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Our Approach to Reading

At Chester le Street CE Primary School we believe that reading is a vital skill that opens the door to learning. It is our aim to develop enthusiastic and confident readers who read for interest, information and most importantly, pleasure!

Early phonics – initially Phase 1 (Letters and Sounds) activities are included in daily activities to develop speaking and listening skills. Alongside phase 2, the ‘Sounds-write’ approach to blending and segmenting is taught daily and supplemented through activities within classroom provision. Phonic teaching continues throughout Key Stage 1 and where there is a need, in Key Stage 2 within small intervention groups.

Phonic Assessment – assessment is ongoing and at the end of Year 1 the children undertake the statutory screening test which was introduced by the Department of Education in 2012. Children who do not achieve the required level will re-do the screening in Year 2 and further assessment and teaching of phonics will continue if necessary.

Reading –  Eye catching display is used to promote the importance of reading and to foster a love of books. Reading for pleasure is encouraged from the early years setting through to  Year 6. This is achieved by sharing class novels and non-fiction texts with the whole class, enabling all children to listen to longer and more complex texts than they would be able to alone.   Our Year 6 Reading Ambassadors take responsibility for running our school libraries where children can borrow books from a wide selection of authors and genres.

Children take part in individual or guided reading sessions and initially the focus is on decoding of  words while children are learning to read. The focus shifts towards the children’s understanding of the texts as they become more fluent readers, developing their skills of inference and deduction through questioning and analysis of the text.

To develop children’s ability to respond to texts and reflect upon their own choice of book, personal reading journals are used once children are able to read fluently. It allows children the freedom to explore and engage at a deeper level with a book, independent of the teacher.

Older children thoroughly enjoy reading with our younger pupils, sharing favourite books and developing their own questioning skills.

Home reading – we encourage our families to support their children’s reading at home, beginning with sound recognition, helpful word and blending books as well as picture books to encourage storytelling. Our home reading books include several different schemes, such as Sounds-write, Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Project X and Ginn. Parents, teachers and children are able to record comments about their reading in planners.

Throughout their journey at Chester le Street CE, children are taught in a stimulating environment that is rich in written print. A love of books and stories is fostered by enthusiastic staff!

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