Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, therefore we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
We start by teaching phonics in Reception following the sequence of sounds set out in ‘Letters and Sounds’ combined with Read Write Inc. This is delivered through discreet daily phonics lessons. Continuous provision and the outdoor learning environment in EYFS, is carefully planned to support and consolidate the children’s phonic knowledge.
Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ that they know. During this stage in their development, children start to believe that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
Children in Year 1 and 2 also have access to high quality daily phonics sessions which last for between 20-30 minutes. Groups will be differentiated across Oak and Willow classes to ensure that all children reach their full potential; teachers work with groups on a rotational basis to ensure high quality provision for all children.
At Holy Trinity, teachers throughout the school regularly read to the children so that the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. To support this, we actively encourage children to take home ‘real books’ from the class collection or the library that may be of a higher level than those which they can read on their own. We want children to experience books about all sorts of topics as well as having the opportunity to share these with parents and families at home.
In whole class reading sessions, your child will experience a range of text types, carefully chosen for their challenging vocabulary. The teacher will model a range of teaching strategies and give the opportunity for plenty of talk about books.
Alongside this whole class work, every class has a 30 minute daily guided reading session, with children grouped at the same reading level. This is so that the teaching can be focused on their needs. Some older children will continue to access phonics groups if they need further consolidation and development of their reading skills. We check children’s reading skills regularly with a termly reading and comprehension age assessment, so we that we can ensure that children are placed in the right group. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress or may have one-to-one support if we think they need some extra help.
At Holy Trinity, we recognise that not all children learn to read using phonics and for some children other approaches are used.
In the Summer Term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. We will let you know how well your child has done.
In the Summer Term, Year 2 and Year 6 have statutory tests where their ability to answer questions about a text are measured.
To prepare children for this, we ensure our teaching of reading includes lots of opportunities to discuss characters, settings and events. This reading for meaning is so important and only when a child can decode a text and answer questions about it, do we feel that the child is ready to move onto the next colour band.
As the children move into Key Stage 2, we begin to explore how the writer has used language to keep the reader’s interest. We look at the features of a range of different fiction and non-fiction texts, discussing the use of different layouts, sentence structures as well as the use of figurative language.
To help with reading at home and to ensure children are encouraged to read widely and to challenge themselves, we have put together a 'Recommended Reads' list for each year group in the school. This list is compiled by the teachers based on their experience and knowledge of children's literature alongside national recommendations. These lists are available at the bottom of this page. As a further incentive to motivate the children to gain enjoyment from reading age-appropriate texts, as well as to introduce them to new authors, each class has a 'Book Bingo' challenge which is a list of modern as well as classic texts which children are encouraged to read during the course of the academic year. For children who require further support with their reading, an individual 'Book Bingo' sheet may be provided.
In order to support their child's development and progress with reading, Holy Trinity also has the expectation that parents/carers will hear their child read at least 3 times a week at home. Each child has a reading record book in which parents and teachers can record the child's reading.