At St Bernadette’s we understand that the ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ development. It is the key which opens the door to the world of independent learning. However, reading not only gives access to educational success, but also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-trove of wonder and joy for curious young minds. It allows pupils to develop culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. It is our shared vision at St Bernadette’s that all children develop an intrinsic motivation to read for pleasure and to leave us with a life-long love of books.
We intend that all our pupils by the end of Year Six to be able to:
- Read with confidence, stamina, and fluency;
- Discuss a range of texts and genres using the appropriate vocabulary;
- Have a thirst for and true love for reading, which they will carry on into subsequent education and their later life;
Reading is fundamental to everything we do at St Bernadette’s. Developing a positive reading culture is key to inspiring our children to read. Teachers and pupils share their passion for reading through daily story time, sharing books and of course the annual World Book Day celebrations!
St Bernadette’s offers a nurturing reading ethos throughout the school. From Reception onwards, pupils are offered a vast array of books to enjoy. Their reading journey begins with reading with the school ‘Pets’. This is an exciting way for children to showcase their reading skills. Parent story reading sessions (secret readers) are always a real hit. At St Bernadette’s, children are immersed in a book rich environment. We are also fortunate to have a committed team of volunteer pupils, who regularly support Reception children, by hearing them read and sharing books with them at lunchtimes. Children at St Bernadette’s also enjoy visits to the school and village library. We take part in the Summer Reading Challenge.
Books are always available for anyone to read, from our “Bernie’s Borrowing Bookcase” in the entrance hall, Children are free to choose a book, take it home and return it whenever they like. We also run a Reading Ambassador Scheme- two pupils are selected termly. Reading Ambassadors are chosen for their love of reading, their resilience and their willingness to share their passion and enthusiasm with others to promote reading throughout the school.
At St Bernadette’s Primary School, we believe that regular reading at home is extremely important. We ask all parents to support their child, reading at home with access to matched phonics books, and to develop the love of reading for pleasure by enjoying a “shared” book. These are high quality books selected for the children by staff at Reception/ Key Stage 1, with some guidance and more free choice provided for Key Stage 2.(These are a selection of recommended books identified by staff.) This supports both the development of decoding and the pleasure of reading.
The teaching of reading is practised daily. All children read aloud during phonics lessons or their whole class reading sessions, to ensure that fluency is a priority. In addition, some pupils may read more frequently with a teacher, teaching assistant or reading volunteer; the focus being on the lowest 20% of each cohort. The teaching of phonics is a high priority. From the Early Years, there is a deliberate emphasis and drive to ensure that systematic, synthetic phonics is taught daily enabling children to learn the alphabetic code and increase their accuracy of reading through age appropriate texts that excite and engage them.
In Year 2 upwards reading is taught daily focusing on the reading skills; vocabulary, comprehension, phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency. At St Bernadette’s, pupils are taught how to infer, predict, clarify, question and summarise their understanding of texts as well as how to understand how an author has used language for effect through discussion of the author’s intentions. This is done through a mixture of whole class and group reading situations. We ensure all needs are catered for through assessing and monitoring all children individually.
Regular professional development plays a key role in ensuring adults know how best to consistently support reading across the school and the advice of ‘reading experts’ is readily available. Pupils understand that they use their phonics knowledge as the first tool when tackling new words in reading but also understand that automatic recognition of whole words is the ultimate goal.
Through high quality teaching and learning, children grow into fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as utilising their reading skills to unlock learning in all areas of the curriculum. Through the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics and with decoding taught as the prime approach to reading, our aim is for children to become accurate and automatic readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Pupils will become familiar with this strategy and have the confidence to work out unfamiliar words in any new texts they encounter, even when they have come to the end of the Little Wandle programme.
Pupils at St Bernadette’s can talk about books they have enjoyed or are currently reading and why they would recommend them to others. By immersing children in high quality texts during their reading lessons and Story Time sessions, we
cultivate a lifelong love of books within our pupils.
Our pupils make good progress in reading with the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme, which is assessed every six weeks. Additional targeted support is provided for certain pupils so they are able to ‘keep up’.They are assessed every three weeks on “Rapid Catch Up”. By the end of Key Stage One, our aim is that our children will have developed the resilience to already be successful, fluent decoders. Our ongoing teacher assessment and formal comprehension assessments inform our planning and teaching, to accurately address the needs of the fluent readers in school, allowing them all to be able to independently access the end of key stage tests. Our KS2 Reading SATs results are above the national average.
- Supported cognitive development.
- Improved language skills.
- Preparation for academic success.
- Developing a special bond with your child.
- Increased concentration.
- Improved imagination and creativity.
- Cultivating a lifelong love of reading.