We want children to love books as much as we do: long stories for rainy days or thought-provoking picture books; adventures in faraway lands or today’s newspaper. Books may be enjoyed alone or with others, but reading is an essential skill that we teach all children to value. Teachers and teaching assistants promote reading through sharing books by reading aloud, focuses on authors and by encouraging peer recommendations and book reviews.
In each classroom, there is a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books available, and children also have access to the school library. Children have time to read in school and can borrow books to share and read at home.
We teach children a variety of reading strategies including phonics, whole-word recognition and reading for meaning. Books from a range of published reading schemes are used to structure the development of children’s reading skills. Covering both fiction and non-fiction, books are colour-coded in levels. Children are encouraged to choose a book from those at their level and the teacher assesses when a child is ready to move to another level. Children read to staff and volunteers, and reading is monitored closely. Detailed assessments are made each term to measure progress.
At Aldrington, guided reading, known as Book Talk, takes place daily. With a specific focus on reading, children are appropriately ability grouped and work in either teacher-led groups or independently. In Book Talk, children develop key skills of decoding, comprehension, prediction and summarising. Structured systems are in place for children who need long- or short- term support.
Our aim is always to encourage independent reading, enjoyment and personal choice. We want our children to develop into confident, fluent and independent readers, who will reflect on all types of texts with enthusiasm.
Helping your child to read
Parents and children are asked to return their books and reading records in good time to allow teachers to read comments and respond to them and support children to choose their next book The School's Homework Scheme details how much time children are expected to spend on reading at home each week. It is also beneficial for children to have stories read aloud to them, or to use their developing skills in other contexts, eg to follow a recipe, read instructions for a number game or carry out research into a topic.