Reading Frederick Bird

At Frederick Bird we believe it is very important to develop each child’s ability to understand and use both written and spoken language across all areas of learning. The development of these skills enables children to interact effectively in the world around them, through communicating confidently and creatively both orally and in ‘Reading & Writing’.

Our pupils come to school with their own experiences of using language in the home, in their pre-school setting and within the local community and we value these skills as a starting point for further development. We are committed to providing our pupils with a language-rich environment where they can develop their language skills at a pace that suits their ability and helps them to achieve national expectations. We aim to develop independent writers and readers from an early age and value the outcomes of each child.

The Early Years

In our Early Years Foundation Stage our main approach to the teaching of Reading is through the Read Write Inc. phonics programme. Phonics is simply a way of teaching children to read intuitively and quickly. By breaking words down to the sounds of letters and letter combinations, these sounds can be combined from left to right to make words. By learning this highly structured technique, children are able to correctly ‘decode’ new words they hear or see.

We know that reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum so teaching the children the skills they need to decode is essential. Read Write Inc. sessions are taught daily with no exceptions as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development.

Although RWI is the primary focus for the teaching of reading it is important that children are also exposed to a wide range of books and quality texts. So guiding reading of a shared quality text and other forms of print in a small group with an adult is still a part of early years’ practice. The children are also read to by adults regularly and encouraged to share books for pleasure.
Reading regularly at home is important too so we send each child home with a reading book matched to their ability so they can practice reading at home to a parent or carer. Each child is also given the opportunity to choose a library book to take home and share.

Support for parents can be found on the Read Write Inc:

Our Foundation Stage Leader is happy to help and support any parents who would like to know more about how to help their child with reading at home so if you would like some support or further information on early reading just call into our admin office and ask to make an appointment.

Key Stage 1

In Year 1 the children continue to follow the Read Write Inc. phonics programme to develop skills in decoding unknown words and to develop reading fluency. Each child will also bring home a reading book matched to their reading ability which they can read mainly independently and a book chosen form our school library that they can share with a parent or carer at home for pleasure.
Work in English lessons and also in theme lessons are built around high quality children’s texts to enhance and enrich the children’s experiences of reading.

In Year 2 the focus moves from phonics to the development of comprehension skills. The children move off the Read Write Inc phonics scheme and on to our central reading scheme, Project X, to deepen their understanding and help them to think about and discuss their reading. The children learn these comprehension skills through weekly whole class reading comprehension lessons and through targeted small group guided reading lessons with the teacher in which they will explore and discuss the books in more depth.

As in Reception and Year 1, each child will also bring home a reading book matched to their reading ability which they can read mainly independently and a book chosen from our school library that they can share with a parent or carer at home for pleasure..

Key stage 2

By the time children enter Key Stage 2 we would hope that they had successfully completed the Read Write Inc. phonics programme and have begun to develop the key skills needed for reading comprehension.

In Key stage 2 we continue to develop those key skills through weekly reading comprehension lessons and through weekly targeted guided reading in smaller groups. The focus in Key stage 2 is to deepen the children’s understanding of how authors create characters, develop their stories and communicate with the reader.

We help the children to develop inference skills and to read between the lines of a text and to skim and scan a text to find information to support their learning. We also teach them how to write a written response to questions about the book they have been reading. By the time children leave us, we aim to have developed fluent readers who are interested in reading and are able to use it as a key life skill for a successful future.

Reading for Pleasure

As well as teaching children the skills to become successful readers we also want them to be “book lovers” and to enjoy reading for its sheer pleasure. In order to promote a love of reading we make our class libraries and school libraries attractive places to read in. Our curriculum is also built around quality texts that are read to and shared with the children. We celebrate books by taking part each year in World Book Week, dressing up and having a fun week linked to the children’s favourite books. We also follow the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards every year and always buy each year group a full set of the books on the short list to share and read.

The children also follow our reading mascot Scruffy the cat’s adventures as he tries to learn to read. You can see what he gets up to and read his book blogs on our website.
We also hold a reading challenge each term to encourage children to read as many books as they can.
Ruth Eastham, our patron of reading, visits us every year and delivers some excellent high quality workshops on reading and writing for our year 5 &6 pupils which inspires them to read and to write. .