In addition to daily English lessons, our pupils develop their early reading skills through the use of the approved Twinkl phonics programme if this is appropriate when children join us in Year 3. Phonological awareness helps the development of reading by segmenting and blending sounds and the children will be heard reading regularly, both individually and in groups. We ensure that children receive high quality phonic teaching, if necessary, through interventions throughout school. We move on to programmes such as ‘Project X’ and ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ to develop pupils reading skills. At Whitstable and Seasalter Endowed Church of England (Aided) Junior School, we also provide individual or focused spelling and phonics sessions to ensure that our children are well placed to read and spell words with fluency and confidence.
Quality children's literature is at the heart of our pupils’ learning
Throughout Key Stage 2 we teach English through the use of high-quality picture books, novels, poetry and non-fiction engaging pupils using a wide range of teaching approaches. Children are immersed into the text through music, art, drama, discussion and role-play. Other approaches include responding to illustrations, ‘Book Talk’, story mapping and book making.
Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely through our reading scheme and frequent use of the school library. Pupils at Whitstable and Seasalter Endowed Church of England (Aided) Junior School continue to develop a range of reading skills, as well as a love of reading through the use of focus fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts during guided reading sessions. Pupils read books at their own reading and interest levels, enabling a greater sense of enjoyment and success. Best of all, they learn and grow at their own pace. There is a quizzing element to the programme to encourage challenge and interest directly linked to the books pupils have read. Our guided reading sessions cover a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction books and help to advance the children’s comprehension skills. These sessions run on a whole class system to give pupils the opportunity to undertake various roles across all elements of reading: reading aloud, summarising, questioning, inferring and clarifying a variety of texts.
We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. For our early readers and pupils not yet off the phonics program, books are matched to the grapheme-phoneme correspondences pupils have been taught. All pupils who are ready, are placed on our reading programme and regularly assessed so the books they are reading are matched to their range which corresponds to their reading ability.
We also provide enrichment opportunities, such as welcoming author visits to inspire reading and writing, hosting workshops, participating in Book Week and celebrating World Book Day and running poetry and creative writing competitions. This ensures that children benefit from access to positive role models from the local and wider locality as well as being inspired by what surrounds them. These additional experiences help us to enrich the curriculum even further and continue to deepen the children’s learning.
Some questions to ask your child whilst reading together