Reading in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 at St. Joseph the Worker School
We love to read!
Reading is given a high priority across the school but the foundations are encouraged and developed in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.
The children receive an exciting, varied and progressive reading curriculum which is aimed at the varying needs of the children within the school. This enables the children to become independent, fluent readers but more importantly develop a love for reading and books.
Each classroom has a bright, engaging and inviting reading corner with comfy cushions that beg to be snuggled on with a favourite book. Each class has a wide range of books including fiction, non-fiction and poetry, as well as magazines and catalogues linked to the topics being studied. The children are also encouraged to read outside, when the weather permits!
We are fortunate to have a stocked and refurbished library with a range of different scheme books including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The children are able to choose a library book as well as their reading book.
The Reading Scheme
The reading Scheme is continuously updated with new books to support the children with their love of reading and the increased focus on teaching reading through phonics (sounding out).
The books are organised using Book Banding which follows a colour system. The banding system takes books from the most popular schemes (including, Oxford Reading Tree, Bug Club and Rigby Star) and colour codes them. Therefore the children are fortunate to benefit from a number of high quality reading scheme, not just one.
The colour system runs from Pink to Lime in Key Stage 1 following the order: Pink, red, yellow, blue, green, orange, turquoise, purple, gold, white, lime.
For those children who need the structure and familiarity of scheme books, these are also available in Key Stage 2 and continue with colours; brown, grey, blue and mauve.
Each day the children are able to choose their own reading book which they are encouraged to read at home with an adult. The children enjoy this time to look though the books and select something that excites and interests them. Being able to choose their own reading book helps to encourage the children to become independent learners and take responsibility for their own learning. Parents are encouraged to make a comment in the children’s green reading records each day. This promotes a good dialogue between parent and teachers and allows everyone to know what the children are working on and their next steps.
The children read with the teacher individually at least once every week as well as with other adults. Hearing the children read individually and as part of a group provides the children with varied reading experiences as well as encouraging confidence in reading aloud to others. At St. Joseph’s both children and teachers are very fortunate to have a number of parent helpers who also read with the children. We encourage parent/grandparents to come into school and hear children read.
All classes across the school have ‘story time’ at the end of the day; a time to sit and enjoy a book with the rest of class. As the children get older these books become longer and chapters are read each day. The children enjoy this time at the end of the day which allows them to listen to books they may not have chosen themselves.
Let’s sound it out!
Phonics, phonics, phonics!
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children and teachers work hard during phonics sessions. These are daily sessions that encourage the children to sound out the words they are reading and writing. The children utilise the technology available in the classrooms and are able to play phonics games on the computer as well as playing a number of games at their tables and outside. The children are taught Phonics systematically using the 'Letters ans Sounds' scheme, where they learn to link sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters to the alphabet.
To support the children’s phonic development various word lists are included in their reading diary for the children to sound out or read by sight. These lists highlight the importance of phonics as the primary strategy for teaching reading as well as encouraging parents to support this reading system. The lists start by introducing the letters of the alphabet and then include words the children can sound out. For example: d o g- dog. The sounds link to the phonics taught in school and move on to include digraphs. For example: ai, ee, th, sh, ar. The children are encouraged to the read the words phonetically, th i n- thin.
We are aware that not all words can be read phonetically which is where high frequency words come in. These are the words that the children should be able to just see and say. These are words such as; they, are, was, who. Being able to read these more frequently appearing words quickly helps the children to read more fluently.
Class R have lots of fun on a Friday. Adults are invited to come in before school to read with their children in class. This is a great session that promotes reading with an adult and also allows the children to show off their classroom.