Early Reading Skills

Early Reading Skills Layton School prides itself in developing a whole school reading culture. It is our belief that our pupils’ success will be defined by their ability to read fluently and skilfully whilst understanding the text read with increasing complexity.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss

When starting Reception, children have access to a language rich environment in order to develop a breadth of vocabulary that can be used in context within each of the areas of learning. Vocabulary is taught explicitly and emphasis is placed on quality interactions between children and adults and children. Reception children develop early reading skills using a variety of literary techniques including: story telling, role-play, singing and rhyming activities and discrete phonics sessions. Phonics sessions are based on the DfE’s Letters and Sounds program whereby the children learn phonemes in a systematic order such that they can link the sounds to what letter(s) represent the sound. Children learn to blend and segment sounds at their own rate so that they can use and apply these in their writing. Discrete phonics sessions continue to be taught throughout years 1 and 2, in accordance with their phonic ability. Throughout Reception and Key Stage 1, children take a reading book home that is linked to their phonetic ability, as well as a home/class reader which they can share or listen to with their parent. These books reflect a wide range of interests and genres at the appropriate level and are a combination of staff and children’s choices. In addition to this, children are actively encouraged to access games and activities from ‘Letters and Sounds’ and ‘Phonics Play’ to support children’s home learning.

When children make the transition to KS2, all children continue to have a home reader and a book chosen by themselves to reflect their own interest, both fiction and non-fiction. Ambitious expectations are set to encourage reading at home to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. Throughout school, children access books from our reading spine. In a daily reading lesson, children practise strategies for reading aloud, retrieval quizzes, vocabulary check-ins, individual thinking, partner talk and solo work. In a discrete reading lesson after morning break, children are exposed to non-fiction texts that they may encounter in the foundation subjects, coincidentally children acquire knowledge that they can use and apply.

For every class, enjoying a class novel for fifteen minutes after lunch every day is non-negotiable and provides opportunity for the teacher to model reading aloud a challenging text fluently.

All staff share their love of reading, whether this be a door display depicting the latest class novel or a poster sharing what book they are currently reading. Books are a common language through which we all learn from each other, growing great minds together.

“Great stories speak to us as individuals and some children will return to certain books again and again. Great stories also build our language because around 75 per cent of our vocabulary comes from our reading. Reading develops the ability to think in the abstract; to follow lines of thought. Schools that have a reading spine, build a common bank of stories that bind the community together. These are shared and deeply imagined common experiences.” Pie Corbett

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