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 voice.
  • 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.