How to help your child learn to read

Practical tips and advice on developing reading skills with children

Our Reading Philosophy:

As a school, our main aim is to expose our children to a wide range of authors and genres with a focus on high quality texts and rich vocabulary.

Shared Reading: Teachers are expected to model reading in all genres whilst sharing success criteria in a format accessible to all.  Key features should be identified in all texts.

Class Novels:

The school recognises that this is a powerful and enjoyable way to teach all strands in literacy. Classes have a class set of books per term and are expected to use these books  for focused work.

Guided Reading:

Staff should link Guided Reading to the genres planned for within each term. The children should be 90% fluent. Book bands and phonic phases help support staff with their choice of appropriate reading material. Staff have access to resources to ensure a whole school consistent approach to Guided Reading. These are Reading Explorers, The Classics and Top Class Resources (starting in from Year 2). KS1 have access to the Reading Rocketeer resources to use in addition to Phonic resources to promote fluency in reading. Teacher direct activities according to the Assessment Focus areas. There should be a pattern of pre-reading and follow up reading to a guided session. A Teacher will carry out a carousel of guided activities each week and ensure that each child has at least one guided session with the teacher a week.

Individual Reading 1:1

Every class teacher will produce a plan of times during the week children will be heard read on a 1:1 basis. SEN and underachieving children will be heard read more often. This should be updated at least termly. TA’s will be used to support this. Staff and TA’s in KS1 will provide additional time to hear children read.

Independent reading:

Children should be encouraged to select from a wide range of ‘free readers’ (fiction and non-fiction) to foster an enjoyment of reading.  Emergent readers should be given more support in their selections and teachers are expected to monitor books to ensure a wide range of genre, authors, and styles of writing are explored. Two independent reading sessions are built into the Guided reading session. Children should record their daily reading –in school and at home in their Home reading diary. This should note the time spent reading and any comments about the book a parent or child wishes to enter. This enables for monitoring and self reflection of reading habits which can be discussed when books are reviewed by the class teacher or TA ( weekly).  Higher ability readers they should develop the habit of including descriptive words and phrases within their diary.


See Phonics page for more details

Links to Parents/Home Reading :

Books are to be taken home daily, from nursery and Foundation stage.  Children are to take home a book chosen either by the teacher or TA or by themselves dependent upon ability. Confident readers within a phase can select their own home reader to enjoy independently.

KS1: Children will take home a book of their choice from the appropriate book band levels  for two evenings to explore and re-read with their parents. Parents are expected to read daily with their child and make comments in the child’s reading record.

KS2: Children will select from book bands or free choice according to ability. They should complete the reading diary as laid out in the Independent reading section above.

The diary provides a two way communication between staff and parents.  The diary should be used by staff to encourage children to reflect on their reading habits and make decisions/targets of how to improve.  This becomes especially important as children become more independent readers and parents no longer hear their children read daily.  With independent readers, parents are expected to encourage good reading habits by ensuring their child reads daily.  Children will be expected to add vocabulary and noun phrases from novels to impact on their writing.  A wide range of authors and genre will be encouraged.

Class Librarians 2019-20

Preston St. Stephen’s chose to develop a love of reading through the election of Class Librarians, who acted like school councillors only promoting books instead. These pupils (2 from years 1 to 6) volunteered to inspire their class mates into reading through various means.

Each week, at a lunchtime, they met together to plan reading challenges and competitions for their individual classes (offering prizes), carried out surveys on children’s favourite books in order to develop the class reading spaces by spending some of the school’s literacy budget on quality reading material as well as improving the classroom book corners.  They took a trip to Waterstone’s who offered a significant discount and gave us a points card. They also promoted the Book Bus and created their own advertisements to promote lunchtime reading sessions – which they hosted.

Mischa said, “ I think we have helped more people enjoy reading and got a lot more books in our school”.  Toby and Shiven said, “We have had a brilliant time and it has been a great experience”.

Books in classrooms are now better organised and there is so much more to read!

Our class librarians are busy helping to promote reading in our classes, they are spending time being creative with their reading areas. Take a look at the great things that they have been up to...

In our EYFS classrooms, the children will tell you they don't have a reading area because they have books EVERYWHERE! They have books in every area linked to the topic they are covering. 

Our Reading Crew's Reading Challenge after World Book Day

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