How We Teach Reading
Huge importance is placed on the teaching of reading at St Lawrence School. The children are taught the skills and strategies needed to read with understanding, for both enjoyment and information.
Our approach to teaching reading at St Lawrence is multi-faceted and includes the “phonic” and “look and say” methods. With the phonic method, children are taught how to recognise the sounds that individual letters and combinations of letters make and then blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. With the “look and say” method children are taught to recognise there are some words that do not sound phonetic (tricky words) and need to be recognised on sight.
Our reading scheme books are all colour coded in line with the coloured book bands.
Children’s decoding, retelling and comprehension skills are assessed using the PM benchmark to determine their readiness to proceed to the next level. The school uses a variety of reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Project X and Rigby. These enable children to access a wide variety of genres, subjects and vocabulary, which is essential for the development of comprehension skills.
Children read regularly both in guided groups and individually as appropriate to their age and stage. Children are encouraged to take an appropriate reading book home. The focus of children’s reading sessions is shared with parents via the contact diary.
The school is assisted by The Reading Support Group, a group of volunteers who focus on individuals in key stage one, whom teachers feel would benefit from a sustained and regular 1:1 reading focus.
Phonics is taught daily through the phases of Letters and Sounds. In the Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception class). Our lessons are planned and delivered using a scheme called ‘Story Time Phonics.’ This scheme introduces each sound through a high quality text. We have found that this approach has been very successful in instilling a love of story in the children during their phonic lessons. Children use this programme to work through the Phases of Letters and Sounds as appropriate in Reception and Years 1 and 2. Children in Year 1 take part in the Phonics Screening.
Children have access to our newly refurbished library, from which they can borrow books to take home on a regular basis. All our class rooms are also equipped with well stocked book corners. In 2019 the school introduced the ‘accelerated reader’ programme in Key Stage 2. Most books in school are now assigned a reading difficulty level and children are regularly assessed to ascertain their current reading level. In this way staff and children can ensure that they are reading books at an appropriate level to secure progress.
Our wider curriculum is designed to be “language rich” in order to continually enhance the children’s literacy, and their love of literature. Children have regular access to high level literature during English lessons and class story time.