Reading at Oakhurst

The Teaching of Reading

At Oakhurst Community Primary School, we strive for every child to become a confident and independent reader. Our core aim is to help every child to make the maximum amount of progress in reading during their time with us, but also to leave our school with a lifetime love of reading. We understand that being able to read provides children with access to the world around them and supports their ability to learn and develop in all other areas.

Early Reading

Reading is much more than being able to decipher the print in front of us; reading is about being able to understand what the writer is attempting to communicate. At Oakhurst Community Primary School, we teach synthetic phonics as our main strategy for decoding but this is supported by teaching sight vocabulary (key words), and exploring the context of what we are reading to provide a sense of understanding. For more information about our approach to phonics, please navigate to the ‘Phonics at Oakhurst’ section of the website.

Developing Reading

As children’s decoding improves during Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2, the focus becomes primarily on comprehension. Children are taught more about understanding the texts they read so that they can share literal answers but also express their responses to the texts and eventually interpret the authorial intentions.

Throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, adults will hear children read either on a one-to-one basis or through our Guided Reading approach.

Guided Reading

Guided Reading in Key Stage 1

As children move from the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) into Key Stage 1 (KS1), they will begin to engage with whole class reading sessions.

In Year 1, this is predominantly delivered through the use of high quality picture books. A broad selection of picture books, covering a wide range of themes, will be shared across the course of the year. Prior to reading, children will be exposed to specifically chosen vocabulary from the text and will be taught definitions and meaning. This scaffolds the children’s access to the story and encourages full engagement and reading for meaning and pleasure. During reading, children are encouraged to join in with sections of the text such as repeated refrains. Once a book has been shared, the teacher engages the children with carefully crafted questions and activities that seek to bolster and develop their comprehension skills. Comprehension can be considered as comprising the following core skills:

Key Stage 1 Comprehension Skills

Vocabulary

Draw upon knowledge of vocabulary in order to understand the text.

Example questions

  • What does the word _____ mean in this sentence?
  • Find and copy a word which means _____.
  • What does this word or phrase tell you about _____?
  • Which word in this section do you think is the most important? Why?
  • Which of the words best describes the character/setting/mood?
  • Can you think of any other words the author could have used to describe this?

Inference

Make inferences from the text. Use your own thoughts, knowledge and insight in order to answer a question.

Example questions

  • Why do you think _____ was feeling _____?
  • Why do you think _____ happened?
  • Why do you think _____ said _____?
  • Can you explain why _____?
  • What do you think the author intended when they said _____?
  • How did _____ make you feel?

Prediction

Predict what you think will happen based on the information that you have been given so far.

Example questions

  • Look at the cover/blurb – what do you think this book will be about?
  • What do you think will happen next? What makes you think this?
  • How does the choice of character or setting affect what will happen next?
  • What is happening? What do you think might have happened before? What might happen after?
  • What do you think the last paragraph suggests will happen next?

Explanation

Explain your preferences, thoughts and opinions about the text.

Example questions

  • Who is your favourite character? Why?
  • Why do you think all of the main characters are girls in this book?
  • Would you like to live in this setting? Why/why not?
  • Is there anything you would change about this story?
  • Do you like this book? What do you like/dislike about it?

Retrieval

Identify and explain the key features of fiction and non-fiction texts such as: characters, events, titles and information with direct reference to evidence from the text.

Example questions

  • What kind of text is this?
  • Who did _____?
  • Where did _____?
  • When did _____?
  • What happened when _____?
  • Why did _____ happen?
  • How did _____?
  • How many _____?
  • What happened to _____?

Sequencing

Sequence the key events in the story.

Example questions

  • Can you number these events 1-5 in the order that they happened?
  • What happened after _____?
  • What was the first thing that happened in the story?
  • Can you summarise in a sentence the opening/middle/end of the story?
  • In what order do these chapter headings come in the story?

The structure of these key comprehension skills are derived from the Literacy Shed’s ‘Vipers’ initiative:

https://www.literacyshedblog.com/vipers.html 

In Year 2, our approach harnesses the same core principles above, but extracts of longer texts and novels are woven into our selection of high quality reading material.

Guided Reading in Key Stage 2

As children move from KS1 into Key Stage 2 (KS2), they will continue to engage with whole class reading sessions.

We have chosen to base our KS2 guided reading curriculum on the contemporary progression created by Ashley Booth:

https://theteachingbooth.wordpress.com/2020/06/28/a-ks2-reading-curriculum/ 

Monday and Friday

Guided reading sessions are centred around the class novel. Predominantly, these sessions focus on the skills of summary and prediction.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

The selection of reading material here is vast, diverse and highly engaging. On each of these days, the children will experience a different text, but each of these will be linked by a core theme. Texts and materials are comprised of the following source material:

  • A mixture of fiction and non-fiction
  • Literary heritage and classics
  • Contemporary classics
  • Contemporary issues in the media
  • Inspirational and notable individuals
  • Picture books
  • Poetry
  • Songs

Key Stage 2 Comprehension Skills

Vocabulary

Find and explain the meaning of words in context.

Inference

Make and justify inferences using evidence from the text.

Prediction

Predict what might happen from the details given and implied.

Explanation

Provide explanations in relation to a range of themes, ideas and literary devices:

  • Explain how content is related and contributes to the meaning as a whole.
  • Explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of language.
  • Explain the themes and patterns that develop across a text.
  • Explain how information contributes to the overall experience for the reader.

Retrieval

Retrieve and record information and identify key details from fiction and non-fiction.

Summarise

Summarise the main ideas from more than one paragraph.

Libraries and Reading Material

EYFS and KS1

We use a variety of reading schemes and material across school; one of the main schemes we use is Oxford Reading Tree. However, we recognise how important it is that children read a range of books which are written and structured in different ways so this is supplemented with a small selection of other material from different reading schemes.

Our selection of reading books align with our approach to phonics and facilitate children being able to develop their reading skills and make good progress as they progress through our book band colours.

Book Band Colours

We have developed a series of helpful documents for parents explaining the specific contents of book band colour books and how these link to our approach to phonics.

Pink

Red

Yellow

Blue

Green

Orange

Turquoise

Purple

Gold

White

KS2

For more competent readers, the school provides and updates a good range of paperback books which are accessible from our school library. Once children have graduated from our reading scheme books, they can access ‘star reader’ books from the library.

Additional Support

For children who may struggle with reading, or their reading skills are not at the expected level for their age, they will be involved in additional support programmes which aim to provide intervention and diminish the differences as quickly as possible.

Reading at Home

We expect that children will read at home on a regular basis and support this by ensuring children always have a home reading book. We fully encourage parents and carers to share books at home with their children. There are a number of reasons why this practice is invaluable to children’s reading development:

  • Regular practise at home cements the reading skills and strategies taught in school.
  • It encourages and instills a love of reading within children.
  • It facilitates family time and social interaction within the home.

How can I find out more?

We are always more than happy to help.

If you have any queries, or you would like to find out more, please use the Enquiry Form found by navigating to the ‘Contact Us‘ tab on the main menu. Alternatively, you can direct your query to admin@oakhurst.swindon.sch.uk and we will put you in contact with the relevant member of staff.