Why do we teach reading?
At Cherry Tree Academy, we LOVE reading. We believe passionately that all children should be taught the necessary skills to enable them to read easily, fluently and with good understanding. Our goal is for all children to develop the habit of reading widely and often for both pleasure and information. Research shows that reading has many benefits; it builds vocabulary, strengthens the brain, reduces stress and makes you feel happy! As a school, reading is a high priority and we aim to not only teach children the skills of ‘how’ to read and comprehend, but to embed a love, passion and culture of reading for pleasure.
How do we teach reading?
We recognise and understand the importance that word reading is a crucial step for reading success therefore we place emphasis on the learning of phonics (Song of Sounds) the early stages of reading. However, as reading involves many skills, phonics must be taught alongside reading fluency and comprehension. This, along with developing and fostering a love and appreciation of reading through the frequent and explicit sharing of books and a reading rich ethos and environment supports our pupil’s reading journey within the school setting.
At Cherry Tree Academy, we acknowledge that evidence shows there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment. Children are more likely to be academically successful the more they read. Through the Curriculum we will endeavour to promote pupils’ independent reading through the development of reading skills such as decoding skills and word recognition. We will also build on pupils’ reading interests to engender a love of reading and books to foster positive attitudes. Comprehension activities will also be implemented to ensure pupils have a secure understanding of text such as author’s intent, use of language, inference and deduction skills.
Through the teaching of reading, we aim to:
Ensure that all children have the chance to follow an enriched curriculum by getting them reading early: learning to read = reading to learn!
Provide children with a range of strategies they can draw upon when decoding text.
Build on the children’s language experiences and early reading skills
Encourage the transition from inexperienced readers to independent readers who read a variety of texts for different purposes
Encourage a high awareness of audience and the ability to adapt their language and style for different purposes/genres and audiences
Create a genuine love of reading and an appreciation of its value, so that the children choose to read for pleasure and are able to follow personal interests and use their research skills to extend their knowledge and understand of the world around them
Encourage a positive home/school relationship where parents support pupils reading regularly at home and pupils are keen to read.
Reading schemes in the school
Throughout KS1 (Key Stage 1), pupils are provided with a range of fiction and non-fiction books which are regularly changed to aid progression with their reading. We use Big Cat Collins phonics books.
As pupils move into KS2 (Key Stage 2), they may continue to access reading schemes such as Ginn and Oxford Reading. However Renaissance Reading (Accelerated Reader) is an online resource used to track pupils understanding of text (comprehension) through pupils taking quizzes. Pupils may be free readers but access books in a particular band. Children have access to a book on their desk at all times. They read each morning as they enter their classroom and take these books to read at home each night. They record this in their Reading record which is a great way communication tool between parent and teacher. Children who did not pass their phonics screening test in year 1 will also have access to a phonics book as well as a reading book.
Strategies - helping our children learn to read
Children practice pointing using a sentence from a story. Children show and use a pointing finger for each word read.
What is happening in the pictures ~ could this give us a clue about what the unknown word could be?
Cover a word – predict what it could be and check. Model predicting a word.
Checking initial/final sounds - does it look right?
Cover the first/last letter – predict, then check. Point to the first letter – get your mouth ready to make the sound. Find the letter on an alphabet card/tile.
Applying phonics to words:
List some more challenging words in the text – decode these together using phonics – predict/discuss the meanings.
Checking meaning - does that make sense?
Explain that reading should always make sense. Practice re-reading to check meaning. Read a sentence – check it makes sense. Give the children two options – which one makes sense? Discuss what is happening on the page.
Re-reading to check:
Explain to the children the importance of going back and checking their reading. Model re-reading; practice re-reading.
Inferring meaning of unknown words:
List some more challenging words from the guided reading book on a white board or easel. Ask the children to read the words and predict what they mean. Read them the whole sentence so they can check their predictions.
Analyse a page of text (eg non-fiction) how is it organised? Why? How do we read it?
Decoding unknown words: record difficult words from the text on cards or the board. Ask children to decode these words and explain what they did (i.e. syllables, phonics, knowing parts of words...) or predict the meaning of the words.
Checking meaning: read a sentence from the text which is more challenging; discuss what it means and how they know.
Active reading strategies:
Asking questions while they are reading:
Visualising: read a section of text – ask children to think about what pictures they see in their head.
Predicting: read the opening paragraph – summarise what they know so far and predict what might happen next – read the next paragraph to check.
Reading longer sentences (complex sentences):
Record the main clause from a complex sentence on the board – read it and discuss what it means – explain that authors often add more information to the sentence (subordinate clause) – add the subordinate clause and discuss how the two clauses relate to each other – locate the comma and explain that the clauses are usually split by a comma.
Identifying the main points: read the opening paragraph of the text to the children and ask them to identify the main points – list these on a board and discuss why other information is not key to the story.
Scanning: turn to a page of text and model how you scan the text for information – use a highlighter.
Skimming: model reading a paragraph quickly, looking for specific information (e.g. main characters; clues about setting).
Your child will be participating in the Accelerated Reader™ (AR™) program. The guide below is designed to answer your questions about AR. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or visit the Accelerated Reader website at www. renlearn.co.uk.
Class Reading Books.
Each day the class teacher reads part of a text to their class which immerses the children in a text and supports their spoken language. The teacher may also just read to demonstrate that 'teachers love reading for pleasure' too or they may simply pause regularly and ask questions designed to prompt the children to think about what they are hearing. At Cherry Tree Academy we read from the 'Pie Corbett Reading Spine'. Please see the link below which shows the texts by year group.
Children at Cherry Tree Academy take part in a daily guided reading sessions. This is taught whole class and has a weekly VIPER focus.
VIPERS stands for:
The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc. As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions. They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children's responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.
Pie Corbett reading spine
If you walked into a reading session at Cherry Tree Academy you would see:
- Fun and engagement through the high quality text, topics and genres.
- High expectations and challenge for all, supported through appropriate scaffolding materials.
- VIPER displays and models on washing lines.
- Collaboration and reflection between peers.
- First quality teaching from all adults, with groups of learners supported in lessons.
EYFS "I have a book in my bag and I read to my mummy."
Year 1 "We read every day at school and at home."
Year 2 "We are excited about what we are reading, we find it very interesting."
Year 3 "Our class library has changed to non-fiction as that is our new focus."
Year 4 "We read every day with our teachers and we love it."
Year 5 "I'm on book band 4.2-5.2 and my AR reader test tells me this."
year 6 "I love the book I'm reading and this helps me a lot in my writing lessons too."