The development of reading skills and the love of reading is a key focus at Liden academy. We believe that ‘reading transforms the human brain which transforms the mind, which transforms the life every reader’. (Wolf 2007). We are passionate about developing the whole reader, initially by supporting their early reading skills, developing the love of reading by sharing high quality stories that children love, followed by developing the reading diet by exploring new engaging texts in a range of genres, form a range of authors which is supported by our newly renovated and well stocked library.
The ways in which we support children’s reading our detailed below
Early reading skills are taught through our phonics programme Read Write Inc. where children have a daily session matched to their current knowledge. We have chosen Read Write Inc. because it teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step. Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.
They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.
Along with a thought-provoking introduction, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice.
Language and literacy
We will develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for children, understanding the language will provide access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.
Children will be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They will learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. They will be taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through exploring ideas. This will enable them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.
Stories are an important aspect of language development. Children love hearing good quality stories and we encourage parents to read to their children regularly as well as reading in school. Stories provide children with a wealth of language that they can then use to help them with their reading, writing and oral work.
How Talk Through Stories works:
In Story sessions, we help children to get to know the story really well: the plot, the characters, and their actions and motives. Children are given opportunities to join in with their ‘favourite phrases’, freeze frame feelings within the story and discuss their opinions on the characters. In Vocabulary sessions, we explore eight words from the story which focus on using tier 2 and 3 vocabulary, specifically selected to develop children’s understanding of each word in the context of their everyday lives. We chose to teach and share stories that we believe are worth reading and re-reading – stories that children will love. We begin with old favourites that many teachers and parents are likely to know, such as Dogger by Shirley Hughes, Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. We then moved on to more recent literature, such as Hugless Douglas by David Melling, Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival and I’m in Charge by Jeanne Willis. We have also ensured we develop inclusivity and have considered representation within children’s stories where children from minority ethnic backgrounds are the main protagonists in everyday situations, such as celebrating a birthday, going shopping, being ill or worrying about the arrival of a new sibling. We have included Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen, Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke and The Extraordinary Gardener by Sam Boughton.
Whole class reading (Year 2 – Year 6)
We deliver daily reading lessons to all children in Year 2 and KS2. These develop children’s fluency and comprehension of a range of texts and genres to develop their confidence in reading more challenging texts and developing their love of reading by engaging in interesting high quality texts with a range of themes. We use strategies detailed in the ‘Reading Reconsidered’ approach (Lemov) to frame our discussions and questions related to the text. These texts are selected from the reading spine that can be found in a link below. We occasionally will select different texts where teachers feel it follows the children’s interest in a particular cohort or when new literature is released to give children breadth in in their reading diet.