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How we teach Reading

A confident reader uses a range of strategies to decode words. These include:

Phonics – where you use the letter sound/group of letters’ sounds to read the word

Graphics – whole word recognition for words that are not decodeable with phonics

Prediction – using picture clues, or what would make sense in the sentence.

Each week your child’s class teacher will listen to your child read and establish how well they are performing with the decoding of words. If your child is struggling with reading the words, interventions may be set up, which will give your child training on how to access decoding strategies that they are not familiar with. These may include changing your child’s phonics group, using a different reading scheme like Rapid, Toe by Toe, or Code, or having your child read every day at school to an adult. In general, the more a child reads at home, the better they get at decoding words and therefore understanding the meaning of texts.

In addition to decoding texts, we have weekly reading comprehension lessons. In these lessons we teach the many other skills that are required to be a confident reader. These are:

  • Information retrieval. Children are taught how to skim and scan a text, to search for key words and relevant information in order to quickly find the information that they are looking for. This also involves understanding what different texts look like (eg, newspaper, report, poem, argument, discussion) and where they need to look to find specific information.
  • Interpretation using inference and deduction. This very important skill teaches children how to “read between the lines” of what has been written down and enables them to make predictions about what might happen, why something has/will happen, why characters behave the way they do and what the overall text means.
  • Structure, presentation and language. Children are taught about the features of different types of writing, such as subheadings, introductions, conclusions and glossaries; they are also taught about the types of language used in different types of texts, like persuasive techniques and the effects words have on the reader.
  • Viewpoint. Texts and articles are written from different points of view, and we teach the children how we can interpret the language used to identify the opinions of the person writing the text. This is particularly important in news reports, where facts are mixed in with the journalists’ opinions. Furthermore, the children are taught about relating what they are reading to themselves, to British values and morals, to other cultures and to historical events when necessary.
  • Performance. The children are taught how to learn by heart poetry and short extracts of prose. They are taught how to recite and perform to an audience.
  • Reviewing. We encourage the children to have likes and dislikes with respect to the range of material available for them to read. We teach them how to review books, texts and website material and how to recommend reading material to friends and children in other age brackets.