At North Town Primary School and Nursery, we aim to acquire a love of reading and a genuine passion for books for all our children that will last into their future, regardless of their background, needs and abilities. Following professional support from a local educational specialist (Sarah Cook, Somerset Literacy Network), we have developed our reading curriculum to provide our children with the opportunity to develop their word reading, vocabulary knowledge and comprehension skills through a diverse range of high-quality texts. At North Town, we aim for children to be motivated to read widely, fluently and with confidence and enthusiasm so that their imaginations are opened to a “treasure-house of wonder and joy” (National Curriculum for English) and they are able to take full advantage of opportunities in life.
After completing Read Write Inc Phonics, children complete Guided Reading and are involved in our reading at home scheme.
During Guided Reading lessons, North Town follow a whole class reading approach, where we aim for children to develop their comprehension skills through an experience of high-quality discussions with their teachers and their peers. They have the opportunity to read a range of stories, poems and non-fiction extracts as pairs, small groups and as a whole class, before questioning and analysing the text to delve deeper into their understanding. Our guided reading discussions explicitly teach the skills of reading – vocabulary, retrieval, inference, summarizing, comparing and predicting.
In addition to guided reading sessions, children have a wide variety of opportunities to access and engage themselves in reading, due to it being integrated throughout the curriculum.
Reading at home
We encourage all our children to read regularly across both fiction and non-fiction, to establish an appreciation and enjoyment of reading, as well as reading to gain and develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. To inspire children to read at home and challenge themselves, we follow the Accelerated Reader scheme. Children have the chance to visit our school library and select a book that is matched within their reading age and their generated numerical range. These levels guide the children to identify books with a suitable level of challenge to support their ongoing progress of decoding and comprehension. Class teachers monitor the children’s choice of text, encouraging them to read appropriately levelled books of a variety of genres and authors. We value and understand the importance of the support from our children’s parents and carers in helping to foster a love of reading and ensure that they join us with promoting the positivity and enthusiasm at home.
We believe that reading a story aloud is one of the most important things our teachers can do with children. Books and stories stimulate a child’s imagination, expand their understanding of the world, introduce vocabulary and provide a model of fluent and expressive reading. This is why we ensure our children are read to every day by their teacher from an age-appropriate text, and also, to help them develop vital language and listening skills and help them recognize what reading for pleasure is all about.
Overall, our high priority at North Town is to develop confident and motivated young readers that will choose to pick up a book to delve into, both for pleasure and for knowledge to enable them to achieve their future ambitions.