Reading at Cragside
Reading at Cragside Church of England Primary School
Ethos and Aims
At Cragside we understand that learning to read and the development of a love of reading is vital. We plan a variety of opportunities to teach and inspire our children every day with the aim of developing their reading skills and developing a love of books and reading which will last a lifetime.
Daily Phonics Sessions
In Reception, acquiring phonic skills begins with speaking and listening. Children develop their use of detail and vocabulary and their ability to listen carefully and respond accurately to sounds, questions and instructions. In the Autumn term, we teach children phonemes following the sequence set out in letters and sounds. Children learn the sound, an action and the formation of each grapheme. We practise listening for sounds at the beginning, in the middle, and at the ends of words. We also practise blending sounds together verbally to make words.
As the children become more confident, we teach them how to put these single sounds together to read and write words. Throughout the year, we constantly reinforce the importance of correct formation of these letters, with the support of Read, Write, Inc and practising in different ways, such as using glitter or playdough. We also focus on Tricky and High Frequency words, such as home, we, look, I, where the children learn words by sight.
Weekly homework in Reception supports the teaching of Letters and Sounds alongside the motivation of the school’s ‘Reading Challenge’, which rewards children for reading practise.
Our EYFS team hold an annual meeting at the beginning of the year for parents to ensure they are fully informed about how we teach reading and support they can give at home.
In Key Stage 1 the children continue to follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme but we enhance and support this with a wide range of resources such as whiteboard writing activities, card games, flash cards, interactive on-line and published games, as well as the many interactive activities suggested in the scheme itself. In our outdoor learning areas children are supported further by highly engaging Letters and Sounds displays.
We have found that following the structure and guidance of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme ensures a full coverage of phonic sounds and skills and that the enhancement activities allow the children to apply and consolidate their knowledge in a variety of contexts. This then allows them to link phonic rules and strategies to their writing and reading tasks more effectively.
The basis of our scheme is the Oxford reading Tree scheme. We supplement these books with a variety of other books from highly engaging schemes which include a range of fiction and non-fiction.
Daily ‘Everyone Reading In Class’-‘ERIC’ sessions
In Key Stage two every English lesson is followed by an ERIC session. In this session the class teacher will read with a different reading group each day. Every child will read with their teacher at least once a week in ERIC time. Independent reading activities are planned for children to ensure that they are reading from a range of genres and sharing texts discussion about books with their peers.
During English lessons teachers and learning support assistants work with groups in daily guided reading sessions. These sessions are based on the text used in the lesson and allow the children further opportunities to read within the genre and teacher’s further opportunities to read, discuss and question the children about their reading.
The library at Cragside is at the heart of our school. We have a range of fiction and non-fiction books available for the children to read at school and at home. The library is staffed by a willing team of Year 6 librarians. Each class visits the library with their Year 6 librarians at least once a fortnight. Librarians encourage the children to understand the organisation of the library, enjoy story telling sessions and simply enjoy some quiet time to read a favourite book. The library is brightly furnished and well stocked. We use the Junior Librarian system to organise books children take home.
Our school buys into a service level agreement (SLA) each year with Northumberland County Council. This enables us to restock the library at a number of times during each academic year. We are also able to order sets of books relating to topics. The SLA ensures that the stock of books in the library is relevant, up to date and attractive to our children.
We are committed to ensure that every child at Cragside develops a lifelong love of reading. One of the most important factors in achieving this is for children to read at home as often as possible. To encourage every child to read regularly at home we reward our children through our Reading Challenge reward system. A Reading Challenge bookmark is given to a child when they have twenty five signatures from a grown up in their planner. When a child has fifty signatures they are given a book from a set of carefully chosen fiction and non-fiction in each class. To ensure all children participate in this reward system teachers offer spot prizes to inspire reluctant readers. Our aim is to ensure all children receive as many Reading Challenge rewards as possible!
At Cragside we fully appreciate the joy and enthusiasm a meeting with a published author brings. We are involved with the annual Northern Children’s Book festival which provides us with opportunities to welcome well known authors to school. We also work closely with Cramlington Learning Village and regularly attend author visits with them.
Reading Champion of the Week
Every week, a small cup is awarded to a pupil in each class to recognise a considerable effort or achievement in reading.
Cragside Reading ‘High Fliers’
A helium filled balloon is awarded half termly as a further reward for effort and achievement in reading.
Reading across the Curriculum
We understand that reading fluently and confidently allows children to access knowledge in all subjects. We provide books in the classroom and library about all subjects of interest including those the children are studying across the curriculum. We ensure children are given a range of reasons to read in every subject and encourage all children to share and discuss their research.
Useful websites to help your child can be found below
- Active Learn-Your child has a login for this to access lots of reading activities.
- Read for My School- available for four months of the year. Check our newsletter for details.
- National Literacy Trust-packed with wonderful ideas to encourage your child to read.
- Reading Rockets- Lots more inspiring ideas and interviews with well-known children’s authors.