Reading at Bearbrook
At Bearbrook we are a community of readers, authors and lifelong learners. We believe that all children have the right to experience a broad range of exciting, fun and stimulating texts which foster a love of the world of literature. Books should open the world to our children, creating inspiration and enabling critical and reflective thinking and a gaining of knowledge.
We understand that children deserve to read books where they find themselves reflected; books that show them that they are not alone; books that help them feel they belong; books that help them understand themselves and others; books that build community; books that help to foster well-being and empathy and books that open up other worlds (both real and imagined) to them.
Our children will leave Bearbrook with the skills needed to read fluently with confidence and understanding, appropriately equipped to take a full and active role in society, knowing that books can have both magical and transformative powers enabling us to see our world in a different way as well as opening doorways to further exploration.
- We promote our school philosophy by ensuring that the books we share with our children are diverse, inclusive and of high quality.
- All children have weekly visits to our school library, which is well stocked with a wide range of different styles, genres and authors.
- Our enthusiastic staff are expected to keep abreast of current quality texts so that they can recommend and share these with children, thereby promoting the ethos of Reading Teachers (teachers who read and readers who teach).
- There is regular ‘book talk’ within each classroom. Here the children are encouraged to talk about books, developing the confidence to offer ideas and then reshape them in the light of other contributions. This develops oracy skills and helps children to deepen their understanding, shift their ideas, think together as a group and move their comprehension forwards. The children are encouraged to develop criticality: questioning what they read, making links and connections to other books or experiences, identifying what they find puzzling and giving reasons for what they like or dislike.
- The ‘5 a day’ Read Aloud Challenge. Each teacher aims to read aloud to their class 5 times a day. This could be a class novel; poetry; authentic texts in science, history or topic; news items and their whole class book in literacy.
- Children’s vocabulary development is enhanced by regularly exposing them to higher level vocabulary in the classroom.
- Strong home-school links with dedicated Family Friday reading sessions and daily reading at home.
- Within each classroom, identified readers are listened to daily to further develop fluency and comprehension.
- Whole class and small group guided reading sessions. These occur daily and have planned and purposeful teaching with clear intent, in order to develop deeper reading comprehension skills and strategies. Many approaches are used:
- Teachers model being a reader. Here, thoughts are verbalised aloud to show how the teacher comprehends a text in order that pupils can identify and then use these strategies independently.
- Reading VIPERS is used to focus questioning on the key areas of vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and sequence or summarise.
- Questioning is differentiated so that there is challenge for all
- In KS2, Pearson Rapid Readers are used to support those struggling readers who did not pass the phonics test and need additional support.
- A library of Barrington Stoke books (high interest, low reading age) is available to support struggling readers in KS2.
- The Reading Journey app and curated book collection (with online challenges, bookshelf and reading journal that can be accessed at home and in school) is to become available in the spring term.
Reading Fluency is defined as the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. In order to understand what they read, children must be able to read fluently whether they are reading aloud or silently. When reading aloud, fluent readers read in phrases and add intonation appropriately.
Our expectations are that:
- Every pupil will learn to read
- We monitor carefully any child reading below ARE (lowest 20%)
- We use a sequential approach to the reading curriculum that runs alongside our phonics program
- Children are exposed to a range of text types used to develop vocabulary, language comprehension and continuing enjoyment of reading.
- There is ongoing assessment that should be frequent and detailed. Gaps should be addressed quickly with targeted support