Reading at Hursthead Infant School

Reading at Hursthead Infant School

Our aim is to encourage and develop a lifelong love of books and reading in our young learners.

At Hursthead Infant School we believe parents have a very important part to play in helping their child learn to read.

We would like to take this opportunity to explain briefly how we promote the teaching of reading at Hursthead Infant School.  Reading is an enjoyable and enriching activity which we want our pupils to embrace.  We have resourced the school well in order to support children’s learning of reading and love of books.  We wish to work in partnership with parents to ensure all of our children have the best possible start to reading.

A child’s journey to become a reader starts with them listening and sharing books.  This is an invaluable way of showing that books are there to be enjoyed, as well as building children’s vocabulary and giving them a sense of security.  Through sharing books parents are modelling the reading process and showing children enjoyment and learning that can be found from reading.

Once children begin to learn to read, parents should read with them and hear them read, but also continue to devote some time to reading to them so that children will experience a wide range of books and enjoy that precious time with their parents.

Colour Bands

The school operates a scheme where each book is assessed for its level of difficulty and colour banded accordingly.  We use the National Curriculum colour bands and have books from a wide range of reading schemes including: Oxford Reading Tree, Fireflies and Project X.

Each colour band contains a wide range of reading materials containing fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays to give the children added breadth to their reading.

These books will vary in a number of ways, including layout, size, vocabulary and length, to give the children a rich diet of literature.

The difference between each colour band is very gradual, so that children do not experience great difficulty moving up through the scheme.

We also have a large range of good quality fiction and non- fiction books for the children to choose from in our school library.  The children visit the library regularly and are able to select  a book to read or share for pleasure. 

We have teaching assistants and volunteers who assist with the library and encourage the children to treat the school library with respect.

Children take home a reading scheme book and a library book. Reading scheme books are changed regularly.  The children also take home a home/school reading diary with their book.  We ask parents to write a comment about their child’s reading and indicate the number of pages they have completed with their child.

Support from School and Home

When the Reception Class teacher feels your child is ready, they will send home a colour banded book for you to share with them at home.  It is important that you enjoy the book together – discuss the book with your child, asking questions as you go, as well as listening to them read.  Please record any comments in their reading diary.  The school will hear your child read each week and keep individual reading records for your child.  The books will be changed when appropriate. It is important to remember that every child is an individual and will progress through the colour bands at different rates.  If any child experiences difficulties this will be discussed with parents and future strategies planned to support progress using additional resources available in school.

 Teaching and Use of Phonics

At Hursthead Infant School we have a systematic approach to teaching phonics for reading and spelling. Phonics is about how we break up and blend some sounds in order to read and spell; for example c-a-t, blended together reads cat, or th-i-n, blended together reads thin.  The teaching of the phonics code is enhanced by looking at whole quality texts which promote the enjoyment of reading.

A Word of Warning

Children need to be able to progress through books at a pace appropriate to themselves.  It is not a race.  Children learn at different rates just as they learn to walk, dress themselves etc. at different rates.  Reading must not be treated as a competition.  If children are rushed through the books they will not achieve the enjoyment and understanding necessary.  Books that they find too difficult will soon put them off reading!

Things to Remember

         1     Do hear your child read every day.

        2     Little and often is more beneficial than a long session a week.