At Uplands School, we love reading! We want all of our children to not only learn the skills required to ensure they become proficient readers but also to encourage them to want to read for pleasure.
Our reading journey starts in Reception where the children begin to learn to read with daily phonics lessons. Here we follow the Letter and Sounds phonics scheme where the children learn the initial sounds and how to segment and blend with them. They will also experience hearing and joining in with many stories, poems and rhymes being read to them every day. They also have a lovely book corner with a great range of texts for them to choose from.
In KS1, we continue our daily phonics lessons every morning. We also begin to have whole class guided reading sessions where all children will have a copy of the same text - these can be short stories, extracts from stories, picture books, information texts and poems.
As the children move into KS2, these guided reading sessions continue. Throughout each year, our children get to experience a great range of vocabulary rich, thought-provoking texts. We choose our texts carefully so that we can
introduce our children to a range of brilliant
authors or genres that they may not have
chosen to read themselves. We also like to
have a mixture of classic and modern texts.
Our lessons follow a similar structure in all
classes of 'I read, we read, you read' where the teachers will read some of the text, the children can then volunteer to read out loud
to the rest of the group, and then all children
read to themselves. There will be discussions about the meaning of words throughout the text and the children then answer a range of questions focusing on one of the key reading skills from the VIPERS model. VIPERS stands for vocabulary, inference, predict, explain, retrieve and summarise. We also pre-teach key words that the children will come across in these sessions during daily vocabulary sessions.
We want all our children to experience rich vocabulary, to gain extensive knowledge about how stories can be told and to develop a love of reading as they move through our school.
Some of our year 4, 5 and 6 children get to take part in Reading Gladiators. This is a scheme we use which runs small book club sessions where the children get to take some longer texts home to read. We then discuss what we've read at our next session. Some of the books we use for the scheme are Sky Song by Abi Elphinston, Angelino Brown by David Almond, The Ice Garden by Guy Jones, Strange Star by Emma Carroll, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd and the Adventures of John Blake by Philip Pullman. The children and teachers really enjoy these weekly sessions.
To encourage their love of reading, we also hold fortnightly reading
assemblies led by our English Coordinator. Every term we buy
exciting new books that our English Coordinator reads first and then
shares and recommends to different classes during these assemblies.
The children are then allowed to take the books home to read and then
share their opinion of them with the rest of the school at the next
assembly. These books are then added to the class bookshelves which means our collections of books available for children to choose from are constantly expanding!
Of course, the reading journey does not stop at school. We encourage all children to read every day at home (with four times a week being the minimum). Reading at home is vital to children's development as readers and, as Dr Seuss said, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go!"