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.
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 regularly in guided groups, where they are given the opportunity to apply their reading skills with a group of children of similar reading ability. See 'Phonics and Over Hall' document which outlines the structure of this. All children will read individually with a member of staff at least once a week, with the lowest 20% of the class reading to an adult on a 1:1 basis daily. In addition to reading at school, we encourage children and parents/carers to read together, at home, every night. In Summer term of Year One, where appropriate, children are introduced to whole class shareed reading to support their transition into Year Two.
In Year Two children continue to read in guided reading groups with other children of similar reading ability as and when this is appropriate. 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. All children will read individually with a member of staff at least once a week, with the lowest 20% of the class reading to an adult on a 1:1 basis daily.
In Years Three and Four, children read during whole class shared reading sessions. All children will also read individually with a member of staff at least once a week, with the lowest 20% of the class reading to an adult on a 1:1 basis daily. 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 a week, with the lowest 20% of the class reading to an adult on a 1:1 basis daily. This is in addition to the daily whole class shared reading session. We continue to encourage children and parents/carers to read together, at home, every night.
Shared reading sessions follow the reading scheme 'Steps to Read'. Staff adapt the unit of work and planning, ensuring it is tailored to the needs of individual pupils and classes. This is informed by regularly assessment. Children are introduced to new vocabulary in context, taught reading fluency skills and strategies and encouraged to answer a variety of different styles of comprehension questions.
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.