Reading for Pleasure
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
In school, you will find things which celebrate authors – including our author of the half term book displays in classes, inspiring reading corners and spaces, children’s favourite book, authors, genres and recommended reads along with our library full of fiction books and a smaller library which holds non-fiction. Our school librarians take care of the libraries.
At Middlestone Moor Primary, we celebrate reading throughout every phase: we offer book exchange/swap for Nursery children and parents, weekly Stay and Read sessions for parents in Nursery and Reception and monthly sessions for Y1-Y6 children, every class has an author of the half term, as well as having a book-led English curriculum with challenging and engaging texts used in all phases. This includes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author visits, book fairs and sponsored reading challenges to further enrich our English curriculum.
Each week, we spend time enjoying reading for pleasure in our classrooms during reading time. Pupils are able to choose the books/texts they wish to read and enjoy, can choose to share a book with a peer, read comics, ‘Picture News’ newspapers (to find out more about the world around them at Upper KS2), or choose to read topic books related to our wider curriculum.
Additionally, there are regular times across the week when adults read a class book aloud to the children to further promote a love of reading.
Reading at Middlestone Moor Primary
Reading is a high priority area of our English curriculum at Middlestone Moor Primary. Reading is a fundamental skill, used to stimulate children’s imaginations and give them a love for books. A centralised aspect of our book-led English curriculum across school, reading influences the thoughts, feelings and emotions of all of our learners. We dedicate a lesson at the start of our English planning cycle to developing reading skills, along with many other opportunities to develop reading across each week. We carefully monitor the children’s reading at home and encourage parents to be fully active and engaged with us in this in order to support their child’s ongoing development.
In EYFS, reading skills are taught in phonics lessons initially, followed by whole class, small group and 1-1 lessons done with a teacher or teaching assistant. At Key Stage 1, reading is a combination of whole class, group and 1-1 reading sessions depending on the year group and time of year. Some children will access Lexia, an online program to develop reading skills. At Key Stage 2, reading is done in whole class reading sessions, three times per week. For these sessions, Year 5 and 6 use a reading program called Reading Plus (or sometimes Lexia), which helps them develop a fluent reading speed, wider vocabulary and good comprehension skills. If any child in school is working below the expected standard, targeted intervention and support is put in place with additional phonics and extra reading with adults. Some children will also read with additional adults who come into school, for example a Beanstalk charity volunteer or parent helpers. Children in all classes have story time and have a class book which their learning is based upon: this ensures that reading is correctly modelled to children by reading ‘experts’ (the teacher/TA), as well as giving them the opportunity to enjoy being read to! Each half term, our classes have a new ‘author of the half term’ and are able to read a wide variety of texts written by specific authors.
For Reception and Key Stage 1, we use a phonics scheme called Sounds-Write which is a quality, highly-structured phonics programme. It is a multi-sensory, incremental and code-oriented, instructional approach to teaching children to read and spell. The Sounds-Write programme provides fast and effective teaching for children at all levels. Teachers use lesson plans that are clearly structured and easy to follow within a systematic, synthetic phonics programme. They teach all key elements of conceptual understanding, factual knowledge, and the three essential skills of blending, segmenting and phoneme manipulation necessary for learning to read and spell and they do so on a daily basis until all children achieve the automaticity that underlies the fluency of every successful reader. Teachers send home reading books which closely match this programme and which are fully decodable (and in Year 2 children bring home an additional book at a more challenging level to read with parents). Once children are reading more accurately, they can access the other reading scheme books. For more information on Sounds-Write, please visit https://www.sounds-write.co.uk/
Take a look at the recommended texts for your child’s year group on this website https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/
Another great website for parents is https://www.booktrust.org.uk/ There is a bookfinder section, which can help you find age-appropriate books for your child.
Language Acquisition & Vocabulary Development
We endeavour to ensure we provide our pupils with a ‘language rich’ environment; one way we do this is with our links to the Durham Learning Resource service, which ensures we have a wide range of texts displayed around our school and these correlate with our wider curriculum. We work closely with parents to ensure we share the importance of reading with them. Within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary with dedicated English lessons covering this. Alongside that, across the wider curriculum, subject leaders have thought about key vocabulary which will need to be taught to ensure our children can access all subjects at a higher level, and staff are expected to develop subject-specific vocabulary during those lessons. We feel this is especially important for our children in Upper Key Stage 2 who will soon be entering Key Stage 3, where they will be expected to use disciplinary literacy knowledge and skills in specific subject lessons.
At Middlestone Moor Primary, we aim to share our vision of high aspirations for all of our pupils through our high expectations across the wider curriculum; by setting these expectations, our pupils are aware of the standards we expect in all lessons and learning opportunities.