Reading at Over Hall Community School


How We Teach Reading

Learning to read is one of the most important things that your child will learn to do at school. Your child’s development depends on being able to read so we invest a great amount of time and commitment in ensuring that your child is a successful reader from an early age.

Our vision

It is our vision at Over Hall that children will learn to read so that they can enjoy a wide variety of stories and poems, develop their acquisition and understanding of language, feed their imaginations and develop an awareness of authors and author styles. It is also our vision that children will read to find information which will support and enrich their learning and enable them to fully access our curriculum.

A love of books

We develop this love of books and learning by providing our children with a variety of “book experiences.” Early readers are encouraged to develop their language skills and storytelling through the use of high-quality picture books, each class will have a focussed author per half term,  access to a wide range of poetry, stories and information books in designated reading areas, at least one visit to the local library per year, stay and read mornings for parents and carers and participation in national days such as World Book Day, Shakespeare Day and Poetry Day. It is practice across the school that our children will have the opportunity to enjoy a class story time, in every year group, before children finish the school day and return home.

Teaching to read

We start teaching children to read by using a structured, synthetic phonics approach-that is teaching the sounds that letters make so that children can “decode” the words on the page. Children are taught to segment and blend words for reading. Once children can do this, they are able to read books, with words, that match the sounds that they know. Children taught common exception words alongside this phonic approach so that they build up a sight vocabulary of words that cannot be sounded out. This structured approach for learning to read continues through Reception, Year One, Year Two and beyond if required.

As children progress through school, they will learn to read and understand texts using this phonic approach and other strategies such as the use of picture clues, the context of the word, meaning of the word, etymology etc.

Children in Reception and Year One will read in guided groups once a week where they are given the opportunity to apply their reading skills with a group of children of similar reading ability and all children will read individually with a member of staff at least once a week. In addition to this guided reading session, we encourage children and parents/carers to read together, at home, every night.

In Year Two some children read in guided reading groups with other children of similar reading ability. As their reading skills develop, we begin to introduce whole class shared reading using the VIPERS approach. This is where pupils learn the skills of reading and understanding a text through the analysis of vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and summary.

In Years Three and Four, children read during whole class shared reading sessions and, individually, with a member of staff at least once a week. Again, we encourage children and parents/carers to read together, at home, every night.

In Years Five and Six, children will read with a member of staff at least once every two weeks in addition to the whole class shared reading session and we continue to encourage children and parents/carers to read together, at home, every night.

We implement a writing scheme called Read to Write where each unit of work begins through the delivery of a high quality, language rich text. The children read, analyse and explore this text, map it and learn it off by heart so that their reading experience can be applied into their own writing.

There are many other opportunities for your child to apply their reading skills during the school day and beyond and we hope that you will embrace and embark on this exciting journey of learning to read with us.








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