At Pattishall we are truly passionate about reading. Your child's reading experience is much more than the reading book which comes home from school. Reading is happening all the time in a classroom and in the school. It is taught in specific reading and English lessons, but children are practising and using their 'reading' constantly across all subjects too.
Parents can support this 'reading journey' through regular reading at home. Reading to and with your child every evening for at least ten minutes can make a dramatic difference to a child's achievement within school. A report from the Oxford University Press highlighted the importance of parents reading with their children. 'Children who read outside of class are 13 times more likely to read above the expected level for their age'.
As a school, we aim for ALL children to become readers by age 6. We do this through regular phonics teaching and "Book Talk" in every year group, every day. Once a child can read – they can learn anything – what a gift! Find out more below.
Children are first of all encouraged to read using systematic synthetic phonics. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have the opportunity for phonics teaching every day. These sessions develop the child's ability to tackle unknown words within a text by blending the phonemes (sounds) within the word. These phonic skills also enable a child to work out the phonemes they will need to use when they are writing words. We use a scheme called Read, Write Inc to teach phonics at Pattishall. There is more to reading than just phonics, so once children know all their phonic sounds, they will have daily opportunities to hone their wider reading skills through Book Talk. Keep reading for more information.
The Read Write Inc. Phonics approach teaches children to read sets of sounds and then blend them to read words. The sounds are taught in three sets, in order of difficulty.
Teachers will introduce your child to a toy frog called Fred once he or she is ready to start reading words. Fred can only say the sounds in a word and needs your child to help him read the word. Fred will say the sounds and children will work out the word. For example, Fred will say the sounds c–a–t, and children will say the word cat. This is Fred Talk: sounding out the word.
Some words cannot be read using phonics. We refer to these as “red words”. Your child will be taught red words alongside decodable words. In the National Curriculum, these are called Common Exception Words – you may also hear/see this terminology.
Once children can blend, they will read short texts or books within their RWI session. These will be perfectly matched to the sounds they have learned so far.
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It’s really important when your child is learning to read that you model and encourage the correct sound pronunciation using pure sounds. This video guide is really helpful - take a look!
After your child has learnt the set 1 sounds, you may want to practice blending CVC words at home. Here is a video which explains how you can support your child with their blending.
All classes have daily English lessons based around a high-quality texts and these sessions will inevitably contain an element of reading or comprehension, but children in years 2 – 6 also begin Book Talk sessions.
‘Book Talk’ is sharply focused on reading for meaning, listening to friends read and talking about books. Pupils are organised into attainment groups within the class and read an appropriate text for them. During these sessions pupils could be ‘reading around the group’, reading in pairs or reading to themselves and the teacher will direct them in these different organisational ways. After reading, the teacher will provide a prompt for them to think about and discuss. The focus each session will be targeted towards a different area of the reading curriculum so children can develop all reading skills such as prediction, retrieval, inference and make comparisons between texts. The teacher will work with each group closely on a regular basis to guide and challenge all pupils. Children work with their peers to construct responses, share ideas and compete to earn points!
For those in RWI, alongside each book they read in school, a RWI book will be sent home to read. This book will also contain the same sounds being taught at school, so they can build their confidence and fluency. These books also have green words, red words, and comprehension tasks, to ensure your child understands the book. We encourage you to read this at least twice before it is changed. Children will also be sent home with other home reading books that will be closely matched to their level of phonics.
Beyond RWI, children will be monitored closely and guided to select books based on their current level. We have an inviting library space at the heart of the school whereby children can select their books – and of course, you are welcome to use books, newspapers, comics and poems from home too!
We also launched the 100 books to read before you leave Pattishall as a list of books we feel EVERY child should access before they leave each year group – they will of course visit these in school, but it’s a good place to start if you need a little guidance.
The documents below may be useful to you at home.
If you’ve any further questions about reading, please speak to your child’s class teacher – we’re always happy to help!