English : Reading
At Handcross, we just love reading! During the school day, children may read in whole class reading and / or phonics lessons, independently, with a friend, in small groups or 1-to-1 with an adult. They may listen to audio CDs of favourite books and will enjoy hearing their teacher read their class book.
Whatever the reading activity, we place a strong emphasis on high quality 'book talk' whereby all children are able to discuss and unpick carefully chosen, high quality texts. We expose children to a wide range of texts, styles and genres, including stories, non-fiction and poetry, and both classic and contemporary texts. We use a variety of reading schemes and books linked to current interests and topics to support the children's reading development. We believe that, at all levels, good quality reading is invaluable for good quality writing!
A special World Book Day message from Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet!
Our 'Ladybird Library' has a wealth of exciting, engaging books for children to look at and enjoy, including books linked to every topic taught across the school. Children love visiting Ladybirds, sharing books with friends and borrowing them to read at home! The library also provides a calm, quiet space for group work.
PHONICS : Read, Write, Inc.
We follow the Read Write Inc. programme to teach phonics, reading and spelling in the early stages and with children in older year groups, as needed.
Read Write Inc. is widely used and has proved to be hugely successful in getting children to read and write quickly and easily. The programme is taught daily in a very lively, highly interactive manner and children enjoy their sessions. They are taught in small groups, closely matched in ability, and make very good progress. The children are assessed regularly so that as soon as they have outgrown one group, they move on to the next. You can find more information in the videos below. The video from our recent parent reading workshop (December 2022) will be added soon - watch this space!
Parents are kept up-to-date with the sounds their child is learning through weekly homework. We also send home a letter each time a child moves group so that parents know the sounds that their child is already confident with (and will continue to revise) and those they will be learning next.
To learn more about how to pronounce the 'pure sounds' taught as part of the Read, Write, Inc. programme, please watch the videos below:
Many of our 'take home' books in classrooms and in Ladybird Library are compatible with the Accelerated reader programme used within school. We use the programme to assess the children's reading age and 'Zone of Proximal Development' to ensure that children have access to the most appropriate books to support and challenge them. When the children have read the books, they can use an iPad to complete comprehension quizzes to check that they have understood the text. The children love to monitor their progress and earn points! When they pass a quiz, Accelerated Reader records the total words in their book. This is celebrated on our 'Millionaires' board, in assemblies and with a termly treat for children who have managed to read one million words!
Special Events and Rewards
To celebrate our love of reading and to emphasise how important it is, children are rewarded for consistently reading at home. We also plan special events throughout the year to promote a love of reading. These include World Book Day celebrations, book fairs and after-school events like "Stories and Snuggles" in which children share books and a mug of hot chocolate with family, friends and teachers.
We also organise visits and workshops with inspirational children's authors, such as M.P.Robertson, Vashti Hardy, Miriam Moss, Maria Farrer and Hannah Peckham.
Celebrating World Book Day! "Stories and Snuggles"
We always love it when it's Book Fair time! A visit from the wonderful author of 'Brightstorm', Vashti Hardy
Reading at Home
We have an array of books that children may borrow to read at home, including a variety of styles and genres to ensure breadth of reading.
Confident, competent readers may take home free choice books from the classroom and library selections as well as an Accelerated Reader books linked to quizzes to check their understanding.
Emerging readers take home a book closely matched to their phonic ability. Phonics group colour and book band colour align so when children move up a phonics group, they move up a book band. Colour banded books contain the sounds that the child has learnt and / or is currently learning. Lengths of texts and complexity of sounds increase as children progress. Children should be able to read their colour banded book fairly independently and with fluency and accuracy; their confidence and motivation for reading should blossom!
Children also take home a gold 'sharing' book. This is a free choice text which is not linked to their phonic level but is something that they would like to look at, read or share with people at home. When they are ready, they may also begin to select Accelerated Reader books.
Reading records are used for parents and children to record what they have read and their thoughts and feelings about it. These records helps us to celebrate reading and make recommendations and suggestions to the children.