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. Reading and books develop a child’s imagination, deepen their receptive and expressive vocabulary and help children to understand the world they live in; that is why we believe reading for pleasure is vital. Our aim is for all children to develop a life-long love of reading.
During the early stages of reading, children’s phonic knowledge is systematically developed in a fun, multi-sensory approach through discrete daily phonics sessions. Children are taught to decode the written word and as they progress through the school, we help them to build a wide range of book and comprehension skills. Children have access to a wide range of books as we believe children become excellent, motivated readers through being exposed to a rich tapestry of authors and illustrators. In EYFS and KS1, books are changed weekly so that there are opportunities for multiple readings at school and at home.
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 encompass a range of different genres. These recommendations are given in the weekly home learning letter and the weekly whole-school newsletter. This enables children 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. Poetry features in our English curriculum through explicitly taught units of learning, and we also have an annual Poetry Week that takes place in November every year. This coincides with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award, known as the CLiPPA. Throughout the week, children are exposed to a range of poems and encouraged to read, visualise, perform and evaluate poems. A direct link to the poetry performances could go here as a hyperlink.
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 regularly in class as well as during our Friday assembly. 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 a language other than English.
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 and a small number of children in Y3.