Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we ensure our English curriculum gets children into books right from the start. Reading whole class quality texts as a basis for literacy and many other subjects makes sure that children are exposed to the best in children’s literature and a full range of genres. Many books studied are the first in a series in order to encourage children to develop reading on for pleasure. poetry, non-fiction, digital texts and picture books feature through the English syllabus from EYFS to Year 6.
At Middleton-in-Teesdale Primary School, children start to learn to read using Letters and Sounds and Phonics Play (a systematic and synthetic approach to phonics) before moving on to the Accelerated Reader programme when they become more confident readers. To find out more about Accelerated Reader, please click on the links below.
Phonics Screening Check
In England, all pupils in Year 1 must take the Phonics Screening Check. The check is meant to show how well your child can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1 and to identify students who need extra phonics help. The Department for Education defines the checks as “short, light-touch assessments” that take about four to nine minutes to complete.
The checks consist of forty words and non-words that your child will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything – your child will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them.
Your child will be scored against a national standard, and the main result will be whether or not they fall below, within or above this standard. In 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 the “pass threshold” was 32, which means children had to read at least 32 words out of 40 correctly. The threshold mark is communicated to schools at the end of June, after the test has been taken, so that teachers can mark the screening check papers. If your child’s score falls below the standard, they will be given extra phonics help and will have to re-take the Phonics Screening Check in Year 2.
You can help your child prepare for their phonics screening check by practising the phonics they have learned in Reception and Year 1. You could also read new books and stories with them; this will introduce them to unfamiliar words that they will have to sound out.
If you would like more information on how to help your child at home, please do not hesitate to contact the school
EYFS/KS1 Home Reading Books
Home reading books are phonics based and exactly match our phonics program to ensure books closely match the sound being taught in lessons. Children take these home and parents are encouraged to support their children in reading these. There are also activities and questions for them to complete in the front and back of the books.
Children progress through the reading levels is again closely tracked and once the reach the higher levels of the KS1 reading scheme they are moved onto the Accelerated reader program which enables us to match them on the correct level books whilst also tracking their comprehension of what they read.
Once on the Accelerated Reader program children earn points for reading different books and are rewarded when they hit their targets.
KS2 Independent Reading Books
When children are ready, they use the Accelerated Reader program to track progress and encourage them to read. Online Star Reading tests identify children’s current reading levels and guide children to choosing books at an appropriate level. On completing books, children take a short comprehension quiz and aim to score 100%. Various incentives run throughout the year where children can collect tickets for each 100% scored. This helps to incentivise reading and keeps children motivated to read and quiz.
Books can be chosen from our well stocked library, class reading corners or books from home. Children keep a record of their own progress in their reading record books where they note down scores and write book reviews.
When children have read a million words this is celebrated with a special certificate and a book prize.
We use a whole class approach to guided reading in KS2. Whole class sets of books sourced from Durham Learning Resources are used. Quality texts are carefully mapped to link to books studied in English to subjects across the curriculum.
Reading as a fundamental part of literacy lessons and units of Literacy work are planned around and based on a quality text. Texts are mapped out across school to link with topics where appropriate and to ensure coverage of a range of genres, themes, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, authors, classical texts, new releases and best -selling authors.