Reading: An adventure waiting to begin…
“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives.”
Roald Dahl - Matilda
We love English at Monkhouse and it lies at the heart of everything we do in school. Developing a love of reading and writing with children from the earliest stage of their educational journey provides our children with the stepping stones they need to experience success across the whole curriculum and beyond. We provide a broad balanced and progressive English curriculum which is integrated into other areas of the curriculum where appropriate. We aim to ignite a passion for learning and exploring and give all children the opportunity to succeed. We truly believe that every child can experience success in English and this passion flows through the English curriculum at Monkhouse.
What it looks like at our school:
At Monkhouse, we believe that a child’s reading experience is much more than just picking up a book and reading; it is a journey, an adventure, a lesson, a chance to explore different cultures and gain information about the world around us. Reading is a lifetime learning skill and we aim to develop all children as active readers, who share a passion and enjoyment from the books they experience.
Across a reading week at Monkhouse, children will have the opportunity to explore reading and texts in different ways and these all have a different purpose to develop an active reading mind. Reading is happening all of the time in the classroom, from RWInc phonics sessions and English lessons, and across the whole curriculum too. Class stories and novels through daily story time are an important feature across school to promote reading for pleasure and enjoyment. Teachers select stories and texts from our bespoke reading spine to read as a class which spark children’s imaginations and match their interests, as well as allowing all children to hear and engage with high quality literature.
The teaching of reading is broken down into the core reading skills that children need to acquire to become confident and effective readers. Through the teaching of reading, children are supported in activating prior knowledge that they can bring to a text by observing their teachers as readers; staff model explicitly what skills they use as readers through ‘Read aloud’ modelled sessions and offer the chance for children to engage with and develop these skills within and beyond that reading session. Children are taught and given the chance to develop their comprehension skills right through from EYFS to Year 6 and are supported in their vocabulary development, in making connections, in visualising and developing fluency in their daily reading opportunities.
Children are able to explore reading in whole class, paired and small group reading sessions. Whole class reading lessons allows children to build a shared understanding of a text and allows those critical thinking skills and reading strategies to be explored. Following this, children will participate in a small group guided reading session which helps them to develop and practise their reading strategies which assist decoding and construct meaning. During guided reading sessions, teachers will scaffold and model reading skills and strategies to children and engage in ‘book talk’ with them to promote enjoyment too. In addition to this, children will read their individual reading books on a daily basis and have the opportunity to develop their ever growing vocabulary knowledge and reading skills through their foundation subjects.
Starting in EYFS, wordless picture books are often the first books sent home to share so children can begin to tell stories and enjoy sharing books with their families. As a child’s phonological awareness develops across EYFS and into KS1, books from their RWInc learning journey, a structured approach to the teaching of phonics, are shared for children to develop their skills further. Our children will take a number of books home that match their current reading ability and the sounds and words that they are focusing on within their guided phonics sessions each week.
These decodable books can be accompanied by a reading for pleasure book, where appropriate, to support the children in developing a love of reading through a family reading for pleasure shared reading book. As children progress into KS2, they continue their reading journey and move to ‘free choice’ reading books. This is supported through the use of Accelerated Reader to assess a child’s reading age and ability to ensure books are matched to them to support their skills and confidence in reading.
At Monkhouse, we are passionate about reading, as we believe it lies at the heart of the curriculum and is the stepping stone for children’s achievement and enjoyment across their primary years. Immersing children in high quality literature and a variety of reading experiences linked to the world around them, encourages our children to develop a passion for reading, ignite their imaginations, embark on a world of adventures which transports them away from reality and to become effective and confident communicators. Success in all curriculum subjects can be empowered by developing active and fluent readers and this is the ambition we have for our children at Monkhouse.
At Monkhouse, we love exploring stories by different authors and being inspired by their work.
Reading: An adventure waiting to begin…
Useful reading website links:
We currently use Accelerated Reader from the end of Year 2 to Year 6.
What is Renaissance Accelerated Reader (AR)?
AR is a reading program that helps teachers support and monitor children’s reading practice. Your child picks a book at their own level and reads it at their own pace. When finished, your child takes a short online quiz to measure how much of the book they understood.
What is a Renaissance Star Reading test?
Star Reading is an online test used to measure your child’s reading level. The test uses multiple-choice questions and takes around 20 minutes. This is completed at least three times throughout the year.
How do children select books?
AR includes over 30,000 books. These can be found in the school library as well as public libraries, books shops, homes, etc. Each book is assigned three scores to help your child make a suitable choice:
Book Level- Book Levels represent the difficulty of the text.
The Star Reading test tells your child what range of Book Levels to read within. This is called the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).
Points Books are assigned Points based on their word count. Points are earned by passing quizzes. Students are set personalised targets each term by their teacher.
Interest Level The Interest Level indicates for which age group a book is suitable for. It does this based on the content and themes.