Reading at Parkside

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.