Teaching children to read is the most exciting part of teaching. At Chepstow House, emphasis is placed on reading for enjoyment and meaning. We use a structured phonic scheme, Jolly Phonics, that also introduces tricky words in a progressive way that encourages reading for meaning, in order to help children not just learn how to read but to become a reader. Our aim is for the children to become independent readers, with all children reading chapter books by the end of year 2.
Types of Formal Reading Teaching
Phonic Awareness: When first starting to read the children are taught phonic recognition. This happens daily from reception to year 2.
Within class: the children are heard reading daily, either individually or in guided reading groups.
Guided Reading: Guided reading involves explicit teaching but is carried out in small groups of children with similar reading attainment. Reading in a group, under the teacher’s guidance, is a way to offer focused instruction while enabling children to appreciate increasingly challenging texts. The children enjoy listening to each other read the story and it provides an opportunity for the teacher to model intonation, look at punctuation, discuss the book and so develop listening and comprehension skills. It also allows for group discussion of the text, meaning of words and opinions of the story. Hearing other people’s views encourages a deeper reading of the material and cognitive stimulus.
Independent Reading: In reception to year 2 children are heard individually to ensure the children become readers and not just ‘able to read’. Time is spent talking about the story and helping guide the child to decide which method is best to help them decode words.
Sending reading books home daily:. This allows parents/carers to support their child and reinforce class practice at home.
Informal Reading Opportunities: Each class has a reading box/bookcase full of books and the children have opportunities everyday to look through these books and enjoy the pictures as well as the words. Words are all around them throughout the school. Displays and notices give a sense that the written word is about enjoyment as well as information. Throughout the day the children are encouraged to express and share their ideas in order to draw out their awareness of language. Sounds, letters and words are also introduced through games, wordplay, poem reciting and shared book time. Story time is an important part of reading. Having the opportunity to listen to a story helps children to focus on the sounds of words read without interruption and provides a model of fluent reading. Parents in the Reception class are invited in once a week to read their child’s class a story.
Children Needing Support: Children not making the expected progress are worked with individually and daily using a structured programme that develops phonic and high frequency word recognition and decoding skills. In some cases children will be taken out of class by support staff, in other cases support is provided in class.
Children Needing to be Challenged: Depending on the ability and circumstances, children may join guided reading groups in classes above.
Assessment: The children are assessed throughout their time at school using PM Benchmark running records to ensure they are reading fluently and with comprehension at their correct level. The children’s reading ages are assessed every 6 months. Children not making the expected progress are worked with individually using a structured programme that develops phonic and high frequency word recognition and decoding skills.