Reading has a pivotal place at St. Luke's Primary School; we aim for all children to develop a true love of reading and be inspired by a good book. It is our intent to provide pupils with a high-quality education that will develop their reading and vocabulary skills, as these are integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. We know that for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum and that fluency in reading is an essential foundation for success in all subjects. As we strive for pupils to be able to read confidently and fluently with an age appropriate understanding in each year group, and to indeed read for pleasure, we focus on it right from the start and as they go through the school.
The Book Trust and UKLA have up to date, recommend books for children of all ages. Use the links below to find something new and exciting to read with your child.
Early Years provides the building blocks to the foundations of reading. It is the initial stage of providing children with the knowledge and skills to be able to decode words accurately as well as developing their understanding of texts.
Phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading when children start school. We teach phonics through 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds' - the children partake in daily phonics lessons as well as three practise reading sessions with their class teacher each week (please see our phonics curriculum page for more information).
As we aim to foster a love of books, the children in Year R share stories together every day and we give careful thought to the texts we share and select. Children practice their oral storytelling skills, recall, discuss new words and vocabulary as well as join in with texts that contain repetition, rhyme and rhythm.
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage One developing a love of reading is at the heart of everything we do. Year One children continue to read and share illustrated stories and non-fiction books. Whole class reading in Year one takes place daily. The children partake in daily phonics lessons and participate in three practise reading sessions a week with their class teacher or teaching assistant. The children's phonological skills are tested at the end of Year One as they are nationally through the Phonics Screening Test.
The use of Chapter books is developed in Year Two, which allows the children to enjoy a story over a number of weeks. As a class, the children look at key texts and authors, outlined by our reading overview (see link above). In Year Two, children continue to take part in practise reading sessions linked to phonics. They also enjoy whole class reading lessons, comprising of word reading and comprehension activities in a variety of formats, using their class text as the stimulus.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage Two, our aim is to continue to develop a love of reading by building on the skills and knowledge that children have learned throughout Key Stage One. We intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to continue to establish an appreciation of reading, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and to develop their comprehension skills. We intend for all children to be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their education. Core texts are selected carefully to ensure that children are exposed to a wide range of genres. There is a focus on fiction and non-fiction texts each half term. These are taught through class reading lessons, which focus on the teaching of statutory National Curriculum requirements. Here, children are exposed to comprehension activities in a variety of formats. These aim to enhance their skills in both their written and oral work.
St. Luke’s teachers read to children every day; we have a ‘core reading spine’ outlining the books that will be read to your child (see reading overview above). Independent reading (both within school and at home) is continually encouraged (see reading incentives document above).
Supporting your child at home
One of the most important ways you can support your child is to spend 10-15 minutes a day reading to them or listening to them read. This is the one thing that will make the most difference to their overall progress with reading in school.
For children reading books matched to Little Wandle Letters and Sounds, we would also like to remind you that the books that come home with your children will be fully decodable and slightly easier than the ones they are reading at school; your child will be reading the book at 90-95% fluency. This is so that your child can practise skills that they have learnt, and focus on understanding what they have read instead of decoding every word. This will lead to increased understanding, confidence and enjoyment! It is usual for the children to read the same text more than once, this not only helps with their word recall skills, it also helps them to understand the text better.
You can support your child to develop their reading skills by:
- reading regularly to them;
- showing an interest in what they are reading;
- listening to them read their fully decodable book;
- encouraging them to read their tricky/common exception words by sight;
- encouraging your child to express ideas and opinions clearly;
- taking them regularly to the library.
Encouraging a love of books
- Regularly sharing stories and information books, reading shopping lists, labels, signs, menus, magazines, electronic texts and comics all help children to see the purpose of reading. You can also help by encouraging your child to join the library and no matter how old he or she is; they will benefit greatly from listening to you read to them. Children will also be encouraged to read if they see the adults around them reading, both for pleasure and for information.
Sharing books at home
- Choose a quiet time when you can enjoy the book together.
- Ask your child to talk about the cover and the pictures before looking at the words.
- If appropriate talk about the author/illustrator/contents/index/word types and meanings.
- Share a range of books – fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
- When reading encourage them to use the skills they know e.g. sounding out, guessing what a word might be from looking at the pictures or reading the rest of the sentence etc.
- Encourage them to use expression in their reading.
- Make it fun! If your child is tired or frustrated, stop and try again later.
- Starting to read together may help a reluctant reader to ‘have a go’.
- Give your child lots of encouragement and praise.
- Talk, and ask questions, about the characters, what happened, what they think might happen next and what they enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy) about the book.
Please use your child’s reading record to keep a record of the books your child reads and to enter a comment about their reading. These may be books they have brought home from school, ones they have borrowed from the library or an e-library book. This record will help us to know what your child can do and inform us about the range of books they have read. We will also write in the record when your child has read in school and provide an appropriate next step for them to practise e.g. a particular tricky word or grapheme.