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.
School reading progression
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 start by teaching phonics in Reception using the Song of Sounds programme. The Song of Sounds programme is a dynamic hands-on approach that brings phonics to life with engaging, interactive activities that reinforce learning. The children will meet ‘Felicity the phoneme fairy’ and other exciting characters as they progress through the stages.
Each of the three units uses a song as the basis for their learning. See below for a link to the Song of Sounds songs.
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 the children learn to spell accurately.
Reading books that children take home connect directly to the phonics sounds that they have learnt. This enables children to build their confidence and fluency whilst they are mastering the skills of readin
The children also practise reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. These link to the government spelling programme.
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.
Children are read high quality texts so that they get to explore, know and love a wide and diverse range of genres. This helps to develop a love of reading and inspires our children to become bookworms and authors of the future.
During our daily reading sessions, we explore new and challenging vocabulary to develop the children’s ability to read more complex texts. We explore the principles of retrieval, interpretation, and prediction to support their comprehension skills. To delve deeper, we consider the author’s choice of language and presentation to enable the children to make connections between texts and influence their own writing. Through the reading sessions, the teacher constantly reviews the level of the children’s reading and guides them towards the correct book for their reading level.
The children also use a computer based reading program called Accelerated Reader which enables all books to be catalogued by reading level. Children are tested to see which level they are and then they are given a ZPD (zone of proximal development) which is a range of book level targeted at their next stage in reading and comprehension. Usually they start at the lowest level in the range and read through the levels at their own pace. Using this range they choose levelled books in school and when they have read the book they complete an online quiz to check their understanding. AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results which the teacher then uses to help the child set targets and ongoing reading practice.
As children pass quizzes they receive certification to show their success. There is also a competitive element in school as classes compete against each other for the most quizzes passed each month!
In Year 1 and 2 the children are given banded books to read and complete quizzes as a whole class with the teacher. Then towards the end of Year 2 and in Year 3 they start the program in full with their own ZPD and log in for quizzes.
If you would like to buy your child book within their ZPD range then log on to Bookfinder website.
How long will it take to learn to read well?
Every child is different and they will learn to read at different speeds. By the end of Year 2, most children will be able to independently read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 and beyond, we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on.
In the summer term of Year 1, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the children. We will let you know how your child has done. Children who do not pass the phonics check in Year 1 retake the assessment during Year 2 to ensure that they have made progress.