The Teaching of Reading and Phonics at Parkside Academy:
Click here to read Parkside’s Reading Policy
Click here to download our leaflet to support Reading at home with your child
“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss
Learning to read is the foundation for all educational success. The
Ofsted report on Reading by six (November 2010) showed that the best
primary schools teach virtually every child to read, regardless of their
socio-economic circumstances, their ethnicity, the language spoken at
home and most special educational needs or disabilities. It concluded
that: ‘If some schools can do this, it should be a moral imperative for
all primary schools.’
This aim of our reading for pleasure policy is to make sure that our
children not only have the opportunity to learn to read (a time-limited
skill) but to become lifelong readers for purpose and pleasure. They
will become people who not only can read, but do read from choice a wide variety of texts on paper and on screen.
We believe that:
- the active encouragement of reading for pleasure is a core
educational entitlement, whatever the pupil’s background or attainment
- exposing pupils to a wide range of texts makes a huge contribution to achievement
- making reading a pleasure is at the heart of our school improvement strategy.
By giving our children the gift of reading, we show them that books,
especially literature and poetry, have the power to inspire, to console,
to heal and transform for the rest of their lives.
To achieve this aim of creating a community of lifelong readers, we will use the following strategies:
- All staff will act as role models for active, engaged reading by
sharing their pleasure and enjoyment of texts of all kinds in the
planned curriculum and informally. Sharing and talking about books and
other reading materials will be frequent and regular, inside the
classroom and outside, during lessons and at other times. Adults will
make explicit how reading has an essential role in their lives.
- We have a focus on teaching phonics and early reading in a
systematic way, embedded in a rich language culture, has had immediate
impact on reading and writing skills.
- All pupils will have access to a wide range of fiction, poetry and
non-fiction in different formats, and support in enjoying them, where
necessary. We will widen our knowledge of what is available to interest
all our children, to include picture books and graphics texts for all
ages and the use of technology, such as e-readers. Non-fiction will
include more ephemeral material, such as magazines, catalogues, comics,
leaflets, newspapers, as well as traditional non-fiction texts.
Developing comprehension through the use of audio-books, both whole and
shortened, will play an important part in increasing enjoyment and
access to texts for all.
- Reading will be at the heart of the curriculum with links to
planning for reading for pleasure for all pupils across all subjects and
classes. Every topic, theme or subject area will include specific
linked texts, poems and appropriate websites. Books will also be a key
element in our themed assemblies each week and read to the children by
senior leaders on a rolling programme.
- We will harness the power of reading aloud as the key driver in
increasing reading for pleasure and developing pupils’ positive
attitudes to reading through a systematic, planned read aloud programme
of whole books for each class from Pre-School-Y2. Staff will choose from
a selection of high quality texts for each year group, supplemented by
texts of their choice, and make daily reading aloud sessions an integral
part of each day. Listening to adults read aloud is enormously
beneficial as it allows pupils to soak up the tunes and rhythms of the
language. Being removed from the need to translate the marks on the page
gives freedom for the mind and imagination to move at leisure. Pupils
can access texts of greater difficulty and depth than their current
independent reading skills allow, mediated through the expressive
reading of a skilled adult, creating meaning through the text and the
- We will provide time for shared and independent reading across the
curriculum, as well as read aloud sessions. Shared reading, where
everyone has access to the text through Big Books, individual copies or
through a visualiser, teaches reading at a challenging level with adult
support. Independent reading is wide-ranging, so children choose to read
or re-read texts on their own, deciding for themselves the level of
difficulty and what interests them. Becoming an independent reader with
preferences and the willingness to ‘have a go’ takes dedicated time and
needs to be developed from an early age.
- We will encourage and help parents/carers to support their
children’s reading through a range of strategies suitable for each age
group. We will stress that teaching reading does not stop once children
have gained decoding skills and that reading aloud to children is as
important as listening to them read. We will show them how to maintain
interest and enthusiasm in reading throughout primary school and involve
them in as many ways as possible in supporting reading at school and at
home. (see our supporting reading at home cards)
- We will audit our reading resources regularly, involving the pupils
in the process of choosing books and other reading materials for class
and library stock. We will keep book areas and displays up-to-date, tidy
and attractive, again involving the children in maintaining a high
standard. The message that our school is a vibrant reading community
will be clearly visible in all areas of the school.
- We will make sure that we have a school library and that it is a
central learning resource, well-used and well-maintained by staff and
pupils. We will make the library welcoming, accessible for all ages and
comfortable. We will audit the stock regularly to make sure it is
relevant, up-to-date and attractive.
- We will improve our links with the Roose library with each year
group visiting every term and encourage families to become members. We
will encourage children to become owners of books at home.
- We will provide training and professional development for all staff
so that we develop an embedded, sustainable culture of reading for
pleasure which is not dependent on the enthusiasm of one or two people.