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Reading

At Heaton Park Primary and Nursery School we encourage a love of books and reading. We provide the children with many daily opportunities to enjoy and share books with others.

Our whole school provides the pupils with a language rich environment enabling pupils to access reading of different types on a daily basis. Each classroom has an inviting reading area with a wide range of reading materials to support all reading abilities.

During Guided Reading sessions with a teacher, children read carefully selected books (fiction and non-fiction) from a range of published reading schemes (Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat Readers, Rigby Stars, Pearson’s Phonic Bug and Project X) matched to their current reading ability. Every child is heard to read in this manner on a weekly basis and explicitly taught the skills needed to develop their reading further. Pupils are also given the opportunity to explore these books independently to enable them to practise these skills.

Other reading opportunities throughout the day occur through a wide range of activities such as whole class ‘shared reading sessions’ focusing on a text (fiction and non-fiction), story time when books are shared and enjoyed, opportunity to listen to books in class listening areas, text linked to cross-curricular work and Computing. By ensuring that our children read a wide range of texts we are confident that we are meeting their preferred learning style.

Home Reading Books

Children take home a range of fiction and non-fiction books from a wide range of reading schemes, the books are colour coded according to the ‘book band system’. This allows the children to independently access the books which have been carefully selected to match their current reading ability. Parents are requested to fill in the reading diary in order to give the school feedback on their child’s reading progress. The children’s home reading book is a book band below the book they are reading in school. This is to give the children the confidence and enjoyment at home.

Phonics

Phonics is taught daily throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. All children are immersed in a phonic and language rich environment in class and the continuous provision.

We currently follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme, which is a nationally recognised scheme. It is split into six ‘phases’:

  • Phase 1 – being introduced to sounds through songs and games.
  • Phase 2 – learning the first sets of sounds and high frequency/tricky words.
  • Phase 3 – learning the first sets of ‘blend’ sounds (such as ee, ay, oo).
  • Phase 4 – consolidating their knowledge through practising reading and spelling words with the sounds already learnt, often using polysyllabic words.
  • Phase 5 – learning the remainder of the sounds in our language.
  • Phase 6 – learning spelling rules, such as how prefixes and suffixes change the ‘root’ word.

We assess the children regularly on their progress and reorganise the groups based on this. Therefore, we know that every child is always learning the letters and sounds that are appropriate to their needs.

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