Our Approach to Teaching Reading

Bowness Primary School acknowledge that reading is key to effective learning and as such it has a very high priority and profile in our school. Children are encouraged to take great pleasure in reading, to read independently, leading to good progress and an appreciation of books. We aim to cultivate a love of reading which will remain with the children for life. We support our children to become language rich. At Bowness Primary we believe this is best achieved through reading widely across the curriculum, for information and for pleasure.

In the Foundation Stage classes we engage in ‘book talk’. Children learn to handle books, they are encouraged to talk constantly about what is happening and they begin to recognise a few keywords. All this is happening alongside a phonics programme called Letters and Sounds so that children can always apply the skills to the books they are reading. Children listen to stories daily, joining in with repetitive language, actions and rhyme.  

In Year 1 and Year 2, as well as continuing the structured programme of teaching phonics, there is also a focus on comprehension and we continue to promote reading for enjoyment.  Children continue to listen to stories daily and all children have an opportunity to read individually with an adult. We use home reading books that are carefully levelled to move on the readers quickly in line with their phonic understanding. In addition to this, Guided Reading takes place daily. During this time we will develop the children’s skills so they become speedy readers and further develop word recognition and comprehensive skills. We have a range of guided reading books so over the years the children will experience many different types of texts. 

Our aim is to see most children reading fluently by the time they start Key Stage 2. We also want to make sure the children’s understanding of the text is in line with their ability to read fluently. 

Guided Reading allows the teachers to ask highly focused questions and to challenge the children’s ideas.  High quality texts are selected to engage all learners. In fiction, we develop the children’s ability to infer, deduce and speculate on the reasons why authors have made particular language choices, choose certain characters, settings and plots. We use different texts as an opportunity to grow a rich spoken vocabulary. We use non-fiction texts to deepen the children’s understanding of the topic work across the curriculum. We are seeking to ensure that children appreciate reading and it helps them to understand the world around them. Again, we use reading as a tool to increase the children’s vocabulary across each subject every area. Reading challenges are given throughout the year in the form of a competition in which all KS2 children take part in.  Just like Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 children participate in daily Reading sessions in the form of class reads and also read with an adult. Children have Home reading books linked to their stage in reading and these are reviewed regularly by the class teacher/ teaching assistant and children are moved on when they are ready. 

Reading for enjoyment is nurtured at Bowness Primary School. We aim to inspire our children to explore, learn and grow, and make connections by giving them frequent opportunities to read widely. 

The class teachers spend time sharing their favourite books with their class. Upper Key stage 2 have a book club in which children can enjoy a book, magazine, newspaper or comic of their choice. Each class has the opportunity to recommend books to be included in a whole school display for one month per year. They discuss their choices and reasons with the Head of School before their suggestions are displayed for all to see. There are class libraries in all key stages and the school library where children can select from a range of fiction and non-fiction books to take home. 

We encourage all parents to read with their children regularly at home. Reading events at school are offered to parents as well as our book fairs so that children and parents can choose books together to enjoy at home.

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