Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and at St Mary and St Joseph's our aim is not only to teach our pupils to become fluent and accurate readers, but to enthuse our children to have a life long passion and love for reading.
Reading in Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1 we use the Read, Write Inc scheme to teach reading. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to support children in their reading and writing. Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so they can put all their energy into composing what they write. The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant. In addition to the RWI, children will also be working on writing skills in their classes with their own teacher.
Children will bring home two RWI home readers each week, one of which is familiar as it has been read in school, and a new book to consolidate learning. All of our home reading books are fully decodable and matched to the reading level of each individual child. For further information on the Read, Write Inc. scheme and advise on reading these books at home please visit the Phonics section on our curriculum webpage for further information.
We encourage our children to read at least three times per week at home and provide a home reading record to allow parents to comment on their child's reading. The children work towards achieving their Bronze, Silver and Gold bookworm badges when they have read 25, 50 or 75 books.
Reading in Key Stage 2
Each day, children read as part of a whole class session. This is called ‘Shared Reading’ and is taught through the Literacy Counts Steps to Read program. These lessons are built around beautiful texts which broaden the reading experience and deepen curriculum knowledge. Through these units of work teachers teach all aspects of word reading and comprehension through high-quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. The Steps to Read program is -
Every week all pupils in Key Stage 2 take part in a guided reading session. Pupils work in small groups studying texts specifically matched to their age and reading ability. Working with small groups enables the teacher to discuss texts in depth at a level which is appropriate to pupils.
Reading for Pleasure
A love of reading is promoted in the classrooms in a range of ways. We read and explore a range of high quality texts which form the basis of our English lessons. Each year we celebrate World Book Day through various themed sessions to explore a range of authors and texts, in each class teachers read a class novel to the children, Key Stage 2 pupils receive an annual book challenge to support them in reading a range of books from different genres and every class has a special book box of 50 great reads.
In Key Stage 2 we use Accelerated Reader as our independent and home reader program.
AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his own level and reads it at his own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) AR gives children, teachers, and parents feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help your child set goals and direct ongoing reading practice. Children using AR choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them. Teachers help your child choose books at an appropriate readability level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.
As with anything, performance improves with practice. Encourage your child to read at home. Create a culture of reading in your household by reading with your child, starting a home library, visiting your local library or bookstore on a regular basis, letting your child see you reading, and discussing books that each of you has read. When reading with your child, stop and ask questions to be sure your child is comprehending what is read. Reading with your child, no matter what the child’s age, is an important part of developing a good reader, building a lifelong love of reading and learning, and creating a loving relationship between you and your child. Make learning a family affair!.
We enjoy celebrating in the success of our young readers. Our pupils use their Accelerated Reader profile to track their own reading progress and work towards achieving their personal targets. We celebrate our success in our weekly assemblies and on our Reader Leader Board.
Use the links below to view information for parents on the Accelerated Reader official website.
We value pupil voice and believe that our children should drive forward change and be involved in decisions to continuously develop and improve our school. This half term all of the pupils in Key Stage Two answered a questionnaire to allow the school to find out if our investment in Accelerated Reader is continuing to have a positive impact upon pupils' reading habits. Use the links below to see the Year group results and how the pupils responses have helped us to improve reading at St Mary and St Joseph's.
Each year group in the school has a set of 'End of Year Expectations' in Reading. It is hoped that children will achieve these expectations and even move on to achieve some of those included in the following year group. Click on the links below to view the expectations for your child's year group.
What has been going on in school?
We are always striving to ensure that our children have books which will spark their imagination, catch their interest and instill a love of reading. We have added a new element to our library called 'History through Books'. We hope that you enjoy reading some of these stories and non-fiction books with your children when they bring them home.
What a wonderful day we had when Ian Bland came to work with our children. The day began with a whole school assembly and the staff and pupils loved joining in with the actions and words to many of Ian's poems. The Dinner lady Dance poem was a particular favourite!
Throughout the day each class took part in a workshop and learnt how to write a poem. These were shared at the end of the day in a final celebration assembly.
The Year of the Spoons
To celebrate World Book Day the children were given a wooden spoon to decorate as their favourite book character. These were then placed around the school grounds and the children were joined by their families to follow the map and identify the characters. Our Chair of Governors, Mr Ashcroft, had the difficult job of choosing the Best Dressed Spoons, who each won a hamper of children's books.
History through Books
In our school library we launched our History through Books section. Each class choose a period within time and used the books to find out about historic events and significant people from the past. The day was a perfect opportunity to use some of our Voice 21 oracy strategies such as Fed in facts and Concept Cartoons. It was wonderful to see the children debating, presenting and sharing their thoughts and opinions about their period in time during our celebration assembly.
Each of the books are now available for children to borrow from the library.
Thankyou to everyone who joined in with our World Book Day, both at home and in school. We had some amazing entries for our Magical Story Jar competition and your teachers loved listening to your ideas during your Zoom sessions. We also had lots of feedback from our Masked Reader Competition. We are really pleased that you enjoyed watching these as much as we enjoyed making them.
Take a look at our Magical Story jars