Teaching of Reading

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”

Frank Serafini

The teaching of reading in Harlow Green Community Primary School is given high priority by all staff.  It is a vital life skill and is essential as the key to independent learning.  Furthermore, staff aim to promote a love of reading for pleasure and enjoyment and show children the opportunities that can arise from being a reader.

We are clear in our belief that reading is a multi-strategy approach to understanding the written word. It is not simply mastering the art of decoding, but involves the ability to read with understanding a wide range of texts including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and real-life texts such as labels and captions.

At Harlow Green we aim to:

Foster an interest in books and a love for reading by giving children access to books that are exciting, engaging and age appropriate.

Ensure children can read with confidence, accuracy, fluency and understanding.

Develop pupil’s imagination and become critical readers.

Expand children’s written and oral vocabulary.

Early Reading – Phonics: Read, Write Inc.

At Harlow Green, we believe the systematic, daily teaching of phonics is the first steps to developing, not only a love of reading, but the skills to be a successful learner. We use the Read, Write Inc. programme to get children off to a flying start with their reading.  Reading opens the door to learning and a child who reads a lot will become a good reader.  A good reader can handle more challenging material and a child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn.  Our vision is that all children will have confident phonic knowledge by the end of Year One and be in a position to continue to develop their reading journey.

At Harlow Green, we teach synthetic phonics as our main strategy for decoding. This is referred to as Read Write Inc. (RWInc), but this is also supported by teaching sight vocabulary (key words), using picture cues and using the context of what we are reading to provide a sense of understanding. This process begins with our earliest learners in Nursery and continues throughout Reception and Key Stage One.

Children are routinely assessed for their sound recognition, blending and reading and extra intervention is provided where appropriate.

Developing Reading – Guided Reading

By the end of Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2, the focus becomes primarily on comprehension.  Differentiated and inclusive lessons focus on the key skills outlined in the National Curriculum; understanding, inference, and deduction and higher-order reading skills. As children become more proficient in reading, teachers will hear them read through a Guided Reading approach. During this process, the children work in small groups, once a week, to read and share texts with a clear focus on key questions. This will be supported by a number of activities during the week with children working independently to consolidate and practise.

In Key Stage 2, there is a gradual movement towards whole class comprehension-based sessions where children study a short text. The focus is then on analysing the text to develop a deeper understanding and be able to express individual responses and discuss author intentions.

Key Stage One – Reading Scheme

At Harlow Green, we use a variety of reading schemes so that the children are able to explore a range of text types these include; Floppy Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree, Story Sparks, Project X, In-Fact, Reading 360 and a variety of Non-fiction texts to support the development of children’s reading skills.

Children are given a reading book at an appropriate level to take home and read, with the expectation of at least one book a week.  As children progress through the levels, the complexity and length of the book increases.

Key Stage 2 – Accelerated Reader

At Harlow Green Primary School, our vision as children move through Key Stage 2 is to further promote enjoyment of reading, so that all children become confident and competent independent readers.  Children will develop both an imaginative and critical view of the world in which they live, preparing them to fully engage in all subjects and deepen their knowledge.  Reading, at Harlow Green, will allow them to go further than they ever thought possible.

The Accelerated Reader programme is a powerful tool for monitoring and managing independent reading practice.  With Accelerated Reader, we are confident that teachers can create a reading programme to meet the needs of every individual child.  Using information generated by the software, teachers can help children select books that are difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not too difficult to cause frustration.  We can turn every learner into a successful reader.

The programme also allows staff to support and monitor children’s reading practice.  Children pick a book at their own level and read it at their own pace. When finished, the child takes a short online quiz to measure how much of the book they understood. In our school, we ensure that there is a wide choice of real-life fiction and non-fiction books to access at each level, so that there are books for all children to be interested in.

Year 5 and 6 – Reading Plus

In Year 5 and 6, children at Harlow Green use Reading Plus. Reading Plus is a computer based programme which helps to build the physical skills essential for fluency and stamina; provide the texts to build vocabulary and comprehension; and taps into student interest to build confidence and motivation. Children read a range of texts on screen and then answer questions from the text. They are challenged to improve their reading rate and fluency whilst still developing the comprehension skills to understand the text.

Reading For Pleasure

Hearing stories and being able to enjoy listening to somebody else read is one of the core values at Harlow Green. Each class has a designated daily story session where children are given the opportunity to listen to the teacher read.  During this time, the teacher will take the opportunity to discuss themes, vocabulary and contexts that further develops children’s understanding of the world around them.

Home Reading

It is widely recognised that regular practice allows children to continue to develop their reading skills as well as develop their love for reading.  We encourage an adult to read with their child/ren as often as possible and to comment in the children’s reading journals. All children at Harlow Green are given the opportunity to change their reading book on a weekly basis.