READING IN SCHOOL
As part of the Ofsted Requirements schools are required to provide details and names of any phonics or reading schemes being used in Key Stage 1. See Phonics Tab for more information on our Phonics Scheme 'The Song of Sounds'.
At Silver End 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
Provide equal opportunities for all children to achieve success when reading.
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 a range of popular and well established schemes including; Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy’s phonics and Big Cat Collins.
As pupils move into KS2 (Key Stage 2), they may continue to access reading schemes such as Ginn and Oxford Reading, but there is also the opportunity to read a range of fiction and non-fiction books that are suitable for their age and reading level.
We use the Star Reading Test (Yrs 3-6 and Yr 2 at the class teacher's discretion), which is part of an online resource called Renaissance Reading (Accelerated Reader), to generate a reading comprehension age and a book level in the form of a points scale. This identifies books that the children can choose, which will be at the right level to provide optimal reading challenge without frustration. Tests are completed every half term so that children’s levels are regularly updated. Accelerated Reader also allows us to track pupils' understanding of texts (comprehension) through pupils taking quizzes. This table gives a rough idea as to which book levels correspond with which year groups. However, this is only a guide as there isn’t an exact correlation.
AR Book Level
1.9 – 2.8
2.8 – 3.3
3.3 – 3.7
3.7 – 4.6
4.6 – 5.6+
It is also worth noting that children's levels might fluctuate and often dip slightly after the summer holiday.
Strategies ~ helping our children learn to read.
The purpose of a ‘strategy check’ is to give the children an opportunity to practice and remember the different strategies they need to apply in order to read and understand texts. Strategies have been devised into Early Readers, Developing Readers and Active Reading Strategies.
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.
Ask children to name the strategies they can use when they are unable to read a word. Ask the children to share the different things they can do when they do not understand a word, sentence or section of text.
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 (e.g. 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).
Choosing Reading Books - November 2022 - Letter To Parents
Reading Comprehension Skills
To enable children to become active readers, we teach the following skills in comprehension lessons:
Sequence or Summarise
The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency etc. As such, VIPERS is a method of ensuring that we ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions. Below are some example questions, which relate to each of the skills, that you could ask when reading with your child:
READING AT HOME
SUGGESTED READING BOOKS FOR EACH YEAR GROUP
As we all know, reading is a vital skill that all children need to learn, develop and enjoy.
Reading teaches children about the world around them. Through reading, they learn about people, places and events outside their own experience. Reading improves a child's vocabulary, leads to more highly-developed language skills and improves the child's ability to write well.
A child's reading skills are important to their success in school as they will allow them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improve their communication and language skills. In addition, reading can be a fun and imaginative time for children, which opens doors to all kinds of new worlds for them.
'Reading feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.'
I have attached below the link to a website with suggested reading material for each year group. There are so many fantastic books for us to share with our children, including some old favourites and a few new titles that will hopefully grab their attention.
Below 5 years
Magazines and newspapers for children
The above is only a list of suggestions and certainly not the only books available. Reading is very personal and subjective therefore some of the suggested books may be more or less appropriate for your child depending on their likes/ dislikes and level of understanding.
Please make time to read with your child as often as possible because as a child grows up, being able to read not only enables them to discover new facts and to learn at school, but also opens them up to a world of new ideas, stories and opportunities.
ONLINE VIDEO STORYBOOKS
As stated in the National Curriculum 2014; the writing process, which the children will be taught is;
- evaluate/ edit
We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made. To engage children in the writing process, they are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes; they are encouraged to think about the intended reader considering ways to keep them interested from the start of a text right through to the end. Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English; grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling.
Throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, writing is based on the interests of each cohort. Stimuli is found from a range of sources such as videos, music, animations, images, novels and extracts. Writing opportunities are sourced and developed based on the needs of each cohort. Our curriculum allows children to have the opportunity to explore rich, high-quality texts in depth, enhancing reading comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing. The teaching of this is flexible and class teachers are then, in turn, able to apply their own creativity to cover the objectives set out in the National Curriculum.
GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION PROGRESSION
What is oracy?
Speaking and listening may not be formally assessed in primary schools, but they’re vital skills for every child. Here’s why – and how to encourage oracy.
We’re all keen for our children to build their literacy skills at school, and become confident readers and fluent writers. But developing a mastery of English isn’t just about reading and writing: it’s also about becoming a good speaker. Oracy is the ability to express yourself clearly and communicate with others effectively through spoken language.
‘It’s about having the vocabulary to say what you want to say, and the ability to structure your thoughts so that they make sense to others.'
A key part of oracy is for children to think carefully about the language they’re using, and tailor it to their subject, purpose and audience. For example, a Year 6 pupil should understand that they need to use simpler words and sentence structures when explaining the rules of a game to a Reception child than they would if they were with their peers.
Oracy involves embracing different speaking skills, such as:
- Discussion: exchanging ideas with others
- Instruction: telling someone what to do, or explaining facts
- Dialogue: having a conversation with someone, listening and showing an interest in what they say
Oracy isn’t, however, just about being a good talker – or talking lots. It also includes listening to others, and responding appropriately.
Why oracy matters
So much in life depends on being a good communicator, so it’s vital that children learn the importance of oracy from a young age.
‘Good communication and language skills support children’s ability to learn, think about and understand the world, and interact with others.'
Indeed, children who start school with limited communication skills are six times less likely than their peers to reach the expected standards in English at the end of Year 6.
Good oracy also leads to improved performance in other curriculum areas, including maths and science.
Developing early oracy skills isn’t just important for children’s education, though. Children who communicate well are more likely to form good relationships with other children and adults, and may be less prone to behaviour sanctions as they can express their frustrations verbally rather than lashing out or losing their temper.
Children who are good communicators are less likely to have mental health problems as adults, possibly because they’re more able to express their feelings.
Oracy and speaking and listening skills in the National CurriculumOracy may not be officially assessed by SATs, but it’s an important part of the National Curriculum, and not just in English.
‘Spoken language is a requirement across the curriculum because it helps students to express and explore ideas before they commit them to paper, supporting the development of reading and writing.'
‘More than this, talking through an idea, problem or finding enables pupils to share their thinking and learn from each other.’
The National Curriculum says that having ‘a strong command of the spoken and written word’ is one of its overarching aims. In particular, it says children should:
- Use discussion in order to learn;
- Be able to elaborate and explain their understanding and ideas;
- Be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
It sets specific speaking and listening objectives within the English programme of study for each year, and oracy is also developed through other curriculum areas, such as drama.
Oracy in the classroom
The deliberate, explicit and systematic teaching of oracy across phases and throughout the curriculum will support children and young people to make progress in the four strands of oracy outlined in the Oracy Framework below.
In class, we focus on one oracy objective/ skill each week (that relates to one of these four strands) and plan activities which allow these skills to be practised and developed.
Here are some examples of activities that are used to develop oracy in our school:
- Setting ground rules for speaking and listening in class, such as putting your hand up before speaking, waiting to be chosen, and not interrupting each other.
- Presentations on a specified subject, or a subject of their own choosing. These could be individual presentations or in pairs or small groups, in front of their class or the whole school in assembly. At the lower end of the school, this is often ‘show and tell,’ while older pupils might make a topic-based presentation.
- Discussions as a pair, small group or whole class, for example about religious beliefs, story plots, or predicting the outcomes of experiments.
- Hot seating: a drama technique where one child sits in the ‘hot seat,’ and the other children ask them questions to answer in character.
- Exploring a text through performance – not just re-enacting what actually happens in the book, but also acting out what characters might do or say in a particular situation.
- Structured debates, with one group of pupils for and another against a certain topic or question, such as, ‘Is it right to bully a bully?’
- Putting on class assemblies attended by the rest of the school and often parents.
- School council meetings, where council members collect questions and concerns from other pupils and present them to their fellow councillors and teachers.
- Group work, where communication and listening to each other are essential.
- Older children being play leaders for younger children at breaktimes, explaining the rules of a game and making sure everyone plays correctly and fairly.
- Circle time: a class discussion, often weekly, where everyone sits in a circle and talks over issues affecting the class, such as too much talking during lessons, or bad behaviour in the playground. This encourages oracy skills like expressing opinions, turn-taking and respecting others’ views.
7 ways to promote oracy at homeTry these techniques to help your child become a more confident communicator, in school and at home.
‘Reading aloud to your child, well beyond the age they can read for themselves, combines the benefits of talking, listening and storytelling within one activity that helps children build their vocabulary, learn to express their thoughts, and understand the structure of language,’ says Billie.
1. Read aloud to your child
2. Record a video diaryMany kids aspire to being vloggers or YouTube stars, so encourage them to start a video diary, either to chart their everyday life or to record special occasions like birthdays and holidays. For safety’s sake, keep these within the family rather than broadcasting them online.
3. Play word gamesGames like 20 Questions, Guess Who? and I Spy are great for helping children use descriptive language and think critically about what they’re saying.
4. Talk about their dayAsk your child, ‘What did you do today?’ and they’ll often claim they can’t remember, so find different ways to talk about what they’ve been up to. Eating your evening meal as a family is a good way to encourage conversation, while older kids are often more chatty in the car, where they feel less like they’re being interrogated. You could also try our tips for asking the right questions to elicit information.
5. Phone a friend (or relative)Persuade your child to take a break from text and WhatsApp and develop their speaking skills by making an actual phone call. ‘Encouraging them to speak to different family members on the phone or on a video call will build confidence.'
6. Go on a nature walkThis is a great pre-phonics activity for young children, who can be encouraged to listen carefully to the sounds they hear – from traffic to birdsong – and describe them. They can also describe the natural sights they see, such as trees, animals and birds and the sky.
7. Sign them up for a clubJoining extra-curricular clubs is a good opportunity for your child to converse with different people outside the home or school environment. Many of them also involve taking instructions (such as being coached in sporting techniques or to complete science or art projects), and introduce them to different vocabulary relating to their new hobby.
INTERESTING ARTICLES - GENERAL
Dads and reading
USEFUL DOCUMENTS AND WEBSITES - GENERAL
Use this link to access a 'Bookfinder' - a useful tool for helping your child choose their next book.
FUN ACTIVITIES AND QUIZZES - GENERAL