Reading Matters at Thorpedene Primary School
At Thorpedene we share a common belief that all of our children should be confident and competent readers. We want our pupils to embrace and enjoy reading so that they are able to access increasingly challenging texts and be exposed to reading for a variety of purposes. As a result, we have invested in the Accelerated Reader programme, to raise our children’s reading levels and embed a culture where our children love reading.
The principle behind this programme is to promote a lifelong love of reading in every pupil, regardless of their ability. It is designed to do the following:
- Make essential reading practice more effective for every pupil.
- Personalise reading practice to each pupil’s current ability.
- Assess pupils’ reading skills through fun quizzes, so that intervention strategies can be brought in when necessary.
- Accelerate reading progress throughout the school.
What is Accelerated Reader?
Accelerated Reader is a computer program that helps Thorpedene staff to manage and monitor children’s independent reading. Your child selects a book at his/her own level and reads it at their own pace. When finished, they take a short quiz – passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what has been read. Since children are reading books at their own reading and interest levels, most children are likely to be successful and enjoy the books and quizzes. Best of all they learn and grow at their own pace.
How does Accelerated Reader work in school?
Initially, your child will take a ‘STAR Reading Test’. This is a computer based reading assessment program that uses computer adaptive technology. The questions continually adjust to your child’s responses – if your child’s response is correct, the difficulty level is increased, if they answer incorrectly, the difficulty level is reduced. We will use the results of this test for pupils to choose books from the Accelerated Reader library, which are at an appropriate level for their reading ability.
Books are labelled with levelled numbers. Pupils will be encouraged to read books within the level of their suitable band, to ensure that they are reading books which challenge, but do not cause frustration or disengagement. After reading the books, pupils will take a short quiz (the programme offers over 140,000 quizzes on a variety of books), which will assess how much they have understood, monitor their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary and present their teachers with detailed advice on how to progress an individual child’s reading.
Thorpedene Primary School Loves Reading!
Every child will experience reading within several different styles:
Guided reading – children will read with an adult, and other children who are working at the same reading level. Sessions will focus on comprehension skills, understanding and using the layout of different types of books and sharing their opinions about what they have read.
Individual reading – one-to-one reading with an adult. This is a great opportunity to address any individual issues and work on developing the children’s reading skills as well as assess what needs to be done next.
Shared reading – whole class sessions using big books, text on screens or handwritten text to develop children’s phonic knowledge as well as enhance speaking and listening skills.
EYFS and KS1
The children are given time within the library to experience choosing books from a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. They are taught how to behave appropriately within a library setting and can take books to share in the classrooms.
Children will bring home words to learn from lists of High Frequency words. As we all know the most successful learning occurs when it is FUN! Play matching pairs with the word cards, write them to be read in different colours, hide them around the room for your child to find and read, show all the cards at once for your child to select the one you say and see how quickly you can get through them all- make it quicker next time!
Once a week the children have a session in the library to develop library skills and choose a home reading book levelled to their ability. These have comprehension questions in the back to help you to question your child on what they have read to develop their understanding of texts. Comments from home about your child’s enjoyment of the book, fluency of reading and success with the comprehension questions can be made in their home reading journal and are truly valued.
The Teaching of Reading
As mentioned above the teaching of reading mainly occurs within guided reading, individual reading and whole class shared sessions.
From Foundation Stage Children are taught to read using the Letters and Sounds scheme supported by Jolly Phonics materials.
Your child will have the opportunity to bring a variety of books home to share and read to you. Every week they will have a book appropriate to their reading level that may have been used within a guided reading session or used during one-to-one reading times. The children can also choose a free choice book, which can be changed independently by them whenever they require. These books are completely your child’s choice so can sometimes be rather easy for them to read or slightly too difficult to read independently, but we are sure you would agree that every book has value!
We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to hear your child as frequently as possible.