At St Joseph's, reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Children have a class novel read to them by the teacher most days and this novel is carefully chosen to link with the class theme, thereby bringing character, setting and plot to the learning. All children love stories; we are hard wired to understand the flow of stories and to relate to the characters thus building empathy, reducing loneliness and changing attitudes. We also include non fiction texts across the curriculum linked to themes as well as encouraging children to choose these as their independent read periodically.
We promote reading at every opportunity. Children have access to a range of high quality books which they may take home to read. In EYFS and KS1; these home reading books are pitched at the same level as the children's developing phonics knowledge. Time for independent reading is on the timetable and the essential skills of reading are taught systematically as children move through the school. During Guided Reading, children are taught both decoding and comprehension skills through both fiction and non fiction texts.
We have two libraries - one in each Key Stage and these are both comfortable and inviting places which entice children to choose books to read. We have certificates and other rewards for children who are improving in their reading or showing improved attitudes towards reading. Reading homework is given weekly and children are encouraged to read widely at home with parents. Parents are supported with suggestions for book choices; annual book fairs; questions and prompts for listening to children read and with visits to the local library. We also promote the library's Summer Reading Challenge so that children can continue their good reading habits over the summer holidays. We use various online learning platforms to give children more opportunities to read including children who may have dyslexic traits. Among these is a resource that is new to us called Accelerated Reader which quizzes the children after each book they read in KS2 so that their understanding of the book is monitored. Staff can then guide the children's reading choices to the appropriate levels ensuring progress is made.
Parent Feedback January 2020
'XXX liked this new book very much and he didn't want to put it down!'
'She loved the new book and read it straight away.'
'XXx was engrossed in this book.'
Reception held a 'Stay and Read' session for parents. The children enjoyed having their parents spend time in school sharing books with them.