At Ravensthorpe CE (VC) Junior School we believe that reading is vital in order to help our pupils become good learners with increased knowledge and understanding in all areas of the curriculum. We also know that we are helping to develop well-rounded, independent thinkers who can use their reading skills in the next steps of their learning journeys and into adulthood.
How do we do this?
All of our pupils are taught to read with fluency, accuracy and expression. We provide phonics support to pupils when needed (using Unlocking Letters and Sounds) and provide fluency lessons to help pupils read with speed, accuracy and intonation (which, in turn, develops their understanding of a text). This ensures that our pupils are able to become independent readers, using their skills to foster their own learning and understanding.
Ensuring that our pupils are able to read age-appropriate texts, we also teach them to understand what they are reading. We cover skills such as retrieval and inference; in addition, we have a strong emphasis on language skills and learning new words and phrases. These are taught and practised daily in whole-class reading lessons. Our most-able pupils are given the opportunity to read challenging books and answer GDS questions; they discuss complex texts and evaluate their impact on the reader. This is taught during our guided reasoning lessons.
We use two Home Reading incentives to encourage our pupils to read outside of the classroom.
- In years 3 and 4, our pupils compete in our Home Reading Competition. Classes read books during the week and teachers keep a class tally of how many books have been read. In our weekly 'Stars of The Week' assembly, the class that has read the most books are rewarded with a choice of fun activities.
- In years 5 and 6, we take part in the Accelerated Reader programme. Pupils are given a STAR test from which they are able to choose appropriately-levelled books. Pupils are encouraged to choose their own book to read; we teach them how to select books which will interest them. Each day, pupils read for half an hour at school and also then at home, finally taking a quiz to test their knowledge. Our eight classes enjoy competing with one another to see how many words they can read!
All of our pupils have the chance to read throughout the school day for at least 30 minutes. We always have topic books available to read in class. In addition, our English lessons are based around a reading book; other subjects are also supported with texts.
Our favourite day in the school calendar is World Book Day. We enjoy celebrating books, dressing up as our favourite book characters and sharing our work with our parents (see below).
Our school is a reading school and, through these strategies, we hope to highlight not only the importance of reading but also the enjoyment which can be had.
How can you as parents help?
Listen to your child read! They will always bring home a book which is carefully chosen for challenge and enjoyment. Support them. If you would like more guidance on how to do this, please do not hesitate to ask your child’s teacher or join our English support sessions which are led by our English Lead.
Read alongside your child. Being a positive role model is a fantastic way to show your child that reading can be fun.
Encourage them to read daily, even if they read articles on websites or newspapers and magazines. It all helps!
World Book Day Parent Comments
'The work was really good.'
'The children have all done good work - I really enjoyed it.'
'I loved seeing all that effort which the school and the children made. It has been a great experience for me.'
'The work was really good.'
'Good work, I really did like it.'
'The children have done good work – nice costumes.'
'I am proud and really happy to see my children's work. They are doing really well at this school.'
'I like my child's work. I am impressed.'
'I was proud to see my child's work. I hope to see more next time.'
'I am very proud of the teachers and of the children's work. Keep up the good work.'
'It's really good - and I appreciated it. There should be more events like this so that you are able to spend time with the children and the teachers.'
'I really enjoyed this event. It gives us an opportunity to see what our children are doing in school.'
'I really liked this event. My child is very happy.'