At St Winnow, we develop a child’s ability to read fluently and with confidence. More importantly, we aim to instil in every child a life-long love of reading. We do this in a variety of ways: every classroom has a wide selection of books, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry which are regularly rotated and replenished for children to access and enjoy; magazine subscriptions provide an alternative to the traditional reading book, as well as audio books; each class votes for their class reader, which their teacher reads daily; opportunities to select and take home reading for pleasure books alongside RWI or AR books; celebration days and events such as World Book Day.
Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading assessments than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background. Cressida Cowell (Children’s Laureate 2020-2021) reinforces the importance of reading as a school priority: “Study after study has shown how reading for pleasure is vital for academic success, mental health and even later economic success. By sparking growing imaginations, stimulating critical thinking and helping to develop empathy, reading gives children the very skills they need to succeed at school, at work and in life.”
Here at St Winnow, we are passionate about giving our children the very best opportunities we can, therefore we are relentless at making reading a school priority.
How we teach and assess Reading
The use of Read, Write Inc (SSP) in the Early Years and KS1 provides a rigorous and systematic approach to the teaching of reading based on synthetic phonics, which research shows to be the most effective approach to the teaching of reading. Daily RWI sessions develop children’s ability to decode by focusing on phonemic awareness and phonic skills, enabling children to meet or exceed their Early Learning Goals in Reception and the expectations of reading outlined in the National Curriculum as they move through to KS1. Careful intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as needs are identified. As children move through Year 2 and complete RWI, they are moved onto Accelerated Reader.
Accelerated Reader is a scheme that matches real books to a ZPD score. Children take a short test each half term to determine their ZPD and choose books which match their ability. Once they have read their book, they complete a quiz to ensure that they have understood what they have read. Children read their AR books at home and in school. (If you want to find books within your child’s ZPD, you can go to www.arbookfind.co.uk.) Pupils are assessed on their comprehension skills on a regular basis by doing the half termly ‘star test’ which then gives the individual a targeted ‘reading range’ (ZPD). This range gives children the opportunity to choose a book that interests them that will also continue to support them in their reading progress. Pupils take reading books home from the classroom and library to practise some of the skills they are learning in school. These books are banded according to comprehension level and when children are confident with their knowledge of the book they take a ‘reading quiz’ online about what they have read which gives them instant feedback on their success. If children are consistently succeeding in these quizzes then they are encouraged to read books that are higher within their range and if they continue to succeed, they are able to take another ‘star test’ to give them a new reading range. For more parent information about Accelerated Reader, please see the documents below. Alongside the teaching of phonics and AR, children in KS1 have whole class reading sessions to develop early skills of fluency and comprehension. In KS2, a whole class reading approach is used where the learning is focused on developing fluency, vocabulary and the elements of comprehension outlined in the National Curriculum. Accelerated Reader continues to be used throughout KS2. For those children who need a little extra support as they progress into KS2, we have RWI resources available and this approach is followed until the children are ready and able to begin the Accelerated Reader scheme.
Children who read often and widely get better at it.
Practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading is no different.
Reading exercises our brain.
Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain rather than watching TV, for example. Reading strengthens brain connections and builds NEW connections.
Reading improves concentration.
Children have to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the story when they are reading. If they read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.
Reading teaches children about the world around them.
Through reading a variety of books children learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience.
Reading improves vocabulary and language skills.
Children learn new words as they read. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features effectively in their writing and speaking.
Reading develops a child's imagination.
As we read our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. While we are engaged in a story we are also imagining how a character is feeling. Children then bring this knowledge into their writing.
Reading helps children to develop empathy.
As children develop they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation.
Reading is fun.
A book or an e-reader doesn't take up much space and is light to carry, so you take it anywhere. You'll never be bored if you have a book in your bag.
Reading is a great way to spend time together.
Reading together on the sofa, bedtimes stories and visiting the library are just some ways of spending time together.
Children who read achieve better in school.
Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.
At St Winnow, we use VIPERS for our whole class reading sessions from Year 2 - Year 6. VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the reading curriculum. They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.
Listed below are the top fifty books that are recommended for your child to read in each year group. Have a look and see how many of these your child can read this year. If you click on the link you can also download a checklist too. Happy reading!
“I love to read because it takes me to a totally different place and sometimes a new world.''
“Reading is fun because it helps you imagine new places like Mr Wonka's chocolate factory!''
“When I read, it helps me to think of new ideas which I sometimes write about in my stories.''
“Readings takes me to a new world and makes me feel happy.''
“Reading helps me to imagine different characters, places and people! I love reading whenever I have free time!''
“Books have no many adventures and it feels like you go on the adventures when you read the books!''