Within the National Curriculum the aim of ‘promoting high standards of literacy and language by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment’ is clear.
To ensure that we can meet the aims of the National Curriculum, Reading at Brookhurst Primary School is taught through the use of Literacy Counts ‘Steps to Read’ units for all year groups from Year 1 onwards. In Foundation 2 we use ‘Foundations to Read’ from Literacy Counts from the Spring Term onwards. By using these units we can ensure that there is progression through and across the year groups and also that a wide range of texts, encompassing literature from many different genres, are accessible to all pupils.
The titles of texts used in each year group for teaching purposes can be found here
Our expectation is that pupils in all year groups will read daily for between 10 and 20 minutes. It is vital that parents and carers build reading time in to the daily routine in order that pupils may practice their reading fluency and stamina and therefore make progress. Reading enables pupils to acquire knowledge and to build on things they already know. It allows pupils to develop understandings of different cultures, and to develop their own emotional and social skills through discussion of texts read.
One of the building blocks of reading is phonics. It is essential that a consistent approach to this is used and we have chosen to use the DfE validated phonics scheme ‘Monster Phonics’ which is a whole-class Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme. It helps teach children to read by enabling them to identify the individual graphemes (letter combinations) and blend the sounds (phonemes) together to read the word. Sounds are categorised into ten colour groups, each with a corresponding monster character which the children get to know and recognise the grapheme/phoneme correspondences for that monster. If you would like to meet the monsters for yourself, please click here
If you would like suggestions for books which are suitable for your child, please click on the year group below:
Early Years Reading
Our aim in Early Years is to inspire and nurture a love of books and reading that will stay with the children as they progress through all Key Stages.
As the children are transitioning to F2, they borrow books about starting school to share at home. Once the children are settled into the ‘Brookhurst Big Family’, they will take home the Meet The Monster books from our chosen Phonics scheme ‘Monster Phonics’. Then, books matched to their phonic ability are sent home 3 times a week to practise reading at home. The illustrations are so engaging and the children respond well to the imaginative characters. Parents are invited into school to meet with teachers to help prepare them for helping and supporting their children at home.
‘Go for It’ folders are taken home with phonemes (letter sounds) that children are learning as well as High Frequency Words (in, at, on, and etc) and Common Exception Words (tricky words such as the, he, was etc).
Later in the Autumn Term, the children are introduced to the school library and they choose a book to borrow for a week. They can share these stories with their friends in class before taking them home to read with family.
Each day, the children vote for the story they would like to hear at the end of the day. Books could be new that they have not experienced before, or old favourites. The story vote count is always an exciting part of the day!
In F2, books are not just for story time. We have books in all areas to support the children in their play. We have stories about families with our dolls’ house; books concerned with feelings and emotions in our dressing up area; instructional texts in our creative area and atlases and encyclopaedias with our curiosity and interest table to name a few.
In the Spring Term we love to welcome parents or close family members into school to be a ‘Mystery Reader’. The children countdown from 10-0 as the person comes into the room. The children open their eyes to discover if they know the story teller that day - the atmosphere is always joyful!
Throughout the year, children can take home our Brookhurst Bus with the story ‘The Naughty Bus’. They read the book and then take the bus on amazing adventures which they come and tell us all about, promoting oral story telling.
Reading in Key Stage One
In Key Stage One we aim to promote a love of reading by immersing children in a range of quality texts. In Years 1 and 2 we use the Literacy Counts ‘Steps to Read’ and ‘Read to Write’ programmes ensuring that we put quality children’s literature at the heart of learning. Pupils are provided with a range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts with teaching and learning being enhanced by the use of role-play, drama and other exciting approaches. Along with this, these two schemes explicitly teach pupils the skills they need in order to become confident and fluent readers.
Phonics is taught daily using our chosen scheme ‘Monster Phonics’ with interactive lessons teaching phoneme/grapheme correspondences in exciting ways. As in Early Years, children are provided with ‘Go For It’ folders in order to practise the phonemes they have been learning in school, High Frequency Words and Common Exception Words, as well as a phonics book matched up to the phonemes currently known or being taught. Reading Records are sent home for parents to record reading: these are monitored by teachers to ensure that reading is taking place and allows any child who is not reading regularly at home to be heard read more frequently by an adult in school.
Each day, teachers read from a chosen class novel. This is a special time for both teacher and pupils because they get to listen to and enjoy a book purely for pleasure. At Brookhurst, we are passionate that first and foremost, children enjoy reading and that even the most competent readers can sit and listen to a story.
Reading in Key Stage Two
In Key Stage Two we continue promoting a love of reading through the use of a range of quality texts. We continue with the use of the Literacy Count ‘Steps to Read’ and ‘Read to Write’ programmes ensuring that we put quality children’s literature, both classical and contemporary, at the heart of learning. The programmes in Key Stage Two explicitly develop the skills acquired in Key Stage One and teach pupils further skills they need in order to become confident and fluent readers.
Phonics continues to be taught using our chosen scheme ‘Monster Phonics’. The monsters are referred to when spelling patterns are taught, ensuring that the phoneme/grapheme correspondences are highlighted. For children who need further assistance with phonics, we use the same principles as in Early Years and Key Stage One: any interventions follow the ‘Monster Phonics’ lessons and where necessary ‘Go For It’ folders are supplied in order to practise the phonemes they have been learning in school, High Frequency Words and Common Exception Words, as well as a text focusing on the phonemes taught that week. They are also provided with a phonics book matched up to the phonemes currently known or being taught, alongside a reading book, which is appropriate for the child’s current level of reading.
For children who no longer need a phonically decodable book there are a range of books to choose from, all of which are levelled to ensure that a child is challenged but not overwhelmed. Although children may be able to decode the words, there is greater emphasis on choice of vocabulary, understanding the vocabulary and discussion of the text. For this reason, some children may re-read books a number of times until these skills are secure. Children are encouraged to discuss they books they have read with each other or an adult, and they are given more responsibility in changing and choosing their own books. Though monitoring of Reading Records, teachers are able to see the frequency of reading taking place outside school, and can identify those children who have not been heard reading by an adult and read with them to ensure that they are not reading texts which are not at the correct level.
We believe that there is still a place for children to be able to continue to listen to stories and therefore the reading of a chosen class novel for each class every day is continued in Key Stage Two. This provides the opportunity to hear texts read fluently and to encounter the subtlety of expression and intonation and understand how these contribute to the story.