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Our vision for reading

At Barnes Primary School, we believe that every child has the right to learn to read and become a confident, competent reader. Our aim is for all children to develop a love of reading.  We continually promote enjoyment through the creative use of high quality texts; a wide range of engaging activities and regular age appropriate book recommendations that we make to children that encompass a range of different genre. These recommendations are given in the weekly home learning letter and the weekly whole-school newsletter. This enable children’s and parents to make informed, guided choices about what to read. Through the books we chose to read in school and the texts we recommend children read outside of school, we ensure that children are able to access a diverse range of characters and stories that provide windows to the lives and experiences of others and ones that reflect their own life experiences.

We believe it is important that children are encouraged to read poetry and non-fiction as well as fiction. To this end, we have an annual Poetry Week that takes place in November every year. This coincides with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s poetry award, known as the CLiPPA. Throughout the week, children are exposed to a range of poems and encouraged to: reflect; visualise; perform and evaluate poems.

Non-fiction material plays a huge role in our curriculum. Non-fiction unfolds the reality children face in their everyday lives. It  gives knowledge and vocabulary in a specific subject, which helps in learning new things. More than simply supplying children with facts, it helps them to understand and be intrigued by the world around them. In all areas of the curriculum, a range of non-fiction text types are used to: support children’s learning; develop subject specific vocabulary and extend subject knowledge

All staff aim to be reading role models in the way that they discuss and promote books as well as modelling reading for pleasure.  They make careful selections both in the texts that they choose to use in the teaching of English and in those that they read aloud to pupils. Children are read aloud to daily as well as during our daily assemblies.  This not only allows them to encounter more demanding texts in a safe environment but also aids their vocabulary growth. In addition, high quality (and familiar stories) are shared in French assemblies on a regular basis to extend vocabulary in another language other than English.

In nursery, we aim to develop a love of learning thorough the use of high quality book packs for children and parents to share. Each pack has been meticulously put together using high quality texts and a range of props so that the story can come alive. Each pack has a prompt card to guide families in how to use the pack and options for how the props can be used. We want all families to be excited about sharing books together and for a love of reading to be developed from the moment children start with us.

In Reception and during the early stages of reading, children’s phonic knowledge is systematically developed in a fun, multi-sensory approach through discrete daily phonics sessions that are based upon the “Letters and Sounds” programme.  Children are taught to decode the written word whilst building a wide range of book and comprehension skills.  This focus takes place in regular dedicated guided reading sessions.  Children have access to a wide range of books (from a number of publishers and decodable phonics scheme books) as we believe children become excellent, motivated readers through being exposed to a rich range of authors and illustrators.  Children are allocated a phonetically decodable book, at their current level of reading development, which focuses on the group of sounds that they have just been taught in school so that they can experience success and independence in their reading  In addition to a phonetically decodable text children also take home a range of other texts to read each week.  Books are changed weekly so that there are opportunities for multiple readings at school and at home.   

All pupils have opportunities for differentiated shared reading and independent reading throughout the school day alongside working together in guided groups or as a whole class on detailed explorations of whole books and shorter texts. 

We strive for every pupil to leave us with the necessary skills to access the reading and vocabulary demands of the secondary curriculum and for them to be successful communicators throughout their lives.  We believe that no child should be left behind or become a disenchanted reader so targeted interventions – both group and individual – are deployed appropriately using highly skilled support staff. We also employ reading role models, where children from Y6 support the reading of currently lower-attaining children in Y5.