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How We Teach Reading

Research shows that when home and school work in partnership together children are far more successful. At St Peters we know that by working together we can dramatically improve our children’s reading fluency, confidence and understanding.

At St Peters we use a reading programme called ‘Fresh Start’ which builds on the work your children will have already done at their infant school. ‘Fresh Start’ continues to develop their ‘word recognition’ and ‘word reading’ skills, and is used across the school as a daily Literacy session and intervention programme for those children needing additional support in developing their confidence and fluency in reading.

We know that an understanding of Phonics is key to early reading development, but it is only part of the process of reading. Once children can recognise and pronounce words with growing confidence, there are additional skills that need to be learnt and practised. These include:

  • Summarising stories

  • Clarifying understanding

  • Predicting

  • Skimming and scanning

  • Inferring and deducing

These skills are developed through regular guided reading sessions, and whole class story time. Every child will be involved in a group guided reading session led by the class teacher each week. Within these sessions children are grouped according to reading ability, and work on a range of reading based activities, that could include:

  • A Guided reading session (with class teacher or teaching assistant) In a small group (of six children), the children will read and discuss a text together with the teacher. Sharing their thoughts, opinions and responses to the text read.

  • A reading journal activity – children will chose from a variety of activities to create a written response to the text. (eg: Make a list of 10 adjectives used that you could use within your own writing, write a letter to the main character, write a list of 5 questions you’d like to ask the author)

  • Discussion / comprehension activities – children will answer a range of questions linked to the text read.

  • Opportunities to read a range of text types fiction and non-fiction, including: newspapers, magazines, story extracts).

 Sharing Stories

As a school we believe that stories are a vital part of life, and that without knowledge of stories (ideas, characters and events) the children are less equipped to be able to make connections between the books they read, and less able to respond to the writing tasks they are presented with.

Therefore in each class we also value the children having the regular opportunity to listen to the class teacher reading stories with the class. We believe it is the right of every child to hear, discuss and enjoy a wide range of stories. Every class makes time for this within the school week, and we would want to encourage you to read with and to your child every day.

Reading Schemes:

  • In the lower school the children use Oxford Reading Tree, supplemented with other texts.

  • On-line reading ‘Bug-Club’ – all children have their own individual user name and password to access a range of on-line books, that have been selected and targeted at their reading level.

  • As the children develop their reading skills they will move on to selecting their own reading books to take home.

We encourage children to make independent book choices,

 which we hope will inspire and excite them to read independently,

and read for pleasure in their own time.