Here are some ideas for high quality reading books for children in different year groups throughout school. These are only intended as a guide and if your child is not yet able to read at the level for their year group it is perfectly fine for them to read books from lists for children in lower year groups. If you would like further information about the types of books that we recommend please speak to your child’s class teacher for advice.
At St Joseph’s, we believe that ability to read is fundamental to our children succeeding; enabling them to access the next stage of their education and beyond. Our curriculum has been designed to ensure that pupils have opportunities to develop a lifelong love of reading. Our aim is to ensure that pupils gain a thirst for reading a range of genres and participating in discussions about the books; exploring the language used by different authors and the impact the written words have on the reader. Our curriculum has also been designed to ensure that pupils not only read for pleasure but to use books to research and gather new knowledge to extend their understanding.
Reading is an important part of our curriculum and is an integral part of all of our lessons. At St Joseph’s we teach reading through:
• Discreet comprehension lessons: We teach lessons which focus on developing pupils’ level of understanding of the text, through discussion, written and oral tasks; and the exploration of new vocabulary. Pupils will be taught to retrieve, infer, predict, summarise, analyse and evaluate a whole class text.
• Guided reading Lessons: We encourage our pupils to read for pleasure and to read widely. In these lessons, pupils explore a novel/book, developing their reading skills and their ability to understand the author’s intent, connections and links to their own experiences. Discussion and critiquing are key aspects of these lessons.
• Independent Reading: Reluctant readers, or those pupils who struggle with reading are heard reading regularly to ensure that they make expected progress. Teacher led phonics (Read Write Inc.) is used from Foundation to year 3 (if needed)
(Pre and post Covid)
• Library resources: A librarian from the local library will visit EYFS for story time. Years one to year six visit the local library for a book related workshop. This encourages children to sign up for their own library card and to visit with their own families. Cross- curricular books are also loaned to school each term and are linked to the topics taught in each class.
• Book fairs/donations: The Travelling Book Company visit school each year and a % of all books sales provides the school with new resources. We are also in the process of setting up an Amazon ‘wish list’ where parents can order and donate requested books to be sent directly to school.
• Reading buddies: Children from different classes act as reading partners and ‘buddy up’ with a child from another class. The younger children enjoy ‘showing off’ their reading skills to their older peers and the older children thrive on the responsibility of helping others and being a good reading ambassador.
Each Key Stage within the school focuses on age appropriate skills and uses a range of strategies and interventions to support the pupils.
Reading is taught through shared reading, using large print books and picture books. Pupils are taught the process of reading; learning that words and pictures have meaning. Through a range of practical activities children learn familiar stories. Pupils explore skills such as sequencing, prediction and retrieval. Using the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme our pupils are taught the initial sounds.
In Key Stage 1, we use Read, Write Inc. for our phonics programme. Phonic awareness helps the development of reading by segmenting and blending sounds. The children will be heard reading individually and in groups. Reading is taught through a shared reading approach using books that are rhythmical and have repetitive patterns. Pupils explore vocabulary, prediction, sequencing, making inferences and retrieving information.
In Year 2, pupils are taught reading through a whole class approach. Pupils explore vocabulary, prediction, sequencing, making inferences and retrieving information using VIPERS.
In Key Stage 2, we teach reading through a whole class approach focusing on the curriculum domains. We use Literacy Shed VIPERS to ensure consistency across the Key Stage. Pupils explore vocabulary, prediction, sequencing, making inferences and retrieving information, ensuring that they are able to make justified responses using evidence from the text. Pupils explore a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts in their lessons.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally.
• Staff assess children’s learning during each phonics session.
• Termly checks to ensure that pupils are placed within the correct teaching group and that progress is being made.• Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.
Reading: The school measures impact through:
• Half termly assessments using NFER assessments
• Termly Read Write Inc. assessments to ensure pupils are on the correct Book Bag Book
• Previous SATs papers in year 2 and year 6 to measure attainment against national standardised scores
• Pupil Voice interviews to assess learning
Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so 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 put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
We follow the Floppy’s Phonics Programme to support all our children in becoming successful, confident, independent and enthusiastic young readers.
How long will it take my child to learn to read?
By the end of Year 2, your child should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own story book.
How do I know teaching will be good?
All the staff in Early Years and Key Stage 1 have been trained in Early Reading and the delivery of Floppy’s Phonics. We believe that it is very important that all the teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way. Senior teachers watch other teachers and teaching assistants teaching to make sure that the children are learning how we want them to learn.
If you are worried about the teaching or you have any questions, please come to school and talk to us.
What can I do to help?
Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. It helps if you know whether this is a book that your child can read on their own or whether this is a book that you should read to them. The teacher will have explained which is which. Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.
Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds.
Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.
We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family.
Does it matter if my child misses a lesson or two?
It matters a lot if your child misses school. The way we teach children to read is very well organised, so even one missed lesson means that your child has not learnt something that they need to know to be a good reader.
What if he or she finds it difficult to learn to read?
We want children to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly if your child is finding reading difficult. If they struggle, we give them extra time with an adult, on their own or in a small group. These adults are specially trained to support these children. Your child will still be in the same group with the other children and won’t miss out on any of the class lessons.
If we have any serious worries about your child’s reading, we will talk to you about this.
Some children take a bit longer to learn to put sounds together to read a word, e.g. c-a-t to make the word ‘cat’.
What if my child turns out to be dyslexic?
The way we teach reading is especially helpful for children who might be dyslexic. This is because we use a very well-organised programme that has a strong focus on phonics. This is very important for children who find learning to read difficult. If you are worried about your child, please come and talk to us.
My child has difficulty pronouncing some sounds. Will this stop him learning to read through phonics?
This isn’t a problem for learning to read as long as we know what sound the child is trying to say. This is not something to worry about. Many children have a few sounds that they can hear clearly but find it difficult to say, particularly the l-sound, r-sound, w-sound, th-sound, s-sound, sh-sound and j-sound. Often they say a t-sound for the c-sound; “tttssh” for the s-sound; “w” for the r-sound and “r” for the l-sound. You can help your child by encouraging him or her to look at your mouth when you say the sound. Whatever you do, do not make your child feel a failure. They can easily learn to read, even if they find one or two sounds difficult to say.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns. We are here to help.
How will my child be taught to read?
We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
How will I know how well my child is doing?
We will always let you know how well your child is doing.
We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up.
We also use a reading test so that we can make sure that all our children are at the level that they should be for their age compared to all the children across the country.
In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will talk to you about how well your child has done, and especially if we have any worries at all.