Reading is at the heart of all we do at Thurgoland School because it opens the door to learning. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material will learn. The more a child learns, the more they will want to find out. We want your child to love to listen to stories, love reading and want to read themselves. This is why we work hard throughout school from Class R to Class 6, to make sure our children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
At Thurgoland School, it is our intention, when teaching reading, that all our pupils acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to become lifelong learners and linguists but more importantly, they develop a love of reading and a thirst for knowledge through books. By providing a well-rounded learning experience that inspires and engages the pupils, children are equipped with the essential tools to achieve at primary school and beyond. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children love to read and share their thoughts about what they have read. Dedicated and highly-skilled teachers model a passion for reading and immerse children in a variety of exciting texts to take them on a journey and fuel their imagination. Reading is at the heart of our school and we meet the needs of all children regardless of their ability or background, always setting high expectations, celebrating their strengths and supporting them to improve.
At Thurgoland School, we waste no time at all to ensure our passion for reading is shared by giving every child starting in Class R a book. On home visits, we explain what support and engagement is expected at home and from the liaison diary.
We start teaching phonics using the Read, Write Inc. programme straight away to get the children off to a flying start with both reading and writing. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how these sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children to learn to spell well. As part of this programme, children also practise reading and spelling ‘tricky words, such as ‘the’, ‘have’ and ‘said’. At Thurgoland, we insist that children learn to decode words effortlessly so that all their energy can be put into understanding what they read. It allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start to believe they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
Early readers are taught:
Teachers follow a carefully designed curriculum which teaches all word knowledge and skills in the Alphabetic Code. Children are taught in groups according to their phonic knowledge and their ability to read words. The groups are flexible and led by both Teachers and Teaching Assistants. All lessons follow a defined structure using Read Write Inc. planning. All staff undertake training to deliver phonics. Phonics Assessments are undertaken by the Phonics Coordinator on a 7 weekly basis.
All staff in Class R regularly read to the children so that the children get to know and love all sort of stories, poems and information books. Two daily story times help to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing.
Children read 1:1 with teachers, teaching assistants, trained reading volunteers, and sometimes to reading partners.
Every child is provided with a reading book which they will be able to decode using their current level of phonic knowledge. We encourage this to read and re-read at home to develop their reading fluency. Fluency is vital. Below is a link to a video clip which shows the programme in action and explains everything, including ‘Fred talk’!
We ask that the children regularly share their reading books with a grown up at home. Our expectation is four times per week at least. This regular practise is invaluable and enables children to progress more quickly and confidently. Each child has a reading diary where parents, teachers and children can make comments on their reading.
Make reading fun! Remember to keep reading to your child. They will then come across far more adventurous words than in their own first reading books and you will be helping them to grow a vast vocabulary and develop a deeper understanding of different stories. Most of all, it will encourage them to love books and want to read more. If a child sees and hears an adult reading, they are inspired by them!
At Thurgoland, we promote and celebrate reading for the whole school through a number of exciting activities including World Book Day (where children dress up as book characters and share their favourite books), visiting authors and book fairs.
All children are encouraged to read at home from Early Years up to Year 6. Although your child will bring home appropriate books from school, children are encouraged to read any of their favourite texts from home or share books with their parents. These can include comics, magazines, newspapers or websites.
We know how important reading is, and really value the enjoyment reading brings. Learning to read opens doors for children and offers them opportunities to learn more and know more. They truly can read to learn! As well as a vital life skill, reading can broaden all our horizons and bring endless pleasure; that is why reading is at the heart of Thurgoland Primary School.
If you have any further queries about how we teach reading, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your child’s class teacher.
Values that are at the heart of Thurgoland