Children begin their reading journey in Nursery and the utmost importance is given to children being exposed to a range of high quality texts from the earliest time. In Nursery, the children start taking home books to share with their family. We highly promote our children being read to at home, as children gain so much from this being modelled to them in a positive way. Also in Nursery, parents and carers are invited into school for a phonics workshop. We want our families to feel empowered to encourage positive early reading skills at every opportunity.
As children move into Reception, the children are involved in phonics and reading straight away. We discuss reading and its value with parents/carers at the home visits. Children take home picture or phonically decodable books and this is to develop those early reading skills and cement the teaching that takes place during the school day. When the children have settled in, we invite parents/carers in for a reading and phonics presentation. This is to promote a love of reading and to support parents in the best way possible to guide the development of their own child’s reading journey. Reception parents/carers are then invited into school at 8.30am to read together to start the school day.
Here at Upton Westlea, we use a range of reading schemes to broaden children’s understanding, interest and enjoyment of reading. Children take part in Guided Reading where they have the opportunity to take part in reading activities that challenge them on a daily basis. Within school, children are encouraged to discuss and evaluate a wide range of texts and are given opportunities to do this independently, with peers and with staff.
We also place high importance on the value of reading for pleasure. All children have the opportunity to access our school library and choose a book to take home. In addition to this we have forged positive links with our local library and take regular class visits. To further foster an enjoyment of reading, we celebrate World Book day. This always promises to be an entertaining day with various themes and an opportunity to develop a love of reading. Teachers share their favourite children’s books with a class during the day too.
When children leave Westlea for the next part of their journey, Year 6 children are presented with a book they have chosen themselves. This is a positive memento of their reading journey so far and a reminder to continue with a lifelong love of reading.