At Dunston Primary and Nursery Academy we have a clear, consistent, whole school approach to reading which sets high expectations and offers pupils a rich environment to develop their skills. Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and is given the highest priority, enabling the pupils to become enthusiastic, independent and reflective readers. Success in reading has a direct effect upon progress in all other areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing subject knowledge, use of language, spelling skills, self-confidence and motivation.
Pupils are encouraged to read for both pleasure and knowledge acquisition, promoting their wider reading and understanding of extended prose. We celebrate our love for different authors with an ‘Author of the Term’. Parallel classes focus on the same author for a half term, with each class voting for the book they would like to read as a class. Children KS2 choose both a colour banded book (children are regularly assessed to make sure that they are reading at the right colour level), and a book for pleasure from the Library Trolley which has a variety of fiction and non-fiction books with a wide range of different authors.
We encourage children to read at home regularly. As they progress through school, it is particularly important that children talk about what they have read, in order to develop their understanding.
Here are some ideas about how to help at home:
Hold a conversation and discuss what your child has read. Ask your child probing questions about the book and connect the events to his or her own life. For example, say "I wonder why that girl did that?" or "How do you think he felt? Why?" and "So, what lesson can we learn here?" This document has some useful questions to ask before, during and after your child reads with you.
Help your child make connections between what he or she reads and similar experiences they have felt, saw in a film, or read in another book.
Help your child monitor his or her understanding. Teach them to continually ask themselves whether they understand what they are reading.
Help your child go back to the text to support his or her answers.
Discuss the meanings of unknown words, both read and heard.
Read material in short sections, making sure your child understands each step of the way.
Discuss what your child has learned from reading information such as a science book or magazine.