What are our overall aims of reading at St.Patrick’s?

Here at St.Patrick’s, we believe that learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.

We want our children in our school to:

  • to love reading and to read for pleasure and enjoyment
  • to enjoy reading books
  • make choices about the sorts of texts they enjoy
  • read between the lines and behind the images
  • read fluently and with understanding a range of different kinds of reading material, using reading methods that are appropriate to the material and the reading purpose
  • use a full range of reading cues (phonics, grammar and context)
  • to gain library skills
  • to use reading skills to search for information

How we teach reading

First and foremost, we want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

In Foundation Stage reading skills are taught using a wide range of reading materials. In Nursery children are taught how to handle books. They learn that all print carries meaning and begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters through adults sharing and discussing books. Children are given further opportunities to develop an enjoyment of reading through the use of story sacks, listening to rhymes, jingles and stories using headphones and adult led daily story sessions. for children who are ready we begin our Phonics teaching.

We continue the teaching of phonics in Reception using the highly successful Letters and Sounds  programme. We have a highly structured approach for the children so it is clear what sounds they will learn in every year group and in every half term. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. Please call in to school if you want additional activities to support your child at home.

The children also practise reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.

Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start to believe they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.

Teachers regularly read to the children, too, so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.

Up until the end of Year 2, your child will work with children who are at the same reading level. This is so that the teaching can be focussed on their needs. We check children’s reading skills regularly so we that we can ensure that their books are well matched to their needs.  Children will move to a different level if they are making faster progress or may have one-to-one support if we think they need some extra help. Teachers  assess each child’s reading age twice a year using The Suffolk Reading test. This, along with other evidence, helps teachers to deliver effective reading programmes to improve skills and confidence.

In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. We will let you know how well your child has done.

Of course Phonics is important but the children also need to develop other skills and our reading scheme supports the children to develop other strategies so they develop as a well-rounded reader and they can read using a variety of skills.

What does reading look like at St.Patrick’s?

Reading is and always will be central to the development of a child’s learning journey and as a school we have invested heavily so the children have access to high quality resources.

In Foundation Stage we teach discrete phonics sessions daily using Letters and Sounds. Children are taught listening skills from Nursery and the skill of segmenting and blending orally.

In Key Stage One we ensure systematic, daily, discrete teaching with opportunities to practice and apply in the context of reading, individual and guided reading and all areas of writing. We use a structured programme called “Letters and Sounds” so that by the end of Year 1 children have exceeded government expectations. Our core reading scheme is a mixture of Big Cat phonics and Oxford reading tree. Your child will move through the scheme as they show good understanding of what they have read. For those children who are struggling with phonics we have additional  phonics support books and activities.

During their time in KS2 children, children also use a mixture of Collins and Oxford Reading Tree schemes. These books are colour coded and match the reading ability of the child. When a child reads the reading age of 12 years old, we consider them to become a Free Reader where they chose more challenging books from the school library. the purpose of teaching children to read isn’t to restrict them, its t set them free so they love exploring the world of books.

Throughout school reading skills are also taught using a wide range of materials. Children develop reading skills through daily guided reading, shared reading and individual reading sessions.

In addition to class based reading, children can also develop their enjoyment for reading throughout school. They have the opportunity to access the school library to choose from a wider range of books on a weekly basis. We are supported by librarian Mrs.Kay Ross who delivers library session to classes. She teaches them how to use the library system and find their way around information books. KS2 children independently use Junior Librarian which allows them to manage their own reading and borrow books to take home. We also visit the local mobile library  and have regular visits from authors and storytellers in school. There are several reading areas around school which children can access freely and every classroom has a reading area which further promotes and encourages reading for pleasure.

How can parents help with reading?

Reading Letter KS1

Reading Letter KS2