Reading at St Barts
All children have the right to read. We believe that reading changes lives which is why we ensure that reading is at the forefront of everything we do. Reading is a complex skill with many components. Successful approaches should encourage children to use a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning. It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading.
At all years throughout the school, the children are taught the skills they need but our aim is that the majority of the word recognition skills are taught in EYFS and KS1 so that by the time the children start Year 3 they are fluent readers able to access a range of texts. To support the children’s comprehension skills, the teachers teach the children how to read like a reader wherever needed. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
Reading within class will be seen across all subject areas and include a wide variety of materials. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. These words are ‘ magpied’ within the class and children are given the opportunities to explore word meanings and encouraged to use these words within their own speaking and writing where possible. Reading feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds .
Reading at Home
Our Children use the Accelerated Reading Programme which allows students the freedom to choose their own books to read from our library. The Accelerated Reading Programme is based on the principle that practice makes perfect, Accelerated Reader is a computerised learning system designed to help teachers motivate, monitor and manage student reading practice.
All the books in our library are linked to the Accelerated Reading Library and are tailored to suit the individual reading needs and abilities of each child. After reading their books, our children are then quizzed on the book to establish their level of understanding.
Children complete a Star Reading Test which establishes their reading ranges. By doing this, students can then choose a book from our library which is suited to their individual reading range. Books within their reading range will contain new vocabulary that will challenge them without them becoming disengaged and frustrated.
Teachers encourage a love of reading and promote the reading of a wide range of books As role models to the pupils, teachers model themselves as readers by discussing their own reading experiences with pupils. Teachers recommend books to pupils. Teachers also encourage reading for pleasure by ensuring that pupils can use the library, that they can choose books to read at home from the take home books selection
Own Books Room - it is a great way for children to have books at home and read for pleasure which has a huge impact on pupil's motivation to read. It is an innovative book recycling project to help young children without books have their own books at home.
What the project aims to do
- Encourage young children to develop an early love of books and reading through choosing and having their own books at home.
- Allow children to select one or two books for themselves, from the age appropriate categories, to take home.
- Avoid any need to buy or obligation to return the books.
- Remove any stress and financial constraints on parents over acquisition of books. Encourage parents to read with their children at home.
Celebrating book days is a good way of promoting reading and creating a buzz around reading. Pupils and staff are given the opportunities to dress up as their favourite book character and discuss this with their class. Activities for the day are based around reading and the sharing of experiences, books and authors.
Free online books can also be accessed via the link