At St Joseph’s, all children have stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts, appropriate to their age group, read to them. We understand the value of developing confident and enthusiastic readers, therefore we take every opportunity to promote reading and to ensure that it is enjoyable for all.
Children in Year R and Year 1 are actively taught and supported to use phonics as the only approach to decoding with fully decodable books which match their phonetic understanding. However, we also wish to foster a love of reading which comes from sharing high quality texts. With this in mind, children also select a book from the class library to take home each week and share with their families.
From Year 2 upwards reading skills are taught in daily whole class lessons which provide children with opportunities to share and discuss a range of high quality texts. Children are explicitly taught the skills of skimming, scanning, predicting, retrieving and inferring and given opportunities to practise and apply these skills.
Reading is a skill and, as with every skill, it requires not just instruction but practice. Reading practice serves a number of purposes. It enables students to apply the skills and strategies that we have taught, it gives us opportunities to check student learning and identify weaknesses and it draws students into the world of “real” reading - a world in which people learn from and enjoy books.
Once children have become fluent readers, they move onto the Accelerated Reader programme. Children are assessed termly using an online standardised programme to identify books which are at the correct level for them and they select books which are of this level from the class libraries for independent reading. These books are regularly shared with adults at home and at school. Once a book has been completed, the child is given the opportunity to quiz on it in school to check their comprehension. Teachers monitor children’s results and ensure that all children are selecting books of an appropriate level and are showing a good level of comprehension of the texts they read. An electronic reading record is kept on Class Dojo so that adults reading with children at home and at school are in regular communication.
The school has an exciting new programme to support children’s reading from Year 2 up to Year 6. The programme is ‘Accelerated Reader’, which is a successful programme used in schools across the world. Accelerated Reader is a programme that allows for parents/carers and the school to work together in partnership. The child will read at home, have quizzes in school (based on the book read by the child) and assessment of a child’s reading which can be accessed by parent/carer and school after the assessment has taken place. Accelerated Reader supports and develops each child’s reading skills by sequencing reading books that are matched to the child’s ability and needs based on their assessment. Mrs Owen has led the project to introduce Accelerated Reader and I would like to thank her and staff for all their hard work to get Accelerated Reader in place for the children. While the programme can have a big impact on children’s learning in reading and support a love of reading, the school needs parents/cares to work with the school to ensure children get the most from this programme and achieve the success they are capable of and deserve.
Families can access Accelerated Reader by clicking here.