Perryfields Infant School
Our Approach to Teaching and Learning of Reading
Teaching of Reading
At Perryfields Infants, we recognise that reading is a fundamental life skill and we priortise the teaching and learning of reading. We aim to ensure children learn to read fluently and with good understanding. Alongside this, we wholeheartedly foster a lifelong love of reading.
We promote this reading culture by creating stimulating and welcoming book areas in classrooms that offer a wide range of reading materials, attractive author themed book displays. Our library hosts a variety of books and interactive cross curricular displays that offer a print rich environment. We also have good links with our local library.
At Perryfields, we do not follow a particular reading scheme but offer the children a large selection of fiction and non-fiction books from a range of schemes, e.g. Oxford Reading Tree and Big Cat. Children read and take home 2 books each week. They choose a ‘shared read,’ colour coded book from the library. The second book, the ‘decodable book’, is kept in the classroom and is selected by a teacher of LSA. Regular assessment ensures this book is well matched to the phonemes they know. Children are given opportunities to change their books regularly. As well as these book banded books, children have the opportunity to engage with a culturally rich and diverse range of genres. Everyday in KS1 children have a quiet reading session whereby all children read. During this time throughout the week each and every child reads to a teacher or learning support assistant. Reading at home and in school is also supported by our subscription to Oxford Owl online which provides a comprehensive online library for all age groups as well as providing texts which support the Letters and Sounds scheme.
The teaching of phonics begins as soon as the children start school in the Foundation Stage. We teach some of the skills needed for reading through synthetic phonics in which words are broken up into smaller units of sound (phonemes). Children are taught the letters (graphemes) that represent each phoneme and learn to blend them into words. Throughout the school each class delivers a minimum of one short, discrete daily phonics session, this is often twice a day. At Perryfields, we follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme. We have our own actions and use some of the songs and practical ideas from ‘Jolly Phonics’. We teach phonics in a fun, exciting and multi-sensory way.
In Year 1, each child takes part in the National Phonics Screening Check which was introduced by the government in 2012. Parents are informed if their child has met the expected level required to pass the screening check. Those children who do not meet the expected level for their age group are given extra support to do so in year 2. Alongside the teaching of phonics, we teach children to draw on a wide range of strategies for example picture cues, the context of the book and by learning to read a range of key words. We also have a strong emphasis on comprehension and reading for information and pleasure.
“During my visit I listened to many pupils read. They use their phonics skills well and show an enjoyment of reading from an early age.” Ofsted 2016.
Power of Reading
At Perryfields we are part of the ‘Power of Reading’ project. This is a whole school approach, which engages teachers and children in the literacy curriculum with high quality books and creative teaching approaches. The main idea behind this project is to use high quality texts to support our creative, topic-based approach to the curriculum. It aims to strengthen our reading for enjoyment culture and provide teachers with fresh, innovative teaching approaches to reading. This in turn supports children’s development in writing.
Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else's shoes for a while. Malorie Blackman