At Ringwood Junior School we aim to promote a love of books and reading. We foster a reading culture that starts with sharing books and texts for sheer pleasure and that ethos permeates through the school.
We frequently spend time reading books and looking at illustrations, and encourage ‘book talk’ from all of the children. We read to the whole class and in groups looking at a range of stories from traditional tales to well established authors. We love to read together and through this we develop the children’s concepts about print.
Guided reading takes place daily across the school and children love being able to read with an adult. In a small group, children read a book at a suitable level and then teachers ‘walk through the text’ with the children before, during and after reading, to explore the presentation, text type and discuss language, in order to empower the children to accomplish higher levels of independent reading. Following the reading, teachers and children discuss many focused aspects in line with our assessment guidelines for reading. Children’s understanding of the meaning of a text is also carefully assessed. Children use their reading to help them with their writing skills and teachers often apply their knowledge of ‘Talk for Writing’ where published texts are explored in conversation, effective words borrowed and structures reused for the children’s own work.
Reading books are sent home daily and parents can write comments about how well their children are doing in their reading log. These books are placed in coloured bands that get gradually harder as the children progress. When children become fluent readers, they begin to explore their own tastes in reading, choosing their own books from the school and class library, from the silver and gold bands or from home. This develops their skill of looking at books and making a quick summary based on a short reading time and the blurb on the back of books. Where possible, and depending on need, children are given several opportunities throughout the week to read on an individual basis, where the level of text is assessed and features such as fluency and expression are analysed in more detail.
Reading bands at Ringwood Junior School:
Alongside the work carried out to foster a love of reading we also continue children’s understanding of letters and sounds through the teaching of synthetic phonics. In Key Stage 2 we continue to use phonics to break down words into individual sounds. We teach the children how to segment and blend so that they can read on their own and use synthetic phonics to develop these decoding skills. We teach spelling through investigating sounds and exploring the patterns of our language.
We have specialist teachers who run intervention programmes for children who are not at the same level as their peers and use reading buddies from Year 6 to encourage more frequent reading for some children who need it.
By the time children leave us, we aim to have developed fluent readers who are interested in reading and are able to use it as a key life skill for a successful future.
Helping your Child with Reading
Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it's the single most important thing you can do to help your child’s education. It's best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.
Think of ways to make reading fun - you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you're both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.
Books aren't just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:
- Encourage your child to pretend to 'read' a book before he or she can read words.
- Visit the library as often as possible - take out CDs and DVDs as well as books.
- Schedule a regular time for reading - perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
- Buy dual-language books if English isn’t your family’s first language - you can talk about books and stories, and develop a love for them, in any language.
- Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in - maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
- Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.
For more information about reading with children, and how it is taught in schools try visiting the Oxford Owl website: http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/
How We Promote Reading
Author of the Month
We celebrate the work of authors and illustrators each month. This will be displayed in our school Library and through our school radio.
Get Caught Reading!
We challenge the children and staff at Ringwood Junior School to ‘Get Caught Reading’ by reading a fiction book, non-fiction book, comic, magazine or newspaper in a place that may be special to them, unusual or different in some way. As evidence, we would like them to be photographed reading their book. Some ideas of places may be cuddled up in bed, in a treehouse, under the Christmas Tree, at the dinner table or on the beach!
Ringwood Reading Trail
We are continuing to promote our school’s ‘Reading Trail’ to encourage children to read fiction and non-fiction books. Each child has a trail card where they can record books they have read and subsequently reviewed. Once they have read 6 books, the children are awarded with a reading certificate. They receive another certificate after reading another 6 books and then when they complete their card, therefore reading 18 books in total, they are presented with a very special gold reading certificate.