Reading is at the heart of our curriculum, with our aim to instil a love of reading in every child. The class teacher regularly reads to children, carefully selecting high quality texts, which thoroughly engage both the children and the teachers!
The teaching of reading and comprehension skills takes place every day through whole class reading sessions. Each half term, the children will study a different book which allows the children to get an experience of a variety of high quality literature and authors. Each day the children will take part in high quality book talk to really develop a deeper understanding of the book and improve their comprehension skills. Mixed into these sessions, the children will also access a variety of non-fiction and poetry.
Each child has a reading book, which is from our book band scheme. The books get progressively harder as the children progress through the colours until they become a ‘free reader’. The teacher carries out a ‘book band check’ every half term to ensure that the books are still the correct level of challenge for the readers. The children love the sense of achievement as they move up through the scheme. The expectation is that they will read at least 3 or 4 times a week at home depending on their year group. Reading is recorded in their reading record, which is monitored by the class teacher.
For children who struggle with reading, we run a number of reading interventions including: Letters and Sounds, for children with gaps in their phonics knowledge; Words First, which concentrates on sight recognition of the high frequency words and Lexia reading, a computer program that identifies particular areas of need and tailors the support for that area. Children who are behind in their reading will have the opportunity to read regularly with an adult in school. We also have parent readers who volunteer to listen to children read. Various interventions take place during the week for children who require extra support with their reading.
We have a well-stocked, regularly updated school library run by our school librarian, which children are able to visit regularly. Children really enjoy their visits to the library and they are taught to be able to find books that they will enjoy from authors they know and new authors as well as using the Dewey system to look up information books around a given subject. The Junior Librarian computer system allows them to be self-sufficient, checking their books in and out.
At HJS we love to celebrate reading and the love of books in a variety of different ways. Every day, the teachers will read to the children from their class reader; children can access the library during lunchtimes and become junior librarians if they wish; teachers regularly swap classes to read and share their favourite stories with the children; children have filmed their own vlogs to recommend books and every year we take part in world book day and celebrate reading throughout the week.
Our children achieve well in reading and we are proud to be a school that works hard to ensure children leave school being confident readers with a love of literature.