At The Lea, we teach reading in a variety of engaging ways. In every year group, the children are given multiple opportunities throughout the week to hear stories and books read aloud and to read with a teacher or teaching assistant. We work very hard to ensure each and every child leaves primary school with a great love of reading and strong reading skills to help them in their everyday lives.
In the early years, children are exposed to books and print all throughout the classroom and have daily opportunities to listen to stories, explore books and nursery rhymes and be read with as they develop their phonics knowledge.
In Key Stage 1, as their phonics skills become more secure, children are asked to read daily at home to a parent or carer as part of their home learning. All children take part in a daily carousel of reading activities designed to secure their phonics knowledge and comprehension skills and are given multiple opportunities to read with the class teacher or teaching assistant.
In Key Stage 2, reading lessons focus more on comprehension skills in preparation for SATS at the end of Year 6. The children are still asked to read daily at home as part of their home learning and continue to have frequent opportunities to work with their teachers and teaching assistants at school to further develop their reading skills.
Like most primary schools, at The Lea we use book banding to ensure that children learn to read at their own pace and that they remain engaged and challenged throughout the process of learning to read.
Book banding schemes are used to track a child’s progression in reading independently. The class teacher decides which book band (or ‘book colour’) your child is on using their own professional judgement based on hearing your child read and join in discussions during daily guided reading sessions and any opportunities they have to read with your child 1:1. Once your child is deemed to be fluent and have sufficient comprehension skills using a particular book band, the teacher will assess whether they are ready to be moved up to the next book band using their own assessment.
A reminder: while your child may seem to find a certain book band easy in terms of the word reading skills it demands, their comprehension skills may still need developing at that level and therefore the class teacher may wait to move them up.
How You Can Help
- The single most important thing you can do to help your child progress in their word reading and comprehension skills, and develop a life-long love of reading, is to read stories and books to them as often as possible. A bedtime story routine isn’t just a nightly calming technique for your little one; it also gives them an excellent opportunity to look at possibly new words and sentences with your support, develop their questioning and comprehension skills and spark their imaginations. Any spare moments you find to read to your children is time well spent investing in their academic achievement.
- Make sure you know what the reading home learning expectations are for your child’s year group. In Key Stage 1 in particular, to help the children prepare for the statutory Year 1 phonics screening check and Year 2 SATS, there are high expectations for daily reading to be completed with an adult at home. Ask your child’s class teacher what the expectations are and how you can help them develop their word reading and comprehension skills at your earliest opportunity.
- Ensure you know what your child’s reading strengths and weaknesses are by staying in contact with your child’s class teacher and hearing your child read daily. Is there a particular phonics sound they find difficult to remember? Do they find it tricky to remember certain words and have to keep sounding them out each time? Do they find it difficult to retell a story in order, or predict what might happen next in a book? Give your child a little bit of extra help to develop these areas.
Reading Eggs & Reading Eggspress
The Lea pays for every child in Key Stages 1 and 2 to have a subscription to the fantastic online reading programs Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress. You should find your child’s login and password stuck into their reading records/home-school contact books. Ask your child’s class teacher if you need another copy of this information and what the expectation is for your child’s online home learning.
|Where’s Spot?||Eric Hill|
|Dear Zoo||Rod Campbell|
|You Choose||Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt|
|We’re Going on a Bear Hunt||Michael Rosen|
|The Very Hungry Caterpillar||Eric Carle|
|Each Peach Pear Plum||Allan and Janet Ahlberg|
|The Train Ride||June Crebbin|
|Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes||Mem Fox|
|Peace at Last||Jill Murphy|
|What the Ladybird Heard||Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks|
|Owl Babies||Martin Waddell|
|The Gruffalo||Julia Donaldson|
|Handa’s Surprise||Eileen Browne|
|Farmer Duck||Martin Waddell|
|Goodnight Moon||Margaret Wise Brown|
|The Snowman||Raymond Briggs|
|Where the Wild Things Are||Maurice Sendak|
|I Want My Hat Back||Jon Klassen|
|The Cat in the Hat||Dr Seuss|
|The Tiger Who Came to Tea||Judith Kerr|
|Lost & Found||Oliver Jeffers|
|Alligator Pie||Dennis Lee|
|Oi Frog||Kes Gray and Jim Field|
|The Lion Inside||Rachel Bright and Jim Field|
|The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters||Allan and Janet Ahlberg|
|Traction Man is Here||Mini Grey|
|Meerkat Mail||Emily Gravett|
|Amazing Grace||Mary Hoffman|
|The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark||Jill Tomlinson|
|Flat Stanley||Jeff Brown|
|Not Now Bernard||David McKee|
|Don’t Look in This Book||Samuel Langley-Swain|
|The Legend of Spud Murphy||Eoin Colfer|
|The Day the Crayons Quit||Drew Daywalt|
|The Iron Man||Ted Hughes|
|Journey to the River Sea||Eva Ibbotson|
|The Sheep-Pig||Dick King-Smith|
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid||Jeff Kinney|
|The BFG||Roald Dahl|
|Pippi Longstocking||Astrid Lindgren|
|Winnie the Pooh||A.A. Milne|
|The Enchanted Wood||Enid Blyton|
|Charlotte’s Web||E.B. White|
|The Worst Witch||Jill Murphy|
|Bill’s New Frock||Anne Fine|
|The Firework-Maker’s Daughter||Phillip Pullman|
|The Scarecrow and His Servant||Phillip Pullman|
|Why the Whales Came||Michael Morpurgo|
|The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe||C.S. Lewis|
|Voices in the Park||Anthony Browne|
|Varjak Paw||S.F. Said|
|The Children of Green Knowe||Lucy M. Boston|
|How to Train Your Dragon||Cressida Cowell|
|Desirable||Frank Cottrell Boyce|
|Tom’s Midnight Garden||Phillipa Pearce|
|The Wolves of Willoughby Chase||Joan Aiken|
|Artemis Fowl||Eoin Colfer|
|The Breadwinner||Deborah Ellis|
|Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone||J.K. Rowling|
|The Borrowers||Mary Norton|
|Emil and the Detectives||Erich Kastner|
|The Ghost of Thomas Kempe||Penelope Lively|
|The Hobbit||J.R.R. Tolkien|
|The Arrival||Shaun Tan|
|A Monster Calls||Patrick Ness|
|Carrie’s War||Nina Bawden|
|Private Peaceful||Michael Morpurgo|