Reading at Tornedale
Here at Tornedale Infant School, we recognise the importance of developing children’s early reading and writing skills alongside developing a love of reading and the skills necessary for children to be able to read to learn. Hence the third of our four key drivers: Every child a Reader.
Read Write Inc
In order to develop children’s phonetic knowledge and ability to decode, build fluency and develop their comprehension we follow the Read, Write Inc phonics scheme. This allows for children to be taught daily in small, similar ability groups and to be regularly assessed by the class teachers. This regular assessment ensures that children are taught in the correct group and are learning at their own level.
The Read Write Inc scheme promotes a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics and children are keen to participate in their daily lessons. On a Friday, children take home reading books that are matched to their Read Write Inc group text, providing them with a text to share at home with which they can read confidently, fluently and with a secure level of comprehension.
Features of the Read Write Inc programme include following their 5 key principles:
- Purpose – each element of the programme has a very clear purpose
- Passion- the greater the emotional engagement the more children learn
- Pace – children follow the same signals in every group in order to keep pace
- Participation – children being motivated to work together, teaching each other, practising together and talking together. Teamwork is key.
- Positive teaching- Children supporting each other to develop a collective positive attitude and learning environment.
We adopt many different fun praise phrases and actions which are used to motivate:
- Round of a claws
- Lorrydriver’s horn
- Marshmallow clap
- Ketchup clap
Reading for Pleasure
Within every classroom, we develop a cosy and inviting reading area with a range of carefully selected books. These include texts that have been previously shared within the curriculum or story time as well as texts that are of interest to the children.
Protected story time is a key feature of our timetables, with all classes having story time scheduled into their day four times a week, where a range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts being shared. All of these texts are chosen specifically for the age, ability and interests of the children as well as being chosen to prompt discussions or address any personal, social and emotional issues that have arisen.
Within the structure of our English lessons, we use Talk4Writing by Pie Corbett. This approach involves children first being immersed in a text: learning the vocabulary, retelling stories, creating actions or movements and drawing story maps to support their knowledge and understanding that they can then apply into their own writing. By immersing so thoroughly in quality texts at the start of the writing projects, the children develop a clear passion and confidence with the texts.
Reading to Learn
Once children become capable and confident readers their reading focus tends to move from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”. By reading to learn, children use their knowledge and apply their skills in order to select and read texts that help them to make sense of unknown concepts, often following their own interests about the world.
In a digital world, there are countless ways children can choose to read to learn — books, newspapers, social media, blogs, online forums and websites. Throughout the broader curriculum, children are exposed to a wide range of texts and taught to think critically about these sources of information, their credibility and accuracy.