important for developing their reading skills, confidence and understanding. Even if your child is an independent reader, it is still important for you to read with them, listen to them and discuss the books they are reading.
How to support developing readers at home:
- Try to listen to and read with your child regularly, 10 minutes a day is better than a longer session once a week. It can help if a regular time is set aside so that it becomes part of a routine. Often we have found it is best if this time is set aside when the children arrive home from school.
- Find a quiet place to share books where you can feel comfortable and relaxed – learning to read needs to be a positive experience - build children's confidence by praising their efforts.
- Encourage your child to have a go at reading words, by using phonic skills to read any unfamiliar words, and by working on building up their sight vocabulary.
- Talk about the meanings of words to help to develop your child’s understanding and use of language.
- Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as stories, newspapers, comics, labels, poetry, non-fiction, tickets, signs, leaflets etc.
- Read books to your child as well; if they see you enjoying a book it will encourage and motivate them to want to learn to read.
- Ask them questions about the text to develop their understanding.
Questions to Develop Understanding:
Where/when does the story take place?
Who are the characters in the story?
Who is the main character? How do you know? What clues are there to show this?
What happens in this part of the story? Explain using evidence from the story.
Tell me one/two things that the main character does in this part of the story?
Can you retell the story using your own words?
Tell me what this character was like? Give evidence from the text.
Tell me the most interesting/ exciting/ funniest/ your favourite part of the story? Why?
What do you think the character feels about...? How can you tell?
What do you think would have happened if…? Why do you think that?
Predict what you think is going to happen next?
Which part of this book did you like best/least? Why?
How has the author used words/phrases to make this character funny/ sad/ clever/ frightening/ excited etc?
Why is … a good title for this story/book/chapter/play?
Do you know any more stories like this? Tell me how they are alike.
Do you know another story with similar characters in? Tell me how they are similar.
What do you think this story is trying to tell us?
Has anything like this ever happened to you?
Reading Apps / Internet
There are a considerable amount of free resources, free ebooks and activities linked to your child's reading to encourage them to read at home, on a laptop, a tablet or computer!
Good recommendations are: Oxfordowl.co.uk - RisingstarsUK.com - Topmarks.co.uk