Rooted in Reading
Leasowes Primary School is strongly committed to improving literacy standards. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum because of its proven power to improve life chances. Our children begin their reading journey as soon as they enter the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and we recognise the importance of laying firm foundations for future reading success. Reading is a skill which underpins a child’s ability to access the wider curriculum.
The Reading Curriculum
Teachers instil in children a love of literature. Through a book-based approach, we root all of our topics in high-quality, rich class texts and use these to ignite our children’s imaginations. The class texts studied form the main stimulus for writing, reading and GPS lessons as part of our wider English curriculum. In order to develop the children's comprehension and reading skills, they undertake whole class reading lessons. Our children become proficient readers by reading a range of texts types across the curriculum, and their fiction class text is often supplemented by non-fiction and poetry reading materials. Each class will have access to books which are directly linked with their curriculum topics so that the children can further their own independent reading if they wish. Please see the 'Writing Curriculum Overview' uploaded at the bottom of the page to see the class texts matched to each year group topic.
At Leasowes, we teach phonics following the Department for Education ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme from Nursery to Y1. Aspects of the Letters and Sounds programme continue to be taught during Year 2. As part of this, children have daily phonics sessions in small groups where they are taught in ability groups by either a teacher or teaching assistant across their phase. In Nursery and Reception, to supplement Letters and Sounds, we use the jolly phonics resource as a multi-sensory, synthetic approach for our learners. This has been proven to be a highly effective teaching approach to get children reading and writing quickly. Pupils have the opportunity to participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to their developing needs.
Home-School Reading Books
All children have 'Reading Diaries' or 'Home School Records' to record their daily reading at home.
EYFS and KS1
Our home reading 'Pearson Phonics Bug' system is designed to ensure that each child has a book matched to their phonic ability. As part of this scheme, we also have a wide range of phonics books, called 'boost' books, which expose children to alternative pronunciation of sounds, high frequency words and tricky words. In addition to the phonetically decodable books, children are also able to borrow books from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. When children complete the school phonics programme, they will be able to select a book for home reading from our coloured band system.
In KS2, the children will continue with the coloured banded reading system and can select books to take home from the Collins Big Cat reading scheme. For children who have gaps in their reading, we also have a ‘rapid reading’ scheme in place that includes a range of phonetically decodable books matched to children's age interests. To enrich children's reading, we also have the 100 book challenge, where children are able to borrow books from our library written by 100 different authors. These are grouped into Year 3 and 4, and Year 5 and 6 titles, so that children can select books matched to their age. Please see our 100 book page for more information. Children are also able to bring in their own reading books from home, and we encourage children to begin to read children's novels when they start KS2.
In order to ensure your child's home reading books are correctly matched to their ability, we complete a range of assessments in school. These include phonics and Big Cat reading assessments.
Our Reading School
At the heart of school is our 'Rooted in Reading' school library designed to promote a love of books and reading for pleasure. With quotes from famous authors, and a range of stimulating stories and non-fiction books to fascinate, our children can find a cosy corner to get lost in a book. Using our Reading Cloud system, the children will be able to borrow any of the reading materials in our school library to enjoy at home. Please see our Reading Cloud page for more information. Each classroom has a reading area that is filled with books that children can enjoy whilst in class. There are twenty minutes dedicated to reading for pleasure each day, where the children will be immersed in a story. In addition to this, we celebrate reading through whole school events like World Book Day and book-focused writing weeks.