A child's reading skills are important to their success in school as they will allow them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improve their communication and language skills. Additionally, reading can be an enjoyable and imaginative time for children, which can open doors to all kinds of new worlds for them. Through reading, children have the opportunity to develop culturally, socially and emotionally as well as reaping the benefits academically. At Seven Hills Primary School a ‘Love of Language’ is developed and fostered for the enjoyment, challenge and understanding of text. This love of language is developed through poetry, a variety of fictional genres, non-fiction, test questions and even through research.
At Seven Hills Primary School we have a structured approach to the teaching of reading. We use a wide range of reading materials including i-pads and teaching methods to help children learn to read in a way which meets their needs and challenges them appropriately. Throughout school, we have a rich collection of published books in order to encourage children’s desire to become readers.
Across Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, we teach phonics (i.e. the sounds represented by the letters) and help children to learn whole words in order to develop a wide sight vocabulary. Our aim is to teach children to not only read a text fluently, but to improve their comprehension skills as this will help children to understand and reflect upon what it is they have read. The types of questions children will explore are relevant to one of the key comprehension skills: discussing and exploring vocabulary; making predictions; discussing the author’s choice of language and the effect it has on a reader; summarising themes and ideas; retrieving information from the text and making inferences using clues from the text.
We acknowledge and value the important role played by the family in supporting children’s reading development by reading to them and listening to them read. Books are taken home on a daily basis along with a reading record so that children can be heard reading and a comment (even a brief one) can be made. Children should read and a comment should be written in their reading records at least 3 times a week.
Reading is at the very core of our ‘Vibrant and Enriched’ curriculum at Seven Hills Primary School and each year group’s topics are related to termly (half-termly in Foundation Stage) class novels. Not only does this way of learning help to make links to other areas of the curriculum but it also provides context for the children and highlights the importance of reading whilst also encouraging an enjoyment for it too.