We believe that reading is one of the most important things that your child will learn at school. Reading gives us the power to enter into the world of literature and unlock the wonders of the world. Reading is something that accompanies you on life’s journey. A constant companion, bringing knowledge, solace, escapism and new learning. Reading is truly at the heart of everything which is why we make sure that our children learn to read as quickly and as confidently as possible. We want our children to learn to read so that they can eventually read to learn; we aim to instil a lifelong love of reading within them.
How will my child learn to read at Orchard Infant School?
We begin our journey to read with Phonics. At Orchard Infant School we use Essential Letters and Sounds to support your child with learning phonics. This means the children learn how to “read” the sounds that are within words and how these sounds can be written down. We teach the children how to segment (break up) and blend (put back together) sounds to read and write words, using a range of strategies. The children also spend time practising reading and spelling our tricky words, this is then sent home with the child as weekly homework to that parents have an opportunity to support their child’s reading development at home. The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know and it is incredible to watch their confidence flourish.
Our phonics mascot, Mr Bump, supports the children in making sure that phonics learning continues throughout the day. He likes to bump into our phonic sounds and tricky words of the week, so the children have to be extra vigilant when reading anything!
How can I help my child learn to read?
We know how important it is to work in partnership with parents and carers to help children to develop their confidence with their reading. Reading together at home is one of the easiest but most important ways in which you can help your child. As you share books together, you will help to develop your child’s reading skills and also show them how enjoyable and important reading is. We send home a form of home learning each week so that you are aware of our phonic sounds and our tricky words of the week. You can support your child by helping them recognise and say the tricky words and phonic sounds that we are learning, we will often send home a game or an activity idea to help you. Please see below for an example of our homework in Year R, 1 and 2.
Each week your child will bring home a phonics book matched to their phonics learning (this may sometimes be an e-book), a home reading book that your child has chosen themselves and a library book. These books will be their reading books for the week and you can support your child by reading together and seeing if they can “bump” into their phonics within their books, just like our phonics mascot Mr Bump at school. Please support your child to re-read these books to ensure successful blending of sounds, recognition of tricky words, understanding, fluency and expression. In Year 2, once your child can read fluently and successfully blend they will have a wide variety of chapter books to take home instead of a phonics book.
We also have a subscription to the Oxford Owls E-book library, which you can find at www.oxfordowl.co.uk. Your child will be given a password to access the book they have been allocated to read that week.
We have a home reading diary where you can write when you have read with your child. We aware special reading certificates when home reading logs show your child has read 5, 10, 15, 20 books and so on. These can be library books, phonics books, school reading books or books you have at home. Please record the title and date in the home reading log. Let us know when your child has achieved one of these milestones so we can celebrate with them.
What strategies do you use to support my child with their reading?
Phonics is our key strategy which we teach in order to enable children to read the words they see by segmenting and blending, following a well structured phonics programme. By using the phonics skills that they have learned, children will be confident to tackle new words and go on to become fluent readers. In phonics, children learn phonemes and graphemes and practise the skill of segmenting and blending for word reading.
As the children become more fluent within their reading, we focus on the child’s comprehension and understanding of the texts that they have read. We do this through our daily guided reading sessions and when reading aloud to the children. Throughout the week your child will have the opportunity to read at least twice weekly with their teachers and apply phonic knowledge, tricky word recognition and comprehension. During guided reading sessions children will apply phonic knowledge learnt and taught that week, including tricky words. Our guided reading sessions are carefully planned to ensure there is a focus for developing the children’s comprehension and moving their reading forwards, some of these strategies include: clarifying, retrieval, explaining, summarising and inference. We support and encourage our children to develop their comprehension by:
We strongly believe that by developing these strategies within our reading curriculum, our children not only become fluent but also a skilled and analytical reader.
What other opportunities will my child have to read across the curriculum?
Reading really is everywhere at Orchard Infant School and is at the heart of our learning. Our children have daily opportunities to enjoy high quality texts and poems as part of our wider curriculum by reading texts which are part of our integrated projects and making connections and links as a class. We believe that reading across the wider curriculum supports our children transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” as texts are often used as a driver to support our writing end point and project knowledge, whilst providing a different context for children to practise their reading skills. The children also have regular opportunities within our wider curriculum to read and learn a talk for writing text which supports their oral rehearsal and retelling of stories which supports their confidence.
We have a dedicated time every day where we read a high quality text to the children during story time. This is another opportunity for our children to “bump” into their phonics learning and apply reading skills and strategies throughout the day. Each child also have time to read for pleasure during the school week where they will enjoy reading a story with their friends in our exciting book corners.
All about our wonderful library at Orchard Infant School!
In our school library we have a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction texts to engage the children in reading.
Each class has a library session each week where the children can browse the books or sit and read, either on their own or with their friends, sharing stories or facts with each other.
I pose a question each week on the board to link in with our map wall. This encourages the children to explore the globe and map and find out an interesting fact. It also sparks lots of conversation.
Each child in the school has access to our E-platform where they can download fiction and non-fiction books to read at home.
Each class chooses 2 children to be Junior Librarians. These lovely children have sessions with me learning about looking after books and encouraging their classmates to do the same in the library and in the classroom. They also find out about new books and authors with me when I exchange books with the School Library Service and then they relay this information to their class, so the children know what new books are available.
The children in Year 1 and Year 2 take part in Library Skill sessions with me as part of their Guided reading times. They get to learn about how a library is set up – fiction books shelved by authors surname and non-fiction using the Dewey System. We also look in more detail at fiction and non-fiction books, authors and illustrators. The children use these skills during their library sessions and help each other to use the ‘Where to Look’ poster, which helps the children to find the correct Dewey number for the subject they are looking for.
Story Club and Book Club.
Year 1 children have the opportunity to take part in Story Club, where we enjoy sharing lots of stories with each other. The children love this and it encourages them to bring their own books to share as well as finding authors that they love to read.
Year 2 can take part in Book Club. We spend time exploring fiction and non-fiction books, characters and authors, delving into books, looking up authors’ websites and enjoying reading and sharing books together.
Hampshire Picture Book Award
Year 1 take part in this award each year and it is so exciting. They get to read the 4 chosen stories lots of times, so they know them well and do activities related to them. They also find out about each author. Then they get to vote for their favourite. The children love the fact that it is only them that vote not the adults. There is always much excitement when we find out the winning book!