We love reading at Billingborough! Teaching a child to read is vital. We use a range of strategies, in addition to phonics, such as a variety of decoding methods, teaching high-frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and book study to develop inference. We understand that reading is the key skill that unlocks all other learning and life opportunities.
Children are taught the very basics of reading at a very early age – you are never too young to enjoy a good story, and even our three-year-olds have books, toys, teddies. puppets and puzzles that will help them to love stories and language. Our nursery children are also taught to recognise sounds in words and around them through games, songs and rhymes.
Alongside the phonics teaching, we encourage children to love stories, books, authors, poetry and plays. We have lots of ways that parents and children can borrow books and story sacks to share at home. We have a beautiful library which children can visit, as well as lovely books in the classroom for them to read.
Each half term, classes have a focus novel that they study through drama, role-play, text analysis and writing in role. This is often linked to the topic that the class are learning about. Alongside this, the class will have daily story sessions, as well as opportunities to explore related fiction, non-fiction and poetry that further supports the whole class text.
Children are encouraged to read at home through our “Five a Week” campaign. We want children to read at home at least five times a week, to help them become good readers who enjoy a wide range of books.
Opportunities for reading
Pupils read regularly in all areas of the curriculum and in every part of the school day through:
Teaching a child to read is vital. We use a range of strategies, in addition to phonics, such as a variety of decoding methods, teaching high frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and interventions.
We are supported by a team of volunteers who enhance our reading provision every week hearing our vulnerable readers. We recognise the importance of providing regular opportunities for all children to read aloud to an adult, and any children who are not read with at home regularly are prioritised for 1:1 and small group reading in school.
One-to-one reading occurs in Reception and vulnerable readers are identified in each class to ensure reading progression and a love of reading. Throughout KS1, reading is taught through group reading activities. These activities include reading with a teacher or teaching assistant and written comprehensions. KS2 are taught through whole-class reading. During the reading sessions, there is an emphasis on vocabulary, the retrieval of facts and inference. Novels are used to teach reading, as well as a range of non-fiction texts. These texts are carefully chosen to ensure that there is progression and challenge across the school. At Billingborough, we aim to develop a love of reading, so children are encouraged to read for pleasure at home and school. Teachers read a variety of high-quality texts to the children on a regular basis.
In EYFS and KS1 children follow the reading scheme. They are given books from the scheme to take home to read. Children are also able to choose a book that interests them to read at home. Class teachers monitor how often children read at home and support any children who are not regularly reading.
In KS2, children complete their reading records / homework diaries when they have read at home. We encourage all of the children to read at home for 20 minutes, five times a week.
Reading for pleasure
At Billingborough Primary School we are continuing our drive to encourage more children to read for pleasure. Research shows a positive link between reading frequency and enjoyment and educational attainment. Furthermore, reading for pleasure has positive emotional and social benefits, improves text comprehension and grammar skills and increases general knowledge. We have many initiatives that will be taking place in school over this academic year to encourage reading for pleasure.
Our key principles for developing reading for pleasure are:
Developing an ethos and an environment that excites, enthuses, inspires and values
High quality texts with depth and interest in story, character, illustration, vocabulary, structure and subject matter
A read aloud programme
Teachers who are knowledgeable about children’s literature
Creating a community of readers with opportunities to share responses and opinions
Planning for talking about books and stories, providing structures within which to do this
Understanding the importance of illustration in reading both in terms of creating a text and responding to a text
Using drama and role play to help children to understand and access texts
Working with authors and author/illustrators to understand the process of creating books
Using literature beyond the literacy lesson – cross-curricular planning with quality literature as the starting point
If your child is finding it difficult to know what they want to read, here are some ideas:
We greatly appreciate all the support you give in supporting and encouraging your children to read at home and we are looking forward to an exciting year full of reading ahead!
Writing is actively taught across all lessons both as a discrete skill and in many cross curricular contexts.
In the beginning writing is the transcription of the phonics taught for reading. Correct letter formation and handwriting techniques for later learning are established early, click on to our separate page for more detail. Spellings are taught in sequence as set out in the national curriculum.
Written composition begins with the structure of sentences and the early
skills linked to planning ( drafting), writing and checking (editing ) their own work. Wherever practical we teach writing as a life skill embedded in range of real contexts that tie in to class topics and themes. In order that children write with accuracy and correctly we teach new vocabulary, grammar and punctuation in line with the age related expectations set out in the national curriculum.
The Aims in English remain similar throughout Key stage 1 and 2 however the skills taught are increasingly complex and stretch the children. It is our mission not only to reach the standard that matches the child's age but to exceed this where ever we can.
At Billingborough Primary School we believe that children need good models of writing to support them to produce their own high-quality work. Therefore we follow invest a lot of time exploring WAGOLL examples and developing writing skills. Children complete extended pieces of writing by planning (through discussion of key success criteria), drafting, editing and publishing.
We also use The Write Stuff to teach writing as it allows us to use engaging stories as inspiration and a starting point for the children’s writing.
We teach grammar within the context of what we are writing, often exploring real-life examples from published authors to understand how they have manipulated grammar to make their writing effective and interesting.
At Billingborough, in Early Years and Key Stage 1, we incorporate the Talk for Writing model into the teaching of writing. Children are taught writing skills through studying a range of both fiction and non-fiction texts including teacher produced models. In addition, in Key Stage 1 and 2, picture books, chapter books and topic work are used as a stimulus for writing.
During their time at Billingborough, children are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences, given them exposure to circumstances where they need to adapt their vocabulary and overall formality to suit the purpose of what they are writing.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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