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Reading

People who cannot understand each other, cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate.  The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity’ – Neil Gaiman.

 

At Long Mead, we are passionate to inspire readers for life, to ignite in the children an intrinsic value for reading for pleasure that engages them with an understanding of the world around them and provides a spark to their imagination and creativity.  As such, we know that reading is a fundamental, enriching life skill. We aim for all children to be able to read fluently and confidently and have good comprehension skills by the time they leave our school. In order to achieve this, we use a variety of teaching methods and learning opportunities in all subject areas.  Every class focuses on a number of quality texts during the year.

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In EYFS and Year 1, the children individually read levelled books, which are chosen by a staff member and reflect their current phonic learning. In this way, they progress through a carefully structured scheme which is part of the FFT Success for all phonics program.  We actively promote the expectation that children read or are read to every night at home. Alongside their phonically decodable book and sound book for certain children, we also encourage children to choose books to take home from an early age to promote enriching reading experiences at home. To support the success of this, we focus on developing the children’s ability to select books that they might be interested in reading, so that they are actively engaged and stimulated by the content.  In addition, through regular communication, we promote to parents the importance of developing comprehension and understanding skills, as well as practising decoding skills, by spending time discussing the book with their child. It is important to us that we provide a range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts to develop an understanding of a text.  It is essential that children have regular opportunities to talk about texts, answer questions and develop their comprehension skills.

Central to our reading teaching and learning is the choice of high quality texts, which enable the children to practice their reading skills when reading independently, and extend their reading understanding if being taught in a whole class session or in a group.  Throughout the school, whole class reading sessions are also used to teach reading strategies and comprehension, link reading and writing together, expose the pupils to a richer vocabulary, as well as exciting curiosity and inspiring questions from the content of the texts used.    From Year 2 through to Year 6, the structure of the Reciprocal Reading strategy is implemented across the week to teach reading. This enables the teacher to expose the children to a range of different text types, which may or may not reflect the current learning in the classroom. 

 

Regular independent reading opportunities take place, and in KS2 we continue from the children’s experience in KS1 to support children in the choice of their books. The independent reading opportunities may take a range of forms, eg silent reading, reading for pleasure sessions or group discussions.  As with KS1 children, we promote the expectation that children have a reading experience every night at home.

Lastly, we believe it is important to have daily timetabled sessions across the week where the teacher reads a book to the class, promoting the enjoyment of reading, the importance of cultivating and being part of a reading community as well as extending the children’s knowledge of different types of writing.

‘The journey of a lifetime starts with the turning of a page.’ Rachel Anders