At Goldsworth Primary School, staff and pupils recognise the importance of developing high-quality communication skills for life. The ability to read, write, and express ourselves coherently and confidently underpins all that we do, and our high-quality provision enables children to develop the skills they will need to support themselves at Goldsworth and beyond.
Through reading and literature in particular, pupils have a chance to develop holistically – that is socially, emotionally, culturally and spiritually – as well as intellectually. As such, at Goldsworth, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with stamina
- develop an enjoyment of reading, and do so widely and often, both for pleasure and information
- have a strong understanding of what they read
- acquire a wide vocabulary, supported by texts
- can confidently analyse, explore and discuss many aspects of the books they encounter
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
Reading has a high profile at Goldsworth and is promoted in all we do.
We strive to match our Literacy and Guided reading texts to the term’s theme, so children are immersed in books that closely reflect their learning and the wider curriculum.
Books are promoted in assembly, and used to share our school values, as well as other important issues and messages, including current affairs. A love of reading is promoted at key points throughout the year, as well as through longer-term efforts such as teacher recommendations, and reading buddies.
Our library is an inviting area, offering children a wealth of texts that represent and celebrate the diversity of our cohort. Our library is maintained by our team of Year 6 volunteer librarians.
At Goldsworth, the skills for reading are developed by:
- Regular phonics teaching, following the Read Write Inc. programme
- Providing children with a decodable library that reflects their reading level
- Providing children with the opportunity to take class and library books to use in their homework and reading for pleasure time
- Daily guided reading sessions using a whole class structure with targeted groups
- Discrete teaching of reading skills – decoding, retrieval, inference, summary, analysis
- Making children aware of their targets and next steps
- Modelling of reading throughout the school day by school staff
- Engaging with and supporting parents to develop reading at home through workshops that share our teaching of early reading
Reading at home
In Reception and Key Stage 1, children take a decodable reading book home to support their reading mileage. In Key Stage 2, Boom reader provides reading diaries and allows children and parents to respond as part of their daily reading.
Assessment in reading
In Reception and Key Stage One, Read Write Inc. assessments are used to progress children through associated book-band levels. In Years 3, 4 and 5, children sit NFER tests at key points throughout the year. The final SATs paper for Years 2 and 6 are national tests, and practice versions of these are used throughout the year to assess understanding and identify gaps.
All assessments are recorded on the school’s tracking system, to allow for frequent monitoring of attainment and progress.
A love of reading is promoted by:
- World Book Day
- Book Week
- Regular reading and library time
- Class texts
- Teacher recommendation posters
- Peer reading
By the time children leave Goldsworth, they are competent and enthusiastic readers, who appreciate the importance and value of books. They recognise that reading can enhance both their knowledge and understanding across all curriculum areas, but also that it has the power to develop imagination, build vocabulary and boost empathy and self-esteem.
- recommend books to their peers
- participate in discussions about books, using appropriate vocabulary
- find information efficiently in extended texts
- compare texts of the same genre
- use a range of strategies to understand new words in context
- evaluate an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader
- infer information by combining clues within the text and their real-world experience and knowledge
- summarise information they have read
- make predictions based on plot lines, covers, blurbs, and real-world experience
- identify the purpose of structural and layout features used by an author
We aim to foster in all our children a love of books so that they become readers for life. Children are taught to read by a variety of methods including phonics, learning key words and using meaning. Their progress is carefully monitored and a wide range of books (fiction and non-fiction) make up our guided and individual reading schemes.
Reading should be a pleasure – an enjoyable activity. Don’t battle with your child or force them to read – if they’re not in the mood, then read to them – they will still benefit greatly from this.
An important part of learning to read is by reading lots and lots and lots of books! It is much more beneficial to read 10 easy books than to struggle through 1 hard book – so please be aware of this when your child brings home a book that you, as a proud parent, think is too easy for your child. We teachers usually know what we are doing!
If you would like some suggested reading for your child, we would recommend the book lists at ‘Books for Topics’ which provides age appropriate text choices: https://www.booksfortopics.com/key-stage-book-lists
Most children learn to read without any problems. A few children find reading a terrible struggle. You can easily help by:
- Get into the habit of reading with your child for a few minutes every day (they can read to you, or you can read to them, or you can both read together or take turns!)
- Encourage the reading of easy, familiar books to build confidence, practise fluency and improve their understanding of the story.
- During the first stages of learning to read, the child must point to each word as they say it – we call this 1:1 matching. They must point – you shouldn’t point for them, but you can model, and then ask your child to try. By pointing, and watching you point, they will realise that the text on a page is made up of words, and that each word is made up of letters. They will also pick up reading rules such as we start reading from the top left of a left page, etc.
- As soon as they’ve mastered the pointing we need to stop them pointing, otherwise it slows the reading down. This is because their eyes and brain become faster than their finger!
- At tricky words, judge the mood that your child is in! According to their mood, you may want to tell them the word to keep the reading flowing, or you may want to guide them to problem-solve the word themselves by asking appropriate questions, such as What letter/sound does the word start with? Does the picture give you a clue to what the word could be? Does the word look like another word that you know, eg hot, got?
- Talk to your child about the book. If English is the second language at home, discuss the story in the child’s home-language. Ask them what they did or didn’t like. Look at the pictures and talk about what the different characters might be thinking, saying or feeling. Look at the details in the pictures.
- Talk about the punctuation in the book. Can you see a full stop? What does a full stop mean? Look at these speech marks – they let us know what someone is saying.
- Play games – point to the shortest/longest word. How many letters? Show me a capital letter? Can you find a little letter like that? Can you find that word in your word tin? Let’s make it with magnetic letters (always make the word from left to right!!) Clapping the syllables in a word is a really useful activity – it helps with their spelling in years to come (go = 1 syllable; going = 2 syllables).
- Make links between the words in books, the words the children use in their conversations, the words they may want to write and the words in their word tins. For example, if you’re reading a book with the word “Mum” make links, eg. There’s a word you know in this book. Can you see the word “mum” on this page? Offer support if they need it, eg “It starts with “m”? (do the jolly phonics actions!)
- Praise your child as much as possible.
- Books are wonderful! Enjoy reading with your child.
What to do when your child makes a mistake
Try not to interrupt your child at every mistake. Let them make mistakes – they need to hear the mistake within the whole sentence to hear if it makes sense or not. Ask “Does it look right?”, “Does it sound right?” or “Does it make sense?”
You don’t need to pick up on every single mistake – especially as books become longer. Try to just go back to “useful”mistakes, – a word like “look” rather than “rhinoceros”.
You must correct recurring errors otherwise the child will be learning the wrong word.
Sometimes it helps to just tell them a tricky word to keep the flow of the reading going.
Good readers use 3 different pieces of information from the text as they read – VISUAL, MEANING and STRUCTURAL information. They are all equally important.
- Visual – help your child to learn their letters and sounds, jolly phonics, word tin letters and to look carefully at the letters that make up a word.(“Does it look right?”)
- Meaning – talk to your child. They will learn so much everyday knowledge from conversations with you. They will build up a bank of words they are familiar with, which will help them to work out tricky words in books. The pictures in books are another source of ‘meaning’ information. (“Does it make sense?”)
- Structure – Talking to your child will model correct grammar, which will improve their reading, writing and spelling. If they speak using incorrect grammar, just gently repeat their sentence correctly.(“Does it sound right?”)