At Otterbourne Church of England Primary School we take reading very seriously. We believe that early reading skills are vitally important as they enable pupils to access, independently, other areas of the curriculum whilst also opening up a world of pleasure and excitement when enjoying a book.
Reading at Otterbourne Church of England Primary School starts with exploring non-word books to perfect the skills of book orientation, reading from left to right (page turning) and developing really amazing early vocabulary. At the same time we begin early phonics work with the children, exploring letter shapes, their names, their sounds (phonemes) and how we form the letters. As the phonemes are introduced, and we are happy that the children know these sounds, we then introduce the children to phonic reading books with first words. We use a series called Dandelion readers which work in partnership with the phonics that is introduced. We supplement these books with a library book for sharing together at bedtime. This is a great opportunity to model enjoying a book together whilst allowing the children to spot words in non reading scheme books that they love and enjoy.
At school we really value reading. We have developed our library into a reading woodland, a place where the children love being, love sharing a book and love exploring new texts. Each week in school the children will take part in a guided reading session where the children read with a group of similar level readers to explore texts, answer questions related to the text and develop high quality skills of reading. For example on encountering a word they do not know, how to look for the first sounds or sounds at the beginning of the word, reading the rest of the sentence and then checking the picture for cues that could help work out the missing word.
Whilst reading at school teaches the basic building blocks of reading and the skills of how to engage in a text, we know that fluent readers are developed by practising these skills at home. Each child is provided with a reading log for home where home reading can be recorded. We ask parents to read with their children as often as possible. That way we can ensure that the taught skills from schools become fluent skills in the children when reading aloud. The children can change their individual reading books as often as they need to. We trust young children to make choices in their reading so from a young age we encourage children to choose books that they would love to read (from a given selection).
Ultimately, we endeavour to work with children and families to build positive and confident readers who enjoy nothing more that sinking into a good book. Hopefully working in partnership with our families this is something we can achieve.