At West Twyford we expect every child to learn the vital skill of reading. We know this means learning and embedding key reading skills and additionally, we want all children to really enjoy reading and develop lifelong reading habits.
To achieve this, we start our children’s reading journey as soon as they come to school and we have structured programs in place to make sure that they gain this vital life skill.
We want all our children to have a passion for reading and one way we do this is to ensure that through their time at West Twyford they read a wide range of high-quality books. We have specially selected a range of whole class texts that each year group read during the year. These have been chosen as they are well-written, engaging and cover a wider range of topics and themes and include a diverse range of authors.
Reading is a part of every school day and children read and enjoy books across all our year groups. We also provide books for them to bring home so that they can continue their reading progress and enjoyment at home.
Phonics is learning how to match letters to sounds. This means that children can read the letters and find the correct sounds to read the word. This is called decoding and a vital step in early reading. This approach is used in schools across the country and is a key requirement of the National Curriculum. We teach phonics through the Read, Write Inc scheme.
Children begin to learn phonics right from their first years in school, in our nursery and reception classes through our structured program of Read Write Inc. This supports them in matching letters and sounds and introduces them in a structured way. Children have a phonics lesson every day.
In year 1 and 2 children continue to learn phonics. These lessons happen every day and children learn in small groups. This helps them to learn at their level and make sure that they get the adult support they need to succeed. At the end of year 1 all children take a phonics test where they need to read up to 40 sounds. We will inform you about your child’s progress in their end of year report. If your child doesn’t pass this test, then we continue teaching them phonics and they retake the test at the end of year 2.
As children move into year 2 it becomes increasingly important that they can not only read but also understand what they have read; lessons also help to develop their comprehension and understanding.
Children in Key Stage 2 (years 3-6) have an increased focus on reading and understanding (comprehension). To develop this we use a reading approach called Destination Reader. This program was developed by experts and practicing teachers in London and supports our children to gain vital reading skills.
Each day children have a Destination Reading lesson of about 45 minutes and during the lesson they read a short piece as a class, practice a key reading skill (the same skill is taught over the week) and do some independent reading in pairs. Part of the week children read the same text and for part of it they read a specially selected book at their level. This regular reading helps children to make real progress and during the lessons there are opportunities for children to read with an adult to further develop their progress.
In additional to Destination Reader, children also have a daily English lesson of an hour. This is based on their class reading book and develops their understanding through a range of activities which can include: writing about the story; describing characters; analysing parts of the text; describing the plot; or drama activities to bring the story to life.
These lessons have a two-week cycle where the first week has a reading focus and the second week has a writing focus.
We regularly assess each child’s reading through teacher observation in class, opportunities to read with the teacher and assessments. Each term we collect information about your child’s reading level. In higher year groups this often involves your child taking a short reading test. We review reading progress every term and put plans in place to support any children who need additional support. Of course, we will discuss your child’s progress in reading at parent/ carer consultations and each annual report will give you information about how your child is performing in line with national expectations.
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go". – Dr. Seuss
We want all of our children to read regularly and read more than just in school. In the EYFS and year 1 children bring home books that they are able to read as they use the phonic sounds they are learning. Children from year 2 to 6 will bring home books at their reading level to read. Each child has a reading record which helps to track their reading and is a helpful record of their progress.
Reading regularly with your child helps them to value reading, enjoy it and become more fluent. They also discover which books, authors and genres they enjoy the most.
There is a growing body of evidence which supports the idea that reading for pleasure has a positive impact on academic achievement. However, evidence suggests that reading for pleasure is an activity that not only impacts on achievement, but also has emotional and social consequences (Clark and Rumbold, 2006).
We know that the demands of everyday life can be great, but finding the time each day to share a book with your child or encouraging them to read could help shape them.
Please see below for further information about the Read Write Inc. program and Destination Reader.
Here are some useful websites full of helpful support and tips for helping your child with their reading: