Reading

Learning is Remembering and Recalling...
 
At St Augustine’s Primary School we believe English should be exciting, engaging and challenging. We use a variety of media - texts, images, film clips and online activities to bring English to life.
 
Reading in Reception and Key Stage One - Read Write Inc
 At St Augustine’s we place great importance on the teaching of reading. At every stage of a child’s life, reading should be pleasurable and we believe that time should be devoted at school and home to ‘reading for pleasure’. Children have the opportunity to read books of their own choice, which they take home, read and discuss. This is key to the development and enjoyment of reading. We are determined to get it right for every child so St Augustine’s prioritises reading and celebrates children’s successes and progress.
 
Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK's primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Each Read Write Inc. programme meets the higher expectations of the new curriculum and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child's progress. The Government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.
 
We strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme (RWI) which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation. We passionately believe that teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances. 

Using the RWI phonics program we teach children to:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences

In practice, children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and are taught how to blend these sounds to decode (read) words. We start by teaching children to read and blend the first thirty Set 1 sounds. Once they have conquered this skill, they start reading stories and texts that have words made up of the sounds they know. This means that they can embed and apply their phonic knowledge and start to build their reading fluency. Once secure, children learn Set 2 and Set 3 sounds and then read texts with increasingly more complex sounds and graphemes. Throughout this process there is a focus on comprehension, reading with expression and reading for enjoyment.

Children are taught in small groups which reflect their phonic knowledge and reading fluency. We regularly assess children so that they are taught in a RWI group which matches their phonic knowledge. We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ability to read ‘tricky words’; so they experience early reading success and gain confidence that they are readers.

 

 Our Read Write Inc 'Reading Leader' is Mrs Bladon (Reading Lead and Deputy Head)

 

At the bottom of this page, you will find a range of documents, to help you and your child with their phonics/reading at home.

 

 

Reading at Key Stage 2 - Whole Class Reading
 
When children become confident fluent readers they move onto Whole Class Reading and Accelerated Reader. 
 
A greater variety of texts are made available to allow for more depth, choice and enjoyment. More varied texts are available to support the widening interest shown as children progress; multicultural texts, plays, nonfiction, poetry, dictionaries, thesaurus etc. We aim to expand the skills gained earlier in the school by keeping a teaching focus on reading, drawing attention to the structure of a variety of texts, helping pupils to adapt their style of reading to suit the purpose (skim, scan, read critically) The higher order reading skills must be taught and should not be confined to the Guided Reading lesson alone. The opportunity to read texts from different media, to research, investigate, to sift, select and take notes from text, to question, challenge and look for bias in texts, to scan and skim for project information and use this purposefully can be found in many different subject areas. As soon as children can read we aim to support them in their need to become independent, helping them to develop fluency, expressiveness and critical awareness. It is important that older children still share books and sets for books during guided reading sessions. A range of high quality texts are used to deliver this having full texts in addition to the use of extracts. 

We deliver a Whole Class approach to reading which is used from Year 2 - Year 6. Teachers carefully select texts that link with the Curriculum Driver Topic and these are carefully planned for and resourced. Whole Class Reading takes place daily in addition to the one  hour English lesson although opportunities are taken to enjoy texts in other curriculum subjects. During WCR, children access a text which may be challenging to them individually as they are supported. The teacher models the reading skills, strategies and recognition of words appropriate to NC expectations for their year group. Teachers should also ‘think aloud’, modelling their thought process and how they have reached conclusions. Discussion should help the children to reach a deeper understanding of the text. Whole class guided reading has a specific focus and all abilities should be included in discussions by differentiated questions. 

 Accelerated Reader and Star Reader

To support this further, we promote 'Reading for Pleasure' through the use of our new school library which supports our new reading schemes STAR reader and Accelerated Reader (AR). These are computer programs which will be used for children in Years 2-6. AR helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practise. 

In school the STAR Reading is used to determine each child’s reading level. It is a computer-based reading assessment program that uses computer-adaptive technology. Questions continually adjust to the child’s responses, making the difficulty easier or harder where appropriate. The test uses multiple choice questions and takes approximately 20 minutes. Teachers will support each child in taking a STAR Reading assessment every half term. Book levels represent the difficulty of the text. The levels range from 0.2 up to 13.5. Books are chosen based on recommendations from the STAR Reading assessment. Each child is given a range of books (for example 2.5 to 2.9) to challenge them without causing frustration or loss of motivation. The child then picks a book at his/her own level from the library and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, the child takes a short quiz on the computer at school – passing the quiz is an indication that the child has understood what has been read. 
 
We encourage all children to read at home, discuss books, ask questions about what they have read and visit your local library. Together, we can help every child to be a successful reader! 
 

The link below will take you to the Accelerated Reader website where your child can log in and then take a quiz on a book they have read.

Accelerated Reader Link