Reading at St Michael and St Martin
Throughout the week your child will have many opportunities to practice and develop their reading skills. We utilise different strategies of teaching reading during the school week. We are also grateful for the fantastic support that parents and relatives provide at home. Any extra time spent on reading at home will have a positive impact on your child’s progress at school. We ask that you encourage your child to read at home daily and read to your child as often as possible, particularly in the Early Years and KS1.
Please do not forget to sign their reading records to let the teachers know how they are progressing.
Your child will receive a levelled reading book and their progress through the bookbands will be monitored closely by their class teacher. Teachers are looking for your child to be mostly fluent (only sounding out approximately 1 in every 10 words) and to be able to answer a range of questions about the page/ a given section or the whole book. You can help your child at home by asking relevant questions as you read. When children are reading confidently and they are ready to become a ‘free reader’ they will choose their own chapter books to read and enjoy at home.
Reading skills develop before writing skills and are also essential in helping children to access the learning taking place across other curriculum areas. The 2014 curriculum meant many changes to how reading was taught and assessed. The objectives which the children are expected to meet have become even more challenging. You can find links to the reading objectives for your child’s year group on this page.Please also find on this page a summary of some of the main ways in which reading is taught here at St Michael and St Martin.
Reciprocal Reading uses a whole class and small group/paired approach to teaching reading. Over a half-term period the children will learn a new reading skill in order to develop their comprehension of a piece of text. The skills are as follows: predicting, questioning, inferring, clarifying, visualising, summarising and making connections (between the text they are reading, themselves, the world around them and other books). As you can see that these are all skills that good readers have but they need to be taught explicitly. The children will begin to learn some of these skills in the EYFS and KS1 classes and build on them each year as they go up through the school.
Here is an example of how Reciprocal Reading is taught in the classroom:
During one school week the class teacher will have one reading focus such as inference; they will model how to make inferences when reading a piece of text before providing the children with the opportunity to make their own inferences in pairs and small groups. The children will record their learning in their reading journals and practice each skill individually which will help them to work independently during their reading assessments. When the children are competent in each reading skill they will then work as a group, each taking on their own role (e.g the clarifier, the questioner etc). This strategy works alongside/during guided reading sessions. This approach is also brilliant as it allows the children to support each other and time to orally rehearse their answers before writing them down. Each child will be given a book mark with some sentence starters which you can use to support them at home when teaching and applying the reading skills.
The children absolutely love Guided Reading and in a recent Pupil Voice Survey gave some of the following reasons as to why:
“I like Guided Reading because I get to use expression.. The books might be challenging and I like that.” (Yr5)
“I like to read in groups with our teachers.” (Yr6)
“I like it because it’s fun and it helps me in English” (Yr 4)
“I like GR because we get to listen to other people’s views on the same book and read at the same level.” (Yr 4)
During Guided Reading the children will read with their class teacher in a group of approximately 6 pupils. The pupils are grouped according to their reading ability in order to all access the level of challenge within the text or to focus on the same decoding or comprehension skills. The pupils take turns reading aloud and will stop to be asked comprehension questions, discuss vocabulary and interesting features of the text and language. The children have at least one Guided Reading session each week from Years 1-6 but will also begin Guided Reading during Reception when they are ready.
Your child will read aloud to a number of different adults during the school week including their class teachers, teaching assistants and reading volunteers. 1:1 opportunities to read aloud are extremely useful as every child is different, with varied strengths and areas for development.
If you are interested in becoming a 1:1 reading volunteer here at St Michael and St Martin please speak to Miss Ponter in Year 1 or Mrs Childs in the school office. Our reading volunteers are valuable members of our school community and the children make so much progress as a result of their time and dedication. Thank you on behalf of all of the staff and children!