St. Gregory's Reading for Pleasure Agenda
At St Gregory’s, we strive to instil an ethos which values and celebrates the importance of reading for pleasure. Reading for pleasure means any reading that is primarily for enjoyment; it encompasses a wide range of genres and publications, and includes both fiction and non-fiction.
Our priority is to promote an ethos and environment that excites, inspires and values reading; creating a community of passionate readers.
The Reading Ambassadors are one of the school's Pupil Leadership Groups who take ownership of: the organisation of the Library, liaising with their peers to establish their reading interests and order books around these, expose readers to different authors and types of text that they may not normally choose and organise events which celebrate the importance of reading and encourage reluctant readers. E.g. Book Fairs and World Book Day.
Every classroom, from Reception to Year Six, has a Reading Area which inspires and encourages reading. The children contribute to the design and layout of their Reading Area and take ownership of promoting different texts through the use of: ‘Book of the Week’ and ‘Reading Recommendations’ which are updated by the pupils on a regular basis. Each classroom’s Reading Area has a wide range of high-quality texts which are freely available for the children to access, including: fiction and non-fiction stories, information texts, poetry and magazines, which are updated regularly.
Each classroom dedicates at least thirty minutes each week solely to reading for pleasure. Children have the freedom to read whichever texts they choose, in an area of their choice. The children contribute to the structure of their class’s timetable for reading for pleasure; some classes may choose to have it in daily blocks for a shorter period of time and others may choose to have it less frequently throughout the week but for longer periods of time.
All children in Key Stage One have an opportunity to access the Library once each week with their teacher to browse and discuss the texts that are available and borrow a book from the Library to read and share with adults at home. These books supplement their other weekly reading books (which match their Phonics and word reading ability) which are also sent home on a weekly basis.
All classes in Key Stage Two select their own, appropriately-levelled (as a result of the Accelerated Reader assessment), reading books from the Library. All Key Stage Two classes also have a Class Novel which is chosen by the children and read to them by their teacher at appropriate times during each school day.
Teachers at St Gregory’s plan regular and consistent opportunities to share poetry and talk about books and stories. They strive to be knowledgeable about children’s literature so that they can engage in meaningful and engaging discussions with pupils about a range of different texts.
Reading at St. Gregory's
At St. Gregory's, we begin teaching reading with a focus on Phonics and we use the Letters and Sounds programme. The foundations are laid in Reception where the focus is, first of all, on developing careful and accurate listening and having fun with phonemes (sounds), words and sentences. The children learn good reading behaviour by imitating our teachers' high-quality modelling. Pupils in Reception are encouraged to read words and captions around their text-rich learning environment, as well as composing their own. Our young children soon learn to share St. Gregory's love for reading.
The Phonics programme continues throughout Reception and into Key Stage One and parents are encouraged to join their children for Phonics lessons during each academic year so that they are supported to help their children at home. Parents Information Workshops are also held by the English Subject Lead each academic year for parents of pupils in Year One and Year Two who are sitting the Phonics Screening Check. Phonics Support Packs have been created to support these pupils develop their Phonic skills and they contain a range of resources which have been specifically sourced, designed and put together so that they are bespoke to the needs of all children. They are used both in school, by teachers and teaching assistants during Phonics interventions, as well as by parents and carers at home. More information about the Phonics Support Packs can be found on the school's website under the 'Parents' section.
During the Early Years and Key Stage One, pupils are given reading books weekly to continue their reading development at home with their family. Most of these are Oxford Reading Tree books but the school does also use books from other reading schemes so that pupils are exposed to and given the opportunity to explore a range of different genres, such as: traditional tales, non-fiction books, poems and play-scripts, to name but a few.
The children are assessed half-termly to ensure that they are on the correct reading band.
In Key Stage Two, teachers use a computer program called Accelerated Reader to manage and monitor pupils' independent reading. Each child picks a book of their choice from their assessed level from our well-stocked Library and reads it at their own pace. When finished, the pupil then takes a short quiz on the iPad which assesses their comprehension of the book. The quiz gives both the child and their teachers feedback based on their quiz results; which is used to help set targets and direct ongoing reading practise.
Teachers determine each child's reading level using results from the STAR Reading Tests, which are completed in the first week of every half term. STAR Reading Tests are computerised reading assessments that use computer-adaptive technology to assess pupils' fluency and comprehension skills. Questions continually adjust to the child's responses so if the child's response to a question is correct, the difficulty of the next question is increased. Furthermore, if a child misses a question, the difficulty of the next question is reduced.
Below, you will find a link which will direct you to further information about Accelerated Reader.