The importance of reading cannot be underestimated – for children’s grammar and vocabulary development, for their knowledge and understanding of the world and the relationships that form our lives, for their imagination, for children’s overall educational attainment, for their personal development and as a fundamental skill that undermines all other aspects of their life-long learning. There is a growing body of evidence which illustrates the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational purposes as well as personal development (cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006).
At Collis, children engage in reading and experience texts throughout the curriculum.
Pupils in KS1 are taught to read through both phonics and Guided Reading. In Reception, there is a greater emphasis on phonics and individual reading.
In Year 1 and Year 2, Guided Reading takes place once a week for each group of learners. During these sessions, children participate in small group discussions around high quality, decodable fiction and non-fiction texts, chosen from a range of publishers (for example, OUP Project X; OUP Read, Write, Inc; Collins Big Cat; Songbirds) and matched to the phonics stage of those children. From Years 3-6, two or three forty-minute guided reading sessions take place a week, using banded texts (see below) or high quality texts from a range of authors. As they move through KS2, children will engage in both small group and whole class text discussions, integrating best practice from research and evidence in schools.
Throughout KS2, pupils have three 15-minute slots per week dedicated to silent, independent reading of their own books. Teachers engage with pupils in monitoring reading, support individual pupils one-to-one and develop children’s reading repertoires, encouraging children to explore a range of texts and authors. In addition to this, some pupils who will benefit from additional reading support and discussion about texts read regularly one-to-one with an adult during the week.
Children are assessed currently in KS1 based on this criteria:
- Decoding - reading accurately most words of two or more syllables, reading most words containing common suffixes and reading most common exception words (sounding out any unfamiliar decodable words)
- Retrieving key information from the text (e.g. character information, events, titles)
- Explaining the sequence of events in texts
- Making inferences
- Making predictions
In KS2, children are assessed within these areas of learning:
- Explain the meaning of words
- Retrieve and record information or key details from the text
- Summarise ideas from more than one paragraph
- Make predictions
- Identify how information is related
- Explain how the author’s word choice impacts on the reader
- Make comparisons
We want all children to experience success. We aim to choose texts with children as much as possible. We aim to introduce the child to a variety of text-types and authors. All pupils take home one or more books from school and have a reading diary. These texts are decodable and matched to the child’s phonics stage in KS1 or matched to their book band in KS2. Parents of KS1 pupils should aim to read with their pupils five times a week for approximately ten minutes and comment in pupil’s reading diaries (which are checked regularly by the teacher). Children in KS2 should be reading regularly and for longer periods at home - ideally for 20 minutes per day - and parents should sign the reading diary once a week to acknowledge that they have monitored and supported their child’s reading.
It is also important to read to your child. This is an opportunity for them to hear stories and language at a higher level than they can read alone. Research shows the hearing texts read aloud is a significant source of vocabulary acquisition. Audiobooks can be a great resource to support with this.
From Year 2 onwards children will take texts home from a specific colour band. These coloured book bands grade texts to ensure children experience new words, grammatical structures and content incrementally. We are in the process of purchasing many new texts and re-banding our KS2 library books. Please use your parental judgement to ensure the support/challenge at home is at the right level. Provide your child with additional books to those from school as much as possible (through the local library, online/ e-books, newspapers, magazines).
The year groups below provide an indication of when children might move through these bands, but teacher assessment and parental judgement is crucial in ensuring that children are reading texts are the right level for them.
o Oxford Owl has a fantastic website with a phonics guide for parents, reading lists compiled by Nikki Gamble and an amazing free e-book library.
o ‘The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards’ https://carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/
o CBCA – Children’s Book Council of Australia http://cbca.org.au has some good recommendations under short lists and winners.
o Book Trust – an amazing site, book lists under categories, e.g. authors from different cultures, graphic novels, books about themes, e.g. love, environment, books featuring characters with disabilities, books for children with autism etc. On the same website, check out ‘Best Book Guide’. http://www.booktrust.org.uk
o ‘A Mighty Girl’ https://www.amightygirl.com/books - books for smart, confident and courageous girls.
o ‘Brightly – Raising Kids Who Love to Read’ https://www.readbrightly.com/ - in particular their email updates are fantastic.