At St Francis Primary School we are passionate about teaching our children to read. Reading enriches children's vocabulary, their writing and spelling skills, and also provides them with an access to the wider curriculum.
The alphabet is taught first, and firmly embedded through daily, discrete phonics sessions. High frequency words, that are not phonetically regular, are taught as 'tricky' words and practised regularly. A wide range of books from the Oxford Reading Tree and Collins schemes are closely matched to children's increasing knowledge of phonics and 'tricky words' so that from early on in their reading journey all children can achieve success. Repeated reading of these texts supports our children's increased fluency in decoding.
Follow up discussions of each story then help the children both to understand what they are reading and build up their knowledge of how texts work. All children are encouraged to read regularly at home and are read with in school, in a range of ways, including 1:1, small groups and sharing texts as a whole class.
As the children become more fluent readers, the focus of our teaching becomes more about developing comprehension skills, to ensure children fully understand the texts they are reading. Weekly reading comprehension sessions in KS2 allow children to build on and develop a wide range of comprehension skills as they explore and analyse a wide range of texts, by asking and answering questions together.
Information for parents, to further explain elements of reading:
In July 2017 we were excited to launch a range of new strategies to further promote a love of reading for children at St Francis Primary School:
We purchased the Collins Big Cat whole-school home reading programme to support every child on their reading journey. These are ‘real books for real readers.’ This scheme will help our children become fluent readers through hundreds of high-quality banded books by top authors and illustrators, including Julia Donaldson and Michael Rosen. The scheme helps children from the start of their reading journey, beginning with picture books, whilst also providing a high level of challenge through a range of fiction and non-fiction books, which are suitable right through to our most confident readers at the end of KS2.
We also purchased a wide range of new Non- Fiction books to supplement our library provision and enhance our Topic and Science teaching.