Reading at Ellel St. John’s

At Ellel St. John’s, we believe that books open the door to new worlds for all of our children to discover. From their first days with us until they leave in Year 6, our children have many different reading experiences at our school.Our home reading scheme provides our children with a wide range of topics, information texts story types and themes to explore. At Ellel we want to help all of our children in finding books that they love and enjoy so alongside our reading scheme, children have a weekly opportunity to visit our school library that has new titles as well as well – loved classics for our children to read.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

As well as our home reading scheme and library books, each class has a reading corner, which contains carefully selected books for our class ages. These books are changed over the year and children have lots of opportunities to enjoy these books in our reading corners.

At Ellel, we also take part in the Fantastic Book Awards and Brilliant Book Awards, where the children in upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 1 read a group of new titles by a range of authors and vote for their favourite across the year. Our reading clubs in school also have a theme linked to this.

Finally, every year we ensure that reading for pleasure is a high priority and we work alongside our families to help support reading at home and engaging more reluctant readers. We hold regular school book swaps where our families trade books that they no longer read for new books. We also invite our families into school to share books with their children and hold meetings about phonics and early reading to support the start of the reading journey. Please see our Facebook Page and blogs for our latest reading events and below for more support at home in engaging reluctant readers.

As well as developing in our children a love of books and knowledge of genres and authors we also provide them with clear building blocks to develop the skills they need to become fluent readers. From starting in Reception, children are taught Phonics following the progression in ‘Red Rose Letters and Sounds’, a systematic, synthetic approach to learning how to read. They move through the phonic phases until they are confident and enthusiastic readers.

We use a range of reading schemes linked to the Phonic Phases. These books are all colour coded for easy recognition and graded in order of difficulty. We encourage parents to become involved by reading to, listening to or just talking about books with their children. Reading diaries are used to record books read and also as a means of communication between parents and teacher to help support the reading process. A variety of events are held throughout the year to inform and educate parents on their role and how they can best help their children. The school also makes use of Reading Volunteers to listen to children read across the school.

Opportunities for Reading

We use a wide range of reading schemes to ensure breadth and depth in the early stages of reading. Children should be able to read the books sent home to an adult with relative ease and should be able to discuss the content of the book and make predictions. Books with more challenge are used within Guided Reading session in school to teach new skills and to make sure that children are making progress. We believe it is important that children have a rich diet of texts so we ensure that our reading schemes are supplemented by a selection of other reading material. All classes enjoy a weekly trip to the school library where they are shown how to select their own books using the Junior Library system and encouraged to read a wide selection of books. In class children use reference books and dictionaries, both as hard copies and online, throughout the curriculum. In addition to this stories, non-fiction and poetry are read to the children as a class novel.

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Support for parents at home

Recommended Reads Whole School