One of the most important skills a child can acquire is the ability to read independently and for meaning. Books are the stepping stones of imagination and our aim at Furley Park is to instil in your child a love of books and a passion for the written word.
We read a range of quality texts throughout the day in all curriculum areas, as well as teaching discrete phonics and reading sessions every day. Please help us to support your child begin their reading journey by reading, talking about and enjoying books every day.
Throughout the year, we have various book themed events, including story night, World Book Day celebrations and story themed after school clubs. Please come along to support these events, we love sharing our love of reading with our school community.
We use the phonics programme Read Write Inc (RWI) from the start of Reception.
From their first full week in Foundation, Children begin their reading journey using the Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics programme. All children are placed into homogenous reading ability groups and are assessed regularly to ensure that they are making the required progress and staying on track.
The first 20 minutes of Read Write Inc each day is referred to as the ‘Speed Sound lesson’ during which children learn a new sound, review sounds that they have been taught previously, spell words and practise reading pseudo (alien) words in order to strengthen their blending skills and prepare them for the Phonics Screening Check.
The remainder of the lesson is spent reading a text and completing comprehension and writing activities which relate to it. The texts are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and are all completely decodable according to each child’s most recent assessment. Depending on their group level children are working from either a 3 or 5 day timetable. The repetitive nature of the programme is a real strength as children soon become familiar with the routines and expectations of each lesson which maximises learning time. This supports all children with transition between groups but especially those children who may be more sensitive to change.
Any children not making progress are identified very quickly and will be flagged to their class teachers as requiring additional support or intervention. Children who need to learn additional sounds may take part in ‘pinny time’ sessions where they will regularly review sounds and learn new ones informally with an adult at some other time throughout the day.
The way that phonics is taught is shared with parents in a number of ways. All parents are invited in to training sessions at the beginning of the school year where they are introduced to the RWI programme and learn about how it is taught.
Foundation Stage Parents are also invited in to a ‘Stay and Play’ session in the first term and the focus of this session is phonics. Parents watch a phonics lesson being taught and join in with their child as they complete the activities in the lesson.
A love of books and story is fostered throughout the Foundation year with multiple stories, rhymes and songs being shared with children every day.
Year 1 children who have completed RWI and Year 2 children in Yellow Group and above take home books from the library. All library books are given a ZPD number which is based on the complexity of the text and content of the book. Children complete a Star Reader online test each term to determine their ZPD range and then can choose books independently within this range. With Accelerated Reader, a child reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback about their comprehension of the book. Students respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills. They enjoy reading ’real’ books which are fully accessible.
Accelerated Reader ensures all readers are reading texts that match their ability and interests and especially enables our more able readers to access texts which challenge and motivate them.
We have a part time librarian who organises resources for Accelerated Reader, schedules in Star Reader tests each term and is on hand to help children choose books. ‘Branching Out’ posters are displayed in our libraries to encourage children to broaden their reading experience, based on what they know they already enjoy. Our librarian also shares Accelerated Reader data with class teachers to ensure the needs of children are met, in particular, those who require interventions/support with their reading.
As soon as children’s phonic and blending ability enables them to access texts with guidance from a teacher, guided reading is our primary approach to teaching reading. Children are grouped in ability groups of no more than 6 children, according to their RWI colour or ZPD level. Real fiction, non-fiction and poetry books are used to teach reading skills and to foster a love of reading throughout the school. Classes have timetabled guided reading sessions each day which ensures all children read with an adult at least once a week. They are given pre reading and post reading tasks linked to the book they have read which focus on comprehension skills and vocabulary acquisition and which allow us to assess children’s reading ability against National Curriculum requirements.
Some reading interventions are delivered during Guided Reading time in the form of additional group reads with an adult.
We wanted to establish a system whereby all children, but particularly those in KS2, were exposed to high quality texts in the form of books that were read aloud to them.
A core set of class reads have been established linked to our curriculum cycles. High quality texts were chosen and the books being read to classes represent a range of genres, and different cultures, abilities, times and viewpoints are represented.
All classes have timetabled daily read aloud sessions – we quickly discovered that the children simply won’t let us teach into the times allocated for story!
In addition to the Class Reads, the younger children have book votes, whereby a choice of two books to be read aloud is offered and the children vote on which one they would like to hear. Children are invited to bring in much loved books from home and tell their class why they think it would be enjoyed by everyone. That book then goes into the book vote – we love hearing about why particular stories mean so much to them!
If you would like some ideas about what to read to your child, there are some great recommendations on the links below, based on age or on topic. Or to talk the class teachers, Mrs Oliver or Miss Blundy – we are all lovers of children’s books!