Reading is at the heart of St. John’s. It is our intention that all children leave St. John’s as fluent, confident, lifelong readers. Reading opens the door to learning: the more a child reads the more they will learn. Our aim is to unlock the door to a wonderful world of knowledge and enjoyment through books.
The reading journey begins as soon as pupils enter Early Years with a systematic, synthetic phonic teaching programme (Phonics Bug) which enables children to de-code words and read their first books.
To help children read with fluency and understanding, we plan a range of high quality texts to read with the children that reflect a great literacy heritage as well as new and inspiring authors. We place reading for pleasure at the heart of what we do.
To achieve this, we follow the latest research and guidance regarding how to develop children’s reading skills.
Our reading journey therefore involves:
- Developing pupils’ language capabilities (spoken word).
- Securing phonic knowledge for our early readers.
- Supporting pupils to develop fluent reading capabilities, and read with prosody (correct stress and intonation).
- Teaching reading comprehension strategies through modelling and supported practice.
- Targeting teaching and supporting pupils by accurately assessing children’s needs.
- Using high quality structured interventions to help pupils who are struggling.
Our approach to teaching Reading:
Reading for Pleasure
Accelerated Reader in KS2
Information for Parents – How it works:
Pupils take a STAR Reader online assessment at regular intervals throughout the year. This acts as a diagnostic test and allocates the children with a ‘range’ (ZPD) – a level from which the children can select books from. The level is selected to enable the children to work on skills that may have been highlighted as needing development from the STAR Reader assessment and to enable children to read a book fluently. Pupils are free to select any book they wish from this level / ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development), for example, if a child achieves a range of 3.3 – 4.4, they can select books that fall within this range – the colour isn’t necessarily the key indicator, it is the number on the inside cover of the book that is most important.
On completion of the book, children can use the book to help them answer the questions with the online quiz that can be accessed from school or at home – please allow children to complete the quiz independently as we will use scores to provide support where necessary. Our school benchmark for success is an 85% average. You can access their success rate from home.
Reading Engaged Time Per Day
The Accelerated Reader program calculates how long each pupil is reading for using the number of words in the book (word count) and the time taken between each quiz. Our target is for an engaged time of 30 minutes per day – some of this will be done in school but regular, quality home reading is essential in order for this important target to be reached.
This practice is essential for helping children become fluent readers – practice makes perfect!
The school can access a range of reports to monitor your child’s reading as well as listening to them reading aloud whenever possible. If you require any further update on your child or advice regarding reading at home please feel free to ask.
To increase success rates, you can ask your child to tell you about the story they are reading and discuss any new vocabulary with them; you can ask your child to read to you or with you; and if you have a pet, they can read to them!
Above all, we want the children to enjoy reading. This is why they are the ones who are able to select their own book from within their range. Reading is such a vital life skill and children thrive when they enjoy it.
Support for Parents
How to help your child pronounce each sound – phoneme Articulation of Phonemes (sounds)
All lessons are planned using the National Curriculum objectives. Year groups have a yearly overview of the writing genres (narrative, non-fiction and poetry) that they will teach. These have been planned to ensure the correct coverage of key genres, as well as building on knowledge and skills from year to year. Spelling, grammar and punctuation forms part of the writing process and is taught explicitly and applied across a range of contexts.
We use the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ programme to support our pupils to be good spellers: