Children at Eaton Park should:
– Experience exciting and enthralling books as soon as they enter our school.
– Know how well they are achieving in reading and be supported towards their targets.
– Be challenged to develop their reading potential and aim high in the complexity of text and stamina of their reading.
– Read in a stimulating, happy and secure environment.
– Share a love of reading with peers, teachers and family members
– Access high quality reading resources in classrooms, libraries and using ICT.
– Experience a variety of creative teaching methods and approaches to develop their comprehension of text.
– Be exposed to reading across the curriculum
– Be supported by a proactive reading partnership of home and school
Throughout the Foundation Stage reading is at the heart of everything we do and we work hard to foster a love of reading within our children. The children enjoy listening to stories and especially enjoy having guest readers in the classroom such as people from the library service, other members of staff from around the school and parents. During English lessons the children explore a wide variety of quality texts that are both fiction and non-fiction. The children also have a big focus on orally retelling stories using actions and props. This helps the children to develop and broaden their vocabulary.
Each classroom has lots of purposeful print in the environment which is used daily to support the children’s learning. There is also a themed reading area in each classroom which is inviting and comfortable- offering familiar favourite stories, phonetically decodable texts and non-fiction texts. Children can also access the reading area to learn more about their topic, with specially selected books being picked for each topic to help build on the children’s existing knowledge.
Phonics is taught daily across the Foundation Stage and we follow the Letters and Sounds document. To support the teaching of phonics all children are sent home with their own reading book which is selected to match each child’s current stage of learning. The books also include common exception ‘tricky words’ to help build children’s confidence at reading them on sight within a text.
Key Stage Two
The children at Eaton Park will have lots of different experiences of reading in a school week: every child is provided with a home reading book which is appropriate for the level that they are working at. As well as this, every child has their own personal login for ‘Bug Club’ which gives them appropriate texts to read and questions to answer. Each year band has an A and B band to their coloured books to aid progression across the year: B are more challenging and available either during the spring term, or when the children reach that stage. Plus and stamina books also cater for children who will achieve above ARE and are working within the ‘deepening’ band by the end of the year. Teachers can monitor the books that their class are reading, and answers are marked using a traffic light system. This really helps with moderating the children as it can easily be seen whether the children can access those texts by how many questions they can achieve green on. Bug Club is an invaluable resource as children are encouraged to access it at home and at school, and hard copies of the books are available and used as home readers. It has been beneficial for parents to see how important comprehension and understanding is as opposed to being able to simply read a text. We also offer ‘Bug Club Club’ for children to attend afterschool on Monday. Children who struggle to log on to Bug Club at home are offered time during the school day. It is the expectation that children across the Academy read at least 3 times a week (at least once including Bug Club) and that their diary is signed by an adult. Reading diaries are check by staff every morning, and monitor how many times week the children in their class are reading. Our reading leader also run a fabulous incentive called ‘Book Worm’ where those children who choose to read at least 5 times across the week will be entered into a raffle where they could win prizes and vouchers. This has been very successful and inspired children in our school to read as much as possible.
In recent years, we have changed the structure of guided reading at Eaton Park to a whole class approach. Engaging and age-appropriate texts are chosen carefully by teachers and different styles of questions are included each week. The first session will see the staff and children sharing the text and taking it in turns to read aloud – questions will be asked to check the children’s understanding of the text, particularly the language. This then leads in to a vocabulary session, where the children predict and/or find out the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary. For Upper Key Stage Two, the next activity will be ‘Speed Retrieval’ where they will pick out answers by skimming and scanning quickly. The rest of the sessions will be the children independently answering a range of questions linked to the text. It is the aim that each class fits in at least 3 guided reading sessions a week into their timetable. It is a common opinion that our approach has a positive impact on progress and understanding of reading.
Promoting reading for pleasure
As a school, we promote reading for pleasure as much as possible, and teachers will have their own way of doing this. Every class has a ‘book recommendation board’ where children can share why they think other children or staff will enjoy the book they have read. Some classes have their own library in the classroom with texts that are carefully matched with the age and interests of the children. DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time is also a feature of the school week, where the children will have the opportunity to stop working and grab their favourite book to read. Interactive reading displays are also a feature of our school corridors, which the children love to add to throughout the year and show off to visitors.
We are lucky enough to have access to a fabulous school library, which is stocked full of different and interesting books, including a range of genres for each age. Classes have slots that they can use in the library each week, and there are Library Leaders (voted for in classes) who man the library at lunchtimes. Children who are confident readers often choose to borrow a library book and read this alongside their school reading book.
In every classroom, teachers will have created an engaging and inspiring reading area full of exciting books and a range of genres. Books linked to the topic will also be on show. Some of the themes of our reading areas include ‘Reading Detectives’, ‘Enchanted Garden’ and ‘Starbooks’. In each of these areas, staff will display what they are reading to further promote reading for pleasure.
Reading across the curriculum
Reading is fully weaved throughout the English Curriculum, and books are often introduced with ‘Book Talk’ sessions to enable the children to have a full understanding of the characters, content and structure before they plan, draft and write their own piece of writing linked to the class text – these are chosen either to link with a topic or to spark engagement. Sessions focussing on have found that this approach is just one of the reasons why the children make such impressive progress in reading. Any children that do need extra support with their reading will be included in intervention groups which target their specific needs. Volunteers are also invited in to read with the children. Reading activities can also be seen in morning work folders and in warm up activities in English books in addition to topic sessions. It is the expectation that the children have a reading session during ‘knowledge afternoon’ at the start of a topic and that reading sessions are carefully planned in to improve the children’s knowledge. Weekly news – a report which talks about current affairs – and reading questions are given to the children to improve both their reading and understanding of important news.
All of the work we do in reading allows us to assess the children, using evidence from Bug Club, guided reading, English sessions, morning work and assessments. These are all cross-matched against our school trackers and moderated carefully – this gives us an accurate picture of where the children are in their reading journey.
Eaton Park Academy Diary Dates