“All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.”
The New National Curriculum for Reading and Phonics 2014
Everyone at Noak Bridge recognises reading as one of the most important skills that children can develop. Reading allows children to learn knowledge for themselves, and in the 21st Century an interest and ability in reading is sometimes all that is needed for us to unlock a wealth of information. It is an essential part of our everyday lives, but it is also a thoroughly enjoyable activity.
At Noak Bridge, reading is celebrated throughout the school and pupils are encouraged to read on a regular basis. Children are taught reading skills from the Early Years Foundation Stage. The following strategies are used and adapted to meet the pupils’ needs. The children quickly become skilled and confident readers and show enjoyment in developing independent and successful reading skills.
We teach word reading through using a systematic synthetic phonics approach. The scheme we follow is Read, Write Inc. This initially teaches individual letter sounds (phonemes) and then builds up to blending these sounds together to read the whole word, for example, c-a-t ‘cat’. The children are taught to sound out each letter sound and blend the phonemes together to form the word. The sounds are taught in a specific order to enable children to be able to read words quickly and effectively. As pupils progress they begin to learn phonemes that are made up of two letters, e.g. sh. Eventually the pupils are then taught to recognise alternative spellings for sounds, e.g. recognising the vowel sound /a/ as ay, ai, a-e in words.
Alongside these skills to decode words, children are taught tricky words (words that don’t lend themselves to decoding rules) e.g. the. Comprehension and vocabulary are taught throughout topics, shared stories and individual and guided reading sessions. The school reading scheme has been organised to reflect the sounds taught through the phonics scheme.
It incorporates a variety of books from various published reading schemes. The books are banded into colours which reflect the progression of sounds and words taught throughout the school. Initially the children will take home phonics reading books and will be able to select a book from the first coloured band. This is done to encourage children to develop an interest in books and a desire to take books home to share. Each child also has time to visit the library within the school and select a book to take home to share on a weekly basis.