Mrs Bethany Horwell
Class Teacher and Early Reading Lead
Miss Kerri Moore
Class Teacher and Reading Lead
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” — Walt Disney
At BB, we develop a child’s ability to read fluently and with confidence. More importantly, we aim to instil in every child a life-long love of reading. We do this in a variety of ways: every classroom has a wide selection of books, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry which are regularly rotated and replenished for children to access and enjoy; magazine subscriptions provide an alternative to the traditional reading book, as well as audio books; each class votes for their class reader, which their teacher reads daily; opportunities to select and take home reading for pleasure books alongside RWI or AR books; celebration days and events such as World Book Day. We also have our BB Reading Ambassadors, whose main role is to share their enjoyment of reading and their knowledge about books.
Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading assessments than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background. Cressida Cowell (Children’s Laureate 2020-2021) reinforces the importance of reading as a school priority: “Study after study has shown how reading for pleasure is vital for academic success, mental health and even later economic success. By sparking growing imaginations, stimulating critical thinking and helping to develop empathy, reading gives children the very skills they need to succeed at school, at work and in life.”
Here at BB, we are passionate about giving our children the very best opportunities we can, therefore we are relentless at making reading a school priority. It consistently forms a part of the school development plan which ensures that all elements are monitored, their effectiveness evaluated, actions reviewed and necessary professional development provided.
The teaching of reading in our school is based on five key elements:
- Phonemic awareness - the ability to hear, identify, move or change sounds (phonemes) in spoken words
- Phonics – recognising the link between sounds (phonemes) and letters (graphemes) to decode words
- Fluency – the ability to read accurately, quickly and with expression
- Vocabulary – knowing the meaning of words in order to understand what you are reading
- Comprehension – understanding and interpreting what you have read
The use of Read, Write Inc in the Early Years and KS1 provides a rigorous and systematic approach to the teaching of reading based on synthetic phonics, which research shows to be the most effective approach to the teaching of reading. Daily RWI sessions develop children’s ability to decode by focusing on phonemic awareness and phonic skills, enabling children to meet or exceed their Early Learning Goals in Reception and the expectations of reading outlined in the National Curriculum as they move through to KS1. As children move through Year 2 and complete RWI, they are moved onto Accelerated Reader, where they are tested and given a reading band based on their ability. Alongside the teaching of phonics and AR, children in KS1 have class reading sessions to develop early skills of fluency and comprehension. In KS2, a whole class reading approach is used where the learning is focused on developing fluency, vocabulary and the elements of comprehension outlined in the National Curriculum. Accelerated Reader continues to be used throughout KS2. For those children who need a little extra support as they progress into KS2, we have RWI resources available and this approach is followed until the children are ready and able to begin the Accelerated Reader scheme.
Here are the thoughts of some of our Reading Ambassadors about why they love reading:
“I love to read because it gives me a new adventure.” Seth
“I love reading because it’s fun as you can imagine that you’re in the book. I would love to have been George in ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ because it would be great fun to do that to your Gran, even if it is mean.” Alfie
“I love to read because it inspires my imagination.” Talon
“I love to read because it takes me away from all the trouble that’s going on, to my own little world.” Morveren
“I love reading because it gives me adventures that I would really love to go on. In the story I’m reading, they have to find three magic eggs which will make all the food that they eat taste like chocolate – I wish I could do that in real life!” Ruby
“I love to read because it transports me to another world, where I experience things I wouldn’t usually experience.” Neve