Our Approach to teaching reading

Priory Primary School acknowledge that reading is key to effective learning and as such it has a very high priority and profile in our school. Children are encouraged to take great pleasure in reading, to read independently, leading to good progress and an appreciation of books. We aim to cultivate a love of reading which will remain with the children for life. We support our children to become language rich. At Priory Primary we believe this is best achieved through reading widely across the curriculum, for information and for pleasure.

In the Foundation Stage classes we engage in ‘book talk’. Children learn to handle books, they are encouraged to talk constantly about what is happening and they begin to recognise a few keywords. All this is happening alongside a phonics programme called Read Write Inc so that when the children are learning letters and sounds they can always apply the skills to the books they are reading. Children listen to stories twice a day, joining in with repetitive language, actions and rhyme.

In Year 1 and Year 2, as well as continuing the highly structured programme of teaching phonics, there is also a focus on comprehension and we continue to promote reading for enjoyment.  Children continue to listen to stories daily and all children have an opportunity to read individually with the class teacher. We use reading books from the Read, Write Inc programme and the home reading books are carefully levelled to move on the readers quickly in line with their phonic understanding. In addition to this, Guided Reading takes place daily. During this time we will develop the children’s skills so they become speedy readers and further develop word recognition and comprehensive skills. We have a range of Read Write Inc guided reading books so over the years the children will experience many different types of texts. 

We are happy to see most children are reading fluently by the time they start Key Stage 2. Our task now is to make sure the children’s understanding of the text is in line with their ability to read fluently. 

Guided Reading allows the teachers to ask highly focused questions and to challenge the children’s ideas.  High quality texts are selected to engage all learners. In fiction, we develop the children’s ability to infer, deduce and speculate on the reasons why authors have made particular language choices , choose certain characters, settings and plots. We use different texts as an opportunity to grow a rich spoken vocabulary. We use non-fiction texts to deepen the children’s understanding of the topic work across the curriculum. We are seeking to ensure that children appreciate reading helps them to understand the world around them. Again, we use reading as a tool to increase the children’s vocabulary across each subject every area. Reading challenges are given throughout the year in the form of a competition in which all KS2 children take part in.  Just like Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 children participate in daily Guided Reading sessions and also read with the class teacher. Children have Home reading books linked to their stage in reading and these are reviewed regularly by the class teacher and children are moved on when they are ready. 

Reading for enjoyment is nurtured at Priory Primary School. We aim to inspire our children to explore, learn and grow, and make connections by giving them frequent opportunities to read widely. 

The class teachers spend time sharing their favourite books with their class at the end of the day. Both key stages have book clubs in which children can enjoy a book, magazine, newspaper or comic of their choice. Playgrounds offer opportunity to read with a choice of books in our Little Libraries and children can also swap and share books from here at home. Each class has the opportunity to recommend books to be included in a whole school display for one month per year. They discuss their choices and reasons with the Head of School before their suggestions are displayed for all to see. There are Libraries in both EYFS / KS1 and KS2 where children can select from a range of fiction and non-fiction books to take home. 

We encourage all parents to read with their children regularly at home.  Reading events at school are well attended and our book fairs are popular with children and parents who choose books together to enjoy at home.