Reading at Seaside
Reading is at the heart of everything that we do at New Horizons Seaside Primary.
Every staff member at New Horizons Seaside Primary understands the importance of reading and is committed to promoting a love of reading from the very first day children start at the school. Reading not only allows children to access all areas of the curriculum it also enables them to transport themselves to different continents, worlds and lives. We have created a community of readers at the school who not only love reading as part of the Chatterbooks Club but share this love of reading with their peers.
We teach reading in a variety of ways at New Horizons Seaside Primary; this includes whole class reading, phonics teaching, reading carousel activities, non-fiction comprehension work and 1 to 1 reading. Each class also has a class book which is read twice a week. This lets children access a book which may be above their reading level and also encourages children to discuss the book with their peers.
Reading to the Children
The introduction of a class reading book has meant that reading remains at the heart of the classroom. Each class book corner also has books that have been selected by the teacher to link to the class topic as well as some top book picks of new releases that the teacher thinks the class may enjoy.
At Seaside, we understand the importance of reading at home and have developed a comprehensive reading journal whereby children record the book they are currently reading whilst also giving them space to reflect on what is happening. Parents are encouraged to also record in the book and to talk to their child about the books they are reading.
Books not only enrich the minds of children; they also help them relax and enjoy some precious calm moments.
At New Horizons Seaside Primary, Reading VIPERS are used to support children with their reading comprehension skills. VIPERS are a range of reading prompts based on the 2016 reading Content Domain Areas (CDAs) found in the National Curriculum Framework. Each class has the Reading VIPERS displayed in the reading area of their classroom and the class teacher will make explicit links to the skill the children will be learning about. This gives all children across the school a common language to discuss their reading knowledge and understanding.
Reading, alongside writing makes up literacy, one of the four specific areas in the EYFS. Sharing books, stories and rhymes is a daily part of our Reception classes at New Horizons Seaside Primary.
As a school, we follow the phonics based programme called ‘Read, Write, Inc’ produced by Ruth Miskin. In Reception, the children participate in daily RWI sessions. The children are introduced to the sounds of the alphabet and learn to blend the sounds together to read words. We draw upon observations and continuous assessments to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. We encourage parents to read with their child and to recognise the importance of reading to their child on a daily basis to promote an enjoyment and love of reading.
In addition to our RWI sessions, our EYFS environment has reading at its centre. Each classroom has an exciting and forever changing book area which the children have access to throughout the day. We also use key texts to support our engaging topics and to develop the children’s vocabulary and understanding of how stories are structured. The children visit our school library on a weekly basis and are encouraged to choose books to take home to share with their families. We also visit our local library for story time sessions throughout the year. In the EYFS, children participate in guided reading sessions every day. As well as reading in a small group with the class teacher, the children rotate around a range of reading activities which are designed to enhance the children’s reading experiences and are linked to our reading VIPERS.
At New Horizons Seaside Primary, we place a huge importance on the development of children’s vocabulary. In Reception, we use ‘Helicopter Stories’ on a weekly basis to develop the children’s language and encourage a love of storytelling. Helicopter Stories is where children make up stories, adults scribe them and then the class acts them out. The children look forward to becoming the storyteller and enjoy watching their story come to life on the ‘stage’ as their friends act it out.
To provide a smooth transition from Early Years to Year One, children are given the opportunity to learn through a tactile and physical learning environment. During these lessons, the children spend more time looking at the first stages of reading and learning the fundamentals of early reading. We cover a range of exciting texts in connection with our topics. We use talk for writing, narratives, non-fiction texts, diary entries and speech.
Year One is timetabled with daily RWI lessons for 30 minutes. In these sessions, the children look at a range of sounds across the week. This includes nonsense words, real words and common exception words. In accordance with the RWI programme, the children read ‘ditty books’ with the relevant sounds covered in their set. Alongside this, the children are introduced to spellings, and weekly quizzes are taken. These spellings are based on a digraph/trigraph previously taught. This supports the children’s reading and writing as they can identify sounds in words and practise using these at home in a fun, competitive way involving their families.
Our Reading Carousel 3 days a week, include a range of activities that the children enjoy. We have a guided read with a specific book following the Reading Vipers. The children also engage in an activity based on the book to consolidate and broaden their knowledge/understanding. This also improves their motivation and enthusiasm to focus on a book and understand features and meaning of the text. The children also get the opportunity to explore an accessible book corner where book boxes are labelled with relevant books to support their knowledge in their topic’s areas. Our book corner has been adapted to be a learning experience for the children.
To promote and encourage a love of reading, we have ‘read and tell’. It gives the children opportunities to bring in their favourite book from home to share with the class throughout the week. These opportunities and activities prepare the children to move onto our Accelerated Reader programme. They enjoy being quizzed on books they have read in their ZPD. These books or a chosen library book are taken home each day to be read and be discussed at home and parents are given the opportunity to comment on their child’s reading progression.
Developing Readers (Year 2, Year 3)
By Year 2, most children move onto the Accelerated Reader programme. This sees them take a Star Reading Test (re-taken each half term) which gives them a ZPD level and a corresponding band of books that are within their reading ability. Our two well stocked libraries clearly display the books that children are then able to select from. After a child has read their book, they then take a short quiz to check they have understood it. Each term a new target is set for each child based on passing a set amount of quizzes. To highlight the importance of reading we have a monthly assembly where children win certificates and book prizes based on their attitude to reading and how many quizzes they have passed. A few children also become word millionaires during their time at Seaside which sees them enter the reading hall of fame in our library and become the owner of the coveted golden millionaires badge.
During the children's daily reading lessons they will do a variety of activities including reading in small groups, comprehension tasks, creative work as well as vocabulary focus sessions.
Fluent Readers (Year 4, Year 5, Year 6)
Alongside Accelerated Reader, children in years 4, 5 and 6 are immersed in reading in a variety of ways: all designed to encourage independence in reading for both pleasure and purpose. All classes choose a book to be read to them by their class teacher twice each week which enables all children, regardless of their independent reading ability, to enjoy a story from start to finish. This model of 'whole book enjoyment' is further enhanced with our taught guided reading sessions each morning, in which the children in each reading set read together a book aimed at their level of reading ability. Each week, the teacher moves through different reading skills using this book and also incorporates a related non-fiction text. On a weekly basis, the children will practise their discussion skills as well as their comprehension skills for the set text, alongside their own free choice AR book which could be fiction or non-fiction.
Our reading data over the past few years has seen us rank above the national average from our phonics testing in Year 1 all the way up to SATS in Year 6. Not only this but any child in the school would be able to talk about the books they love and the importance of reading for their future life. Parents also understand the impact of reading on their children which is why we have an excellent mystery reader initiative where family members come into school and surprise their child's class by reading their favourite story at the end of a day.