Prioritising reading for pleasure we support our children to know about authors and books so they become confident, keen and capable readers.
At Eastcourt, we believe that reading is integral to a child’s understanding and appreciation of the world around them. It opens them up to information and knowledge, ideas, cultures, places and times they may never otherwise experience; a platform that allows them to see beyond what they know, and develop the vocabulary they need to effectively express themselves.
We believe the active encouragement of reading for meaning and pleasure should be a core part of every child’s curriculum entitlement. We work hard to develop the children at Eastcourt into a community of fluent, enthusiastic and discerning readers with a life-long love of independent reading because:
• we know that reading for pleasure is beneficial not only for reading outcomes, but access to and for wider learning, enjoyment and mental well-being;
• when a child’s reading opportunities increase, so does their fluency and stamina, which in turn increases their enjoyment of reading. As such, the link between a child’s motivation to read and reading for pleasure is reciprocal.
• extensive reading and exposure to a wide range of engaging, quality texts make a huge contribution to children’s educational achievement and life chances.
To help us achieve our aim we:
• develop a coherent whole-school strategy for promoting reading for pleasure
• place reading and books at the heart of the curriculum
• believe that every child can learn to read with meaning, with the right teaching and support
• acknowledge that not all children will have had the opportunity to develop a love of reading at home, so this has to be taught and encouraged at school
• build in time for all children to read independently, read aloud to and with others, and be read to during the school day
• spend money and time to support reading, including buying quality texts and developing the school environment to support reading
• believe that every teacher should be an advocate of reading for pleasure
• devote time to the training of staff, so they are equipped to support children’s reading comprehension and enjoyment of reading
• involve and support parents to ensure the culture of reading developed in school extends into the home.
We build lessons around quality books and texts, which are not confined to English lessons. We provide our children with opportunities to learn about a multitude of things that cannot be ordinarily covered within a primary school curriculum.
In addition, studying whole texts in lessons can develop children’s love of reading by giving them the opportunity to read and listen to texts and authors that they might not have chosen to read for themselves. They also have the chance to encounter new and unfamiliar genres. Our teachers read to children to help facilitate this.
While each lesson has clear objectives, teachers are encouraged to be confident to deviate from their planning if they sense that the level of challenge is not right, or if an ideal opportunity arises to explore a specific aspect of English.
At Eastcourt, we use opportunities for:
• word reading – as children encounter unfamiliar words
• grammar and punctuation – through seeing them in context and considering how they are employed for effect.
• comprehension – through listening to, reading and discussing challenging texts.
• vocabulary and spelling – by encountering and discussing new language
• spoken language through participating in discussions about books, learning from both specific language modelled by the teacher and also that of their peers
• knowledge about authors and their books
• authors’ use of language in books/texts
• building reading stamina
• encouraging children to choose to read, and enabling them to choose a book they might enjoy
We use Floppy’s Phonics, supported by other activities, to provide systematic phonics teaching throughout Reception and Key stage 1, to ensure every child can decode confidently. Learning to decode fluently and accurately allows children to become readers able to access all the enjoyment and excitement books can bring.
Children in Reception and Year 1 are checked regularly for the sounds that they know, and phonic support is adjusted accordingly. Children in Year 2 receive phonic intervention as necessary. The remainder of the class begin to study a programme of spelling patterns and sounds; this approach continues throughout the rest of school.
Reading in Reception
We develop a love of reading in younger children through a wide, language-rich curriculum and classroom environment that immerses children in books and stories. High quality books support the development of spoken language and also act as a driver for activities right across the curriculum, including the performance arts.
Children also listen to, join in with and discuss books and stories to develop their comprehension, making links between books and their developing knowledge of the world.
The bringing in of books from home or the local library is welcomed and encouraged. Giving children the opportunity to share favourite texts they are reading can have a hugely positive effect on the reading culture within a classroom.
Children also browse through books on their own, developing the skill of handling them independently.
We set up role-play areas and interactive displays based on stories the class have read together. This can help children to:
• become familiar with characters and stories
• develop their spoken language and vocabulary
• understand the structure of stories
• explore ideas and experiences that are unfamiliar to them.
Reading in KS1 and KS2
The explicit teaching of decoding and reading for meaning skills continues alongside the review and evaluation of a wide variety of texts. A wide range of graded reading scheme fiction/non-fiction books are provided for all children until they move onto free reader year group books provided in each class library, where books are changed each half term; these contain a range of fiction/non-fiction longer quality reads and poetry.
Alongside individual reading time, children are given opportunities to talk about and celebrate the books they are reading – both brought in from home and libraries, as well as our own school and class libraries.
Reading Support Interventions
Children who need additional support to complement the differentiated support they receive in the classroom, benefit from individual or group reading for meaning sessions with well-trained support staff. Focus of these sessions is decided through discussion with the class teacher observations and through outcomes from half-termly reading assessments.
Whole Class Readers
Reading to the class continues throughout the school. Listening to longer or more complex texts than they would be able to read alone increases children’s knowledge and understanding and, along with the rich vocabulary they encounter, develops their reading comprehension. It makes literary language accessible and also provides a model of expressive reading.
Supporting reading at home
Every child has a reading record which is taken home on a daily basis. Parent/Carers are encouraged to read with and to their children each day. Face-to-face or virtual individual or year group meetings are offered, where effective ways of supporting reading at home are shared and modelled for parents.
By the time children leave Eastcourt they have benefitted from the essential opportunities needed to develop them into fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers, who can participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. As well as reading for pleasure, they can also read books to enhance and support their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum, and communicate their research to a wider audience. As good readers, they become effective communicators, both verbally and within the written form.