Our Reading Leads
My earliest memories of reading are of being at my Grandma’s house snuggled in bed listening to her tell me stories from ‘The Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton. I would lie there and imagine being in that enchanted forest, meeting all of the characters and being a part of their wonderful adventures. As I grew older, a fascination with dinosaurs often found me with my head buried deep in information books learning all about these amazing prehistoric creatures - breathing life into their fossilised bones in my mind! Even now, as a busy teacher and dad to two young children, I love to read both to myself and to others. Having recently joined Parkgate School, I have set myself a challenge to read as many popular children’s authors as possible in order to better suggest and recommend to those children I work closely with. Leading reading at Parkgate is a real privilege and something I am truly passionate about. My goal over the next academic year is to create a wealth of rich reading opportunities for all of the children at Parkgate so that they might feel, and ignite, that same passion for books that I did all of those years ago!
My love of reading began at an early age. My parents were never without something to read, whether it be a battered science-fiction novel or a weekly magazine. Books were always available to me as a child. Reading took me to places I couldn't get to, and allowed me to imagine lands that only existed in authors’ minds. Reading was knowledge of the world around me growing up - a very powerful thing. I suppose that's why I became a teacher and why I'm passionate about supporting the children at Parkgate in developing their own love of reading and encourage them to find out about the things that interest them - just as I was. As J. K. Rowling said: “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” That's our aim at Parkgate - to find the right book...
At Parkgate we believe that reading is a fundamental skill and is key to developing happy, confident learners. It is also key to developing the ability to be a lifelong learner. As well as academic attainment, it has been shown that the benefits of reading for pleasure go beyond this and stretch throughout a person's life.
Our aim at Parkgate is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture within the school community. Confident and competent readers will foster a love of reading through a rich and varied experience of texts, in which they are empowered to exercise freedoms of choice and independence.
There are many opportunities for children to develop skills in reading at school.
Floppy Phonics lessons
Teaching the sounds of letters to make words. Children are encouraged to segment (break up sounds) and blend sounds (put them back together to read)
Shared Reading is an interactive reading experience that occurs when children join in and share the reading of different texts.
This is a time for children to practice decoding, fluency and comprehension skills. All children in the group read the same text at the same time though individual pacing may vary.
Accelerated Reader and 1:1 reading
Children read books tailored to their decoding and comprehension ability. Children take quizzes to test their understanding of the text.
Children have the opportunity to listen to a story being read to them. This highlights the importance of reading for pleasure and is based around the children's interests. This is a time for children to enjoy books, whilst providing language rich experience and opportunities to develop vocabulary and comprehension skills.
Learning to read is about listening and under-standing as well as working out what is printed on the page. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read. It is important for them to understand how stories work too. Even if your child does not understand every word, they will hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard.
Reading Schemes at Parkgate
Our main reading schemes in Key Stage 1 are a range of books from Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. In Key Stage 2 children access quality texts from our Accelerated Reader library. In addition we have a variety of other books which complement these schemes including online resources from BugClub. English literacy is at the heart of our learning and teaching and essential to every area of the curriculum. Children are taught to read in a variety of ways. Each week children read individually and in groups during guided reading lessons; they are also given regular opportunities to share a book with others. Guided reading focuses on the skills of comprehension and critical appreciation. Teachers read a huge variety of written material regularly with the children, fiction and non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries, poems etc. We believe in the importance of exposing children to classic texts at all ages.
At Parkgate, all children in Key Stage 2 take part in the Accelerated Reader programme which promotes engagement and progress in reading. Each half term, children take a test which establishes their reading age and recommends which level of reading book they should be reading in order to make maximum progress. After completing a book, children take an online quiz to test their comprehension of the book, and if successful, move onto a higher level of reading book.
The children find this approach to reading enjoyable and engaging; - they are able to track their progress, challenge themselves and set their own goals. Achievements are celebrated by earning points, counting the number of words read and celebrating success in assembly with their peers.