Children love reading at Haresfield School. That is why we would like to encourage them to read to you even more than they do already. Don’t forget to share a book with your child every day if you can and remember even the oldest children in school love to have a book read to them at bedtime. For our reading certificate system the children need to ask a parent or an adult at home to sign their reading record book when they have read to them. The signatures are counted up and certificates awarded for the number of times they have read at home. 20 times for the first reading certificate, 50 for bronze etc. Many of the children are very competative and are keen to earn the whole set of certificates for the year.
Overview of reading in the school
In FS children start taking home books with pictures in to read with parents. As they progress in their reading skills and phonics they begin to take home books with easily decodable words and move on as appropriate through assessment of their reading by Mrs Smout and Miss Tibbles during school.
As children progress into KS1 they begin reading from the book banded books and taking these home to read with parents. We have a range of books in each level from different reading schemes and publishers and do not stick to one single reading scheme, and there are also ‘real’ books within the book bands (not reading scheme books) which have been carefully chosen to be at that level. Children are moved up to the next level when it is deemed appropriate by their class teacher. Children should be reading books that enable them to accurately decode 95% of the words to aid fluency and foster enjoyment. This sometimes needs to be reiterated with parents as it can seem that children are finding the books ‘easy’ and they can be keen to progress them faster.
As children move into KS2 many of them are ready to be ‘free readers’, i.e. they are no longer required to read from one of the book banded boxes and can choose non reading scheme books from the classroom and the library. We do however still monitor and restrict their choices initially to ensure that they are still choosing books that have an appropriate level of demand as well as appropriate content (some children in Y3 may technically manage The Hobbit for example, but it is better suited to older children with more stamina and a wider vocabulary).
Children all have a library card with which they can withdraw a book from the school library. We have recently reorganised the fiction books into classes as the children were finding the choice overwhelming and not choosing suitable books for their ability. We have made sure there is a range of reading demand available in all classes. This also allows for access to a whole new shelf of books when the children move up to the next class, which inspires their interest and enthusiasm for reading. Children are also able to choose from the non-fiction sections of the library.
Our library collection is boosted by topic boxes from the Gloucestershire Library Services for Education who provide us with topic related collections of non fiction. They are also able to provide fiction sets (we currently have a set of high interest/low demand reading texts for Class 3).
We receive volunteer support with reading from many different people from our community including several parents all of whom give up some time to hear readers weekly.
Recent developments in reading in the school
- We are now in our second year of the reading at home certificates and there seem to be more children achieving them. We still would like to get more Class 4 children remembering to tell the teacher when they have read a certain number of times.
- We have purchased more books for Reception children without words as this was an area that needed boosting.
- We have purchased more Guided Reading sets for all classes to refresh the teaching of reading
- We have purchased some focussed Achieve Level 3,4,5 and 6 reading books for Class 4 to help to structure the children’s learning in reading
- We have looked at Guided Reading during staff meeting time and resources are available to support.
- Mrs Smout has recently run a (hugely popular and oversubscribed) KS1 book group after school
Future plans for reading
We would like to:
- Start a buddy reading system between classes
- Continue to find ways to engage boys with reading such as ordering topic boxes chosen specifically with boys in mind – both fiction and non fiction
- Have a focus author of the term in each class based around the book the class is reading together on display in the library