The Teaching of Reading


At St Leonard’s Church of England Primary School it is our aim to develop enthusiastic and confident readers who read for interest, information and enjoyment. We use a range of different strategies to support reading within our school.

Reading opportunities are provided on a daily basis. A wide range of approaches are used to provide first hand experiences for the children. The children are taught in a stimulating environment that is rich in written print. The teachers share books with the class and regularly read stories and rhymes. Phonics is taught daily and follows the Letters and Sounds document (see The Teaching of Phonics section on our website). The children select an individual reading book to take home to support their learning. Teachers regularly read with the children and encourage reading to take place at home.

Children participate in daily guided reading sessions to deepen children’s inferential, retrieval and decoding skills. Children are placed into similar ability groups which are reviewed on a regular basis. The text chosen for a given guided reading session will challenge the group in terms of meaning and word difficulty. The text chosen will ideally link to the current unit theme. There is a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts chosen for guided reading sessions over a half-term period.

Children also have the opportunity to independently read and when a child has finished reading a book, they will talk it through with an adult. Children select their own text from the selection available at their level, which also include e-books. Selecting their own choice of texts is an important part of developing independence. This motivates readers and helps children to develop and discuss their reading preferences.

Reading is a complex skill with many components. Successful approaches to the teaching of reading should encourage children to use a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning. It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading.

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