How We Teach Reading

At Isleham CE Primary School we aim to immerse children in a rich reading environment and give them the opportunity to explore a wide range of quality texts. This supports word recognition, comprehension and vocabulary development.             

In Reception classes, Year 1 and Year 2, reading is taught through our phonics scheme. You can read more about the teaching of phonics in the How we teach phonics section of our website.

As well as the teaching of phonics, there is also a focus on comprehension and reading for enjoyment.  All classes from Reception children upwards have a guided reading session every day, for half an hour. Each group works at least once a week with the teacher, taking part in a guided reading session following a detailed plan.  During this time, the other groups focus on other reading/Literacy activities.

These may be:

  • Spelling Activities, based on the spelling patterns taught that week in class.
  • Comprehension: reading a text and answering questions on it.
  • Silent Reading: the children read books/comics/newspapers or stories/poems they have written themselves, in silence.
  • Follow-up Tasks, linked to a guided reading session. 

In addition, Dialogic Literary discussion sessions have been established for older pupils providing an opportunity to read, share and discuss universal classics as a whole class. These sessions provide an opportunity for our pupils to develop comprehension and vocabulary as well as improving public speaking and acquiring a broader, richer vision of the world.

  'Reading For Enjoyment'

At Isleham CE Primary School we believe that reading should be a fundamental part of childhood and a skill which should be developed to support lifelong learning.

Our aim is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture within the school community. Confident and competent readers will foster a love of reading through a rich and varied experience of texts, in which they are empowered to exercise freedoms of choice and independence.

Inspiring children to read is a moral imperative and their fundamental right. It underpins all learning and secures a good trajectory for personal development, understanding the world in which they live.

We believe that a reading child is a successful child and that:

  • children deserve a rich curriculum which encourages extensive reading of books and other kinds of texts;
  • planning enables links across learning, which create a wide range of opportunities in which children can read for pleasure;
  • children will have the opportunity to experience whole books to support them in their understanding of literary structures and allow them to become absorbed in the story itself;
  • the active encouragement of reading for pleasure should be a core part of every child’s educational entitlement, whatever their background or attainment. Extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of texts make a huge contribution to students’ educational achievement;
  • children will be encouraged to read texts which reflect their own heritage and that of other cultural groups. Children should be allowed to explore and engage with texts in their native language;
  • all children should have access to a wide range of texts in different formats and genres and support in enjoying them where necessary;
  • the school will engage and support parents in enabling access to a full range of reading experiences. Where this is not possible, action will be taken to provide compensatory measures which allow equality of access to all children;
  • home-school relationships will promote the importance of all adults in fostering a love of reading
  • school reading should not only be seen as synonymous with attainment and judgement as this could influence children’s perceptions of books and reading;
  • professional development and support for teachers will be provided to allow them to explore the huge range of printed and electronic reading materials available and to enable them to support children in their reading choices.

The school has a commitment to evaluate the outcomes of this Reading for Pleasure statement and continually review practice to ensure all children become lifelong readers.

Part of learning to read well is about finding your way around a good library. This Autumn Term, with funding from our Parent Teacher Association (PTA), we have refurbished our school library and are proud with to be able to offer the children a well stocked, fully working, attractive library that is run by children as well as staff.   We continue to add interesting information texts, linked to websites, as well as a rich variety of poetry  and wonderful story books.