Books take you to places you haven’t yet been – it’s like diving into an unknown world.’

EYFS and Key Stage 1

In Whaley Bridge Primary School all children encounter a wide range of reading learning opportunities to ensure that fundamental skills are securely in place.

Whole class teaching takes place and texts are often used as a stimulus for further English based activities. In Guided Reading sessions, pupils work in small, adult led groups to explore texts, building particularly on comprehension and early inference skills.  In KS1 pupils also have the opportunity to explore and respond to text through follow up tasks and activities.

Pupils read regularly on a 1:1 basis to ensure both accuracy and understanding. Whilst this may be with a teacher or teaching assistant, we are fortunate in that we are supported by a committed team of volunteers comprised of parents and grandparents. Children are encouraged to read at home and generally take four books home every week, following a reading scheme (colour banded books).  Children also enjoy listening to a class book at story time.

Key Stage 2

As pupils progress through into Key Stage 2 the emphasis switches from decoding skills to developing comprehension and inference skills.

In addition to whole class teaching, Guided Reading sessions continue throughout KS2.  These sessions enable children to develop the high levels of inference and understanding needed for future learning.  Pupils continue to have the opportunity to explore and respond to text through follow up tasks and activities. There remains an expectation for children to read at home on a regular basis.

Throughout school, reading resources are regularly reviewed and updated. Each year in March we celebrate World Book Day, by enjoying different reading themed activities. We also host a yearly book fair which is really popular and well supported.

Big Reading

Our regular Big Reading sessions are an integral part of teaching and learning within Literacy.

Big Reading sessions offer a series of whole class episodes of learning which are carefully crafted, to acquire a key skill (or skills) of reading. The session is designed to take the children on a learning journey from being dependent on the teacher at the beginning of the session to becoming more independent in using reading skill(s) taught by the end of the session. The whole class work together in mixed ability pairs or teams, for the vast majority, of the sessions. Along the way, children meet the Reading S.P.I.E.S team which are a group of characters that support children in their understanding of the five key skills of reading. They are:

  • Rex the Retriever (epitomises the essence of the Retrieve skill)
  • Expi the Explorer (explore skill)
  • Ansa the Analyser (analyse skill)
  • Dood the Detective (deduce and infer skill)

Each of these characters enjoy doing specific ‘things’ to do with reading and they are a hub of a particular skill.

It is interactive, creative and enables learning to be reinforced and consolidated through opportunities such as:

  • reading aloud to the children
  • an intrinsic and extrinsic promotion of reading for pleasure
  • phonics and sight word activities or probing through word investigations
  • Mini Missions reading challenges in teams
  • cross-curricular reading

All of the above help to broaden the reading experiences of our children. Exposing children to the range of reading opportunities and broadening vocabulary, our children are in a better place to form opinions, make choices and learn life-lessons.