There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney
At TEACH Trust we actively inspire children to read for pleasure. We strongly encourage you to develop their love for reading. This can be achieved by reading to your child, reading with your child and listening to your child read.
The importance of talk
High quality talk and a language-rich environment are central to our approach to developing literacy. Book-related talk introduces children to language that they might not hear in ordinary conversation, especially the vocabulary of the book itself. This primes them to understand what they read later, in their leisure reading and across the curriculum. In school, we provide high quality adult interactions and purposeful experiences that can build the children’s vocabulary. This supports later reading by helping children comprehend what they read.
Talk is also encouraged through learning partners in class. Learning partners are an excellent way for the children to practise speaking in complete sentences and also listening to other children’s ideas.
Reading in EYFS and Key Stage 1
When children learn to read, it is important our children are provided with phonetically decodable books because it allows them to apply their knowledge of letters and sounds. Because the child can decode every word in the book, they feel successful, which in turn helps them build fluency and develop good reading strategies.
If the child reads a text that is NOT decodable (contains sounds they have not yet learned) the child is unable to use the skills they have learnt and often they resort to incorrect strategies that lead to reading difficulties - children can become frustrated and begin guessing at words. They lose the direct connection between phonics and the text they are reading.
To become a proficient reader, children must develop and practise applying their knowledge of letters and sounds. Decodable texts provide the child with material they have the skills to decode correctly. Decodable texts help children build necessary skills. The children will also bring home a book to encourage reading for pleasure – this will be a book from our school library and/or another book from the year group book band boxes.
Children enjoy books for pleasure, outside of phonic lessons and the reading scheme take part in reading activities across exciting topics on a daily basis, through a range of contexts. This is why we have chosen focus authors for each year group and have compiled a list of high-quality books, chosen to inspire reading for pleasure. Each year, we update these book lists to include recommendations from the children and the latest popular books.
Additional reading opportunities include the following
- Shared reading takes place with the whole class or in small groups, with the adult modelling reading strategies with the support of the children.
- Children are given opportunities to consider the characteristics and features of different kinds of texts.
- Shared reading immerses children in the pattern and features of the text type.
- Children are given opportunities to hear a range of texts read aloud.
- Guided reading takes place during the daily reading workshop session, and all children will have the opportunity to read with the teacher and teaching assistant weekly. During this time, the children will work in a group to read and explore a text with the teacher’s guidance.
- During the session, children will be given the opportunity to: read aloud to the adult at their own speed, read to themselves, ask and answer questions related to the text, make predictions and complete follow up tasks related to the text.
- EYFS usually start reading workshop after October half term, exploring big books and playing a range of phonics games.
- Children choose a book from their book band box to read with the teacher, teaching assistant or school reading volunteer and this is on a 1:1 basis. These books should be fully decodable.
- Children read texts of their choice, on their own without support, this may be on the computer, in the library, outdoor area or class book corner. There may be words in the book which the child cannot yet decode, as the emphasis on this book choice is that the child has chosen it for pleasure.
- Story time is called STARTIME in our school. STARTIME stands for ‘Sit Together And Read Time.’ Story time is an important part of our school day. It takes place in every class throughout the week, as a priority, and the children listen to stories that enable them to encounter vocabulary that they are unlikely to hear in everyday speech and to, most importantly, develop a love of reading. Mrs Palmer and Miss Huggins also visit the children in class to take part in story time sessions.
- Each year group has a focus author for the half term. These include a range of popular authors and will be shared on the school newsletter. The focus author authors for this year are also shared in the poster at the bottom of this page.
- Every class has an inviting book corner where the children can read a range of books, including books linked to their current topic and focus author. The children love sharing books with their friends in their book corners.
Supporting your child at home
One of the most important ways you can support your child is to spend at least 10 minutes a day reading to them and listening to them read. This is the one thing that will make the most difference to their overall progress with reading in school.
Researchers in the United States who had looked at the impact of parents reading with their children quoted the following figures in a news release about their findings: ‘Here’s how many words kids would have heard by the time they were 5 years old: Never read to, 4,662 words; 1–2 times per week, 63,570 words; 3–5 times per week, 169,520 words; daily, 296,660 words; and five books a day, 1,483,300 words.’ (Science Daily 2019)
We would also like to remind you that the books that come home with your children will be easier than the ones they are reading at school. This is so your child can practise their decoding skills with the sounds that they have learnt in school. This will lead to increased understanding, confidence and enjoyment! It is usual for the children to read the same text more than once, and we encourage this. Reading the same book more than once deepens the children’s familiarity with a story, relive the excitement of the book and increases their emotional engagement. It also allows them to hear new vocabulary again, helping them to remember the meaning of new words.
When the children are reading, we encourage them to use a range of strategies. These include sounding out any unknown words carefully, looking for the graphemes that they know, breaking up longer words, using robot arms to help them blend and to use their pointing finger to follow the words. During reading sessions, the children are able to refer to the prompt card below as a reminder.
You can support your child to develop their reading skills by:
- encouraging them to bring home reading books;
- reading regularly to them;
- helping younger children with their sound books (practising their sounding out and blending);
- showing an interest in what they are reading;
- talking to your child about the world around them;
- listening to them read;
- re-reading the same book to them;
- encouraging them to read their tricky keywords;
- explaining the meaning of new words to them;
- encouraging your child to express ideas and opinions clearly;
- taking them regularly to the library.
Encouraging a love of books
- Regularly sharing stories and information books, reading shopping lists, labels, signs, menus, magazines, electronic texts and comics all help children to see the purpose of reading. You can also help by encouraging your child to join the library and no matter how old he or she is; they will benefit greatly from listening to you read to them. Children will also be encouraged to read if they see the adults around them reading, both for pleasure and for information.
Sharing books at home
- Choose a quiet time when you can enjoy the book together.
- Ask your child to talk about the cover and the pictures before looking at the words.
- If appropriate, talk about the author/illustrator/contents/index/word types and meanings.
- Share a range of books – fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
- When reading, encourage them to use their decoding skills.
- Encourage them to use expression in their reading.
- Make it fun! If your child is tired or frustrated, stop and try again later.
- Starting to read together may help a reluctant reader to ‘have a go’.
- Give your child lots of encouragement and praise.
- Talk, and ask questions, about the characters, what happened, what they think might happen next and what they enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy) about the book.
Book band Levels
As your child decoding and comprehension skills progress, they will move to a new book band. The book bands are colour coded and numbered. Your child will start on book band 0 (lilac – wordless books) and follow the progression through the book bands shown below:
BB0 - Lilac
BB1 – Pink
BB2 – Red
BB3 – Yellow
BB4 – Blue
BB5 – Green
BB6 – Orange
BB7 – Turquoise
BB8 – Purple
BB9 – Gold
BB10 – White
BB11 - Lime
It is really important that the children stay on the same book band until they have good decoding and comprehension skills. Within the book bands, there are a range of text types and some texts are more difficult than others. Your child’s class teacher will notify you when your child moves onto the next book band by writing in your child’s reading record, by providing your child with a new bookmark. Your child’s book band bookmark provides further prompts and questions that are pitched at an appropriate level for your child.
Please use your child’s reading record to keep a record of the books your child reads and to enter a comment about their reading. These may be books they have brought home from school, ones they have borrowed from the library, online books on Reading Buddy and books you have at home. This record will help us to know what your child can do and inform us about the range of books they have read. We will also write in the record when your child has read in school and provide appropriate keywords for them to practise.
Our School Library
Your child will regularly bring home a school library book, please share this book with your child, and ensure that they have their library book in their bookbag on their library day so that they can exchange it for a new one.
Oxford Reading Buddy
This is a digital reading service to support children’s reading development at home as well as at school.
Oxford Reading Buddy contains hundreds of digital books and quizzes all matched to each child’s reading ability. Children can earn badges for good reading behaviours, be coached in their understanding by their personal ‘Reading Buddy’, read a range of books and take quizzes. Everything is captured so that your child’s teacher can see how they’re getting on. You can add every reading activity to their reading record and they will be rewarded in class.
Please log in to Oxford Reading Buddy using your child’s login details (inside their reading record), and have a look around. Please encourage your child to use it regularly and discuss what they are reading with them. You might be interested in watching them read one or two of the Coaching eBooks because ‘Reading Buddy’ is a good model of how to support and encourage children’s comprehension skills as they read.
When your child is taking a quiz, please try to provide a quiet workspace for them, but resist the temptation to help them because their answers will help your child’s teacher understand their needs.
If you don’t have a tablet or PC at home, the service works on a smartphone as well.
Reading workshops and school events
Every year in EYFS, all parents and carers are invited in to a ‘Reading information evening’ where the teachers share information about how the children will be taught to read and write in class.
Parents and carers are also invited in to observe the reading workshop sessions in EYFS.
Sponsored read takes place in October and raises a large amount of money to buy new books for the school which the children can then take home.
Book week takes place in March and involves many different reading related activities: we have a Book Fair on site after school every day; we run a dress up day on World Book day; we invite parents and carers in for shared reading sessions and the children take part in teacher swaps to share different stories.