High quality texts are central to the teaching of reading at Almondsbury. We believe that laying the foundations for a life-long love of reading is core to the happiness of our children and we therefore promote this across all curriculum areas. Daily Guided Reading sessions take place throughout the school. These include text preparation, independent follow-up tasks and vocabulary-focused activities alongside teacher-led sessions. A reading scheme is used across the school for children to access at their own level. These books are available for children to take home, forming part of their weekly homework tasks.
Developing Early Reading
Throughout Reception and Year 1 children are given books to support and extend their phonological knowledge. We send home two types of books: phonics and sharing. The aim of this is to ensure that all children are exposed to books they can access at their reading level as well as allowing them to explore and extend their vocabulary and understanding of story structure. Our experience tells us that this will foster a love of reading at the earliest stage possible.
Choosing our quality texts
Staff annually review the UKLA (UK Literacy Association) shortlist of recommended books and purchase a selection for each class to enjoy. This ensures children are reading and appreciating new, relevant, high quality literature. In addition to this, children in each key phase are exposed to a wide range of traditional and classic texts (both fiction and poetry) through Guided Reading, our 'Reading Spine' for writing and whole class reading books. This selection process allows children to have access to stories involving a diverse range of characters, settings and cultures. High quality non-fiction texts are also selected and linked to topics studied in class as well as the wider interests of the children.
Using our quality texts
High quality texts are used to underpin learning across the curriculum. We have used these to create a ‘Reading Spine,’ which guarantees children experience a range of inspiring and well written texts within each key phase. The UKLA books are used as a ‘Class Book,’ which children take it in turns to take home to share with their families and then make a personal response to share with the class. This creates a real excitement about the class book over the school year. Additionally, teachers read specially chosen books to the children at the end of the day at least twice a week. Furthermore, every class has an engaging reading space where children can choose to read and enjoy a wide range of age appropriate books.
We are fortunate to have a fully functioning library at the heart of our school. The children visit it on a regular basis and it is open lunchtimes and after school to allow children to borrow and browse.
Promoting a love of reading
On top of the above, we have many other ways of promoting a love of reading across the school:
- Annual Book Week and Book Fair
- World Book Day
- ‘Ready, Teddy, Read!’
- Annual Book at Bedtime
- Workshops for parents
- Termly reading challenges and rewards
- Reading buddies
- Outdoor reading areas
- Drop Everything and Read Day
- Dressing up as book characters
- Engaging reading environments
- Year 6 Reading Ambassadors