At Maundene we want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers and to develop a life-long love of books. We introduce the children to a range of good quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry books through our whole-class core text approach to teaching reading and during weekly guided reading sessions.
In the early stages of reading, we teach children to decode words using phonic skills as the main approach, alongside which we teach sight vocabulary. Once grasped, the focus for developing reading is on understanding and comprehension. Key Stage 1 and EYFS children read with their teacher once a week during guided reading sessions and learn independently from teacher-set activities for the rest of the week.
At Maundene, phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and Key Stage 1. We use the Letters and Sounds programme to teach children the letters of the alphabet and their matching sounds. We sometimes use songs and actions from Jolly Phonics to help children to remember their sounds.
The children are taught to read words by blending, which means saying each sound and then putting all the sounds together to make a word. The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down the sounds they can hear.
By the end of Reception, children are expected to know all Phase 3 sounds. By the end of Year 1 all children are expected to know all Phase 5 sounds. By the time they have finished Key Stage 1, most children at Maundene are secure in Phase 6 sounds. This phase moves away from learning sounds and focuses on spelling rules and patterns.
At the end of Year 1, all the children in the country take a Phonics Screening Check. They are asked to read 40 real and nonsense words. We call the nonsense words ‘alien words’ and the children practise reading them every day.
Reading at Home
Developing readers will bring home levelled/colour-banded books (according to their stage of development) and a picture book each week. Independent readers will bring home a self-selected book, which should challenge them, from their class reading corner. Please encourage your child to change their book regularly so they can read each evening at home and speak to the class teacher about your child's reading books if you have any questions.
Your child should be reading at home for 15 minutes or more each day. Your support is hugely important for developing their reading skills, confidence and understanding. Even if your child is an independent reader, it is still important for you to read with them, listen to them and discuss the books they are reading.
Teachers from across the partnership have compiled a recommended reading list for all year groups from Reception to Year 6 so that you are aware of the fantastic books that are available both in school and in local libraries that will enhance your child’s vocabulary and widen their reading experiences.
Please click here for the reading list.
Support Reading at Home
- Try to listen to and read with your child regularly; 10 minutes a day is better than a longer session once a week. It can help if a regular time is set aside so that it becomes part of a routine.
- Find a quiet place to share books where you can feel comfortable and relaxed. Learning to read needs to be a positive experience - build confidence by praising effort.
- Encourage your child to have a go at unfamiliar words by using phonic skills and by working on building up their sight vocabulary.
- Talk about the meanings of words to help to develop your child’s understanding and use of language.
- Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as stories, newspapers, comics, labels, poetry, non-fiction, tickets, signs and leaflets etc.
- Read books to your child as well; if they see you enjoying a book it will encourage and motivate them to want to learn to read.
- Ask them questions about the text to develop their understanding.
Questions to Develop Understanding
- Where/when does the story take place?
- Who are the characters in the story?
- What happens in this part of the story?
- Tell me one/two things that the main character does in this part of the story.
- Can you retell the story using your own words?
- Tell me what this character was like.
- Tell me the most interesting/ exciting/ funniest/ your favourite part of the story. Why?
- What do you think the character feels about...? How can you tell?
- What do you think would have happened if…?
- What do you think is going to happen next?
- Which part of this book did you like best/least? Why?
- How has the author used words/phrases to make this character funny/ sad/ clever/ frightening/ excited etc?
- Why is … a good title for this story/book/chapter/play?
- Do you know any more stories like this? Tell me how they are alike.
- Do you know another story with similar characters in? Tell me how they are similar.
- What do you think this story is trying to tell us?
- Has anything like this ever happened to you?
- Tell me two things you found out that you didn’t know before.
- What does this part of the text tell us about ….?
- Which part of the text tells us about …?
- Why are some words in bold?
- How does this text/layout help the reader?
- How does (a diagram/picture/caption) help you to understand the information on this page?
Read with your Child Sessions
Parents are invited into school once a term to enjoy reading together with their child in class. These sessions run on a Friday at 2.50pm. Further details are sent out by teachers advising parents of the dates for the different year groups.
During reading buddies sessions, two or more children at Maundene read together. Older children are paired with a younger year group and read with them every three weeks. Reading buddies help model good reading and offer a chance for children to read with each other. As with any skill, reading needs to be practised on a regular basis and with this practise, as well as modeling, children can improve their skills.
Our Reading buddies sessions allow younger children to have the opportunity to develop fluency, as well as a sense of pride in their accomplishments. In addition, they come to see the value of reading and love the time spent with their paired class. The children can not only promote good practices but build self-esteem. For our older children, reading to younger year groups can help them develop a love of reading and is a greater motivation to read aloud.
Once a month the mobile library visits Maundene and the children are invited to choose a book to take home and read. The benefits of the mobile library are:
- It provides an opportunity to extend the range of books in the classroom.
- It is effective in supporting reading for pleasure.
- It gives children, who otherwise may not visit a library, the opportunity to choose books for themselves.
The mobile library provide:
- Stories and information books
- Picture story books for all ages
- Books for reluctant readers
At Maundene we inspire our children to become confident and independent learners. Our school library supports this core value, providing facilities and books which enrich the curriculum and encourage children to read for enjoyment. Children can choose from a wide range of books and take them home to enjoy alongside their school reading books. Our library provides children with a valuable addition to their class book areas, whilst also reinforcing the values of respect and responsibility.