At Lark Hill Primary school we do not have just one scheme that runs through the school: we have decided to intertwine the strengths of many schemes into one.
We would like our children to want and to choose to read and enjoy it both in and out of school.
We provide reading scheme books from our combined system to ensure structure and progression of skills, but we also want children to read a range of books beyond these. Reading for both pleasure and purpose is important and we encourage you to help your children to continuously increase the range and types of books that they choose. Sometimes, in trying different genres (styles) of books, we can discover styles that we were not expecting to enjoy.
Often, as children move away from learning to decode (read the words), parents can find it harder to interact with reading at home. It is important to remember that once children can decode well, there is little value in reading a high volume of books and rushing through the stages to reach more tricky words. Instead, it is more important to spend time exploring and looking in depth at a text. To help support this, we have increased the number of books available at each stage so that children can consolidate their reading at the correct level for longer.
In the early stages, especially when decoding is the focus, your child should be able to read around 90% of the text. If your child can read more and the teacher has not moved them on, have a chat with their teacher; it is likely that the teacher wants them to look more deeply at their understanding of the texts at that level before they do so..
As children become more independent readers, they often have favourite authors and parents can worry about this; however, many adults are the same! Reading these for pleasure is valuable so when your child finds an author that they love, allow them to read for pleasure. You can always encourage them to read non-fiction, such as newspapers, at opportune moments to help keep some balance. Equally, help your child to find new series that they may wish to read. Book shops are often happy to make recommendations and talk about new releases and the internet is packed with extracts and reviews. To engage with your child, if they are reading longer books, ask them to discuss their book, help them with book reviews or even read it yourself and talk in a ‘book club’ way!
Reading is a vital skill and can bring much pleasure; as adults we need to act as role models and encourage and inspire children as much as possible.
Reading – using a range of skills
At school, we make sure we teach both a range of texts and reading skills.
These are as follows:
- Use a range of strategies, including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning
- Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and reference to text
- Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts
- Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational features at text level
- Explain and comment on writers’ use of language, including grammatical and literary features at word and sentence level
- Identify and comment on writers’ purposes and viewpoints, and the overall effect of the text on the reader
- Relate texts to their social, cultural and historical traditions
- Our lessons embrace these skills and at Phase Three (phonics), children are taught to make observations using these aspects of reading.
Fluency and expression needs to continually be worked upon as the book difficulty progresses. This is the first stage in learning to read independently and is all about the skills needed to decode words and read for basic meaning. Remember, you can talk to your child’s teacher if you have any questions about helping with this.
It is important to remember that there are other decoding skills that your child will use in addition to phonics. If they find phonics tricky, it would also be useful to try and develop some of these skills with your child. Remember some of these strategies are used in combination.
Look for links in expression, linked with the content of what they are reading. Remember, children need to decode some words and it is a normal part of progression that can, at times, interrupt fluency.
Your child, on starting school, will soon be given a reading record. Please use this as a home school book and record your observations and comments in it.