Reading at St Augustine’s
We are passionate about reading at St Augustine’s. Reading is the key to a good education and future economic success. Being able to read well opens doors in life!
We teach word reading through a phonics programme called Read, Write Inc. Mrs Fox is our RWI manager and works hard to ensure high quality teaching across the school. Mrs Fox is constantly assessing and tracking progress to ensure our children learn very well. We teach comprehension through English, Guided Reading and cross-curricular lessons. We hear children read one-to-one regularly, as it is an opportunity to assess progress and gives children a chance to practise their skills. For those children who need extra or specialised support, we provide very successful intervention programmes to ensure that every child can be a successful reader.
We want all our children to go on to Secondary school being able to read fluently with a high level of understanding. We want our children to love reading, to enjoy settling down with a book, to be able to talk about books and authors. We know that the more a child reads, the better he/she will get. And a child who reads out of school is thirteen times more likely to read above the expected level for their age.
We can’t do this on our own. That is why we have clear expectations of how our parents can support. We need the children to read every night to an adult and use the Home Reading Diary to record this.
We appreciate that it is not always easy supporting your child with their reading. Take a look at our ’Parents Zone’ section for ideas and resources.
Our Reading Scheme
Our Reading Scheme is book banded using guidance from the Institute of Education. The books are grouped in ‘colour bands’. Books are allocated a colour based on a variety of factors, for example the number and difficuly of words, the length of the book etc.The books in each band have been carefully selected in order to provide a wide range of opportunities to practise and develop different reading skills.
Your child will usually choose their own book from the large selection within each book band. This is designed to encourage the skills of choice and develop a love of reading.We have a great selection of books from a variety of publishers, including non-fiction. Please support your child in reading their book, as once past the first couple of colour bands they will encounter unfamiliar words and phrases. Once the children pass Silver in the scheme, they are classed as ‘free readers’ and they make their choice from the library. They are allowed to scan two books out. Your child should bring their reading book and Home Reading Diary into school every day. They have the opportunity to change their book whenever they need to. Each class has a system for this.
We keep a close check on how well your child is progressing through the Reading Scheme. We regularly hear the children read and support them in choosing appropriate books if neccessary. If we feel they are not making expected progress, we put into place extra support such as Reading Recovery or BRP. We do, however, expect the children to read every night at home, whether it is on their own if they are Y5 or Y6, or with a grown up if they are younger. This is set as homework. We know that the more a child reads, the better they get. And did you know that a child who reads outside of school is thirteen times more likely to read above the expected level for their age?!
Boosting Reading Potential
BRP is a reading intervention programme which aims to help children to become better readers. The 10 week programme involves three 15 minute sessions a week, one-to-one, with a specially trained Teaching Assistant. The sessions focus on the development of independent readng strategies.
We carry out the BRP programme with children who are not making expected progress in reading or who need support with their confidence. The relevant children are identified and assessed and specific targets are set for the 10 week programme.We are very lucky at St. Augustine’s to have highly skilled Teaching Assistants who carry out the BRP programme.
Reading Recovery is a very successful reading intervention accredited by the Institute of Education and designed to support children who have had real difficulties in learning to read. It involves a series of one-to-one lessons for 30 minutes every day with Miss Etheridge, our Leader of Reading, who is an accredited Reading Recovery teacher.
The programme of support is different for each child, starting from what the child knows and what he/she needs to learn next. The focus of each lesson is to comprehend messages in reading and construct messages in writing. learning how to attend to detail without losing focus on meaning. Research shows that no other intervention achieves such good results so swiftly and so long lasting.
We closely monitor the progress that children make in reading, and are able to support those having difficulties with the Reading Recovery lessons. This ensures that those children will be able to overcome their difficulties and reach age-expected levels within 20 weeks.
We work with Warwick and Coventry Universities, welcoming degree students into school to carry out their ‘Right to Read’ programme. The students work with children one-to-one over a 10 week period, focusing on fluency and comprehension. The children absolutely love their ‘Reading University’ sessions. The programme is very successful, having a huge impact on the children’s confidence.
We are supported by Beanstalk
(www.beanstalkcharity.org), a national charity which provides trained volunteers to carry out reading sessions one-to-one with children. Again, the focus is on reading skills and confidence.
Some of our older children in Years 5 and 6 have been trained to be Buddy Readers. This entails them reading to and with children from Y2. The children really enjoy their sessions, and both older and younger children develop greater confidence in their reading.
We are also delighted to have support from our parents, who give up their time to help out in the library or hear children read in school. We are always grateful for this help, and are always looking for more! If it is something you feel you would like to do, please get in touch with Miss Etheridge, Leader of Reading. Come and watch a reading session! We provide training and can be really flexible about when you would like to be in school.
We work hard to ensure your children are taught to read well at school, but we know that with your daily support the children will make even better progress. Without it, they could actually fall behind. Please support your child, and us, by:
- * hearing your child read their book every day and recording this in the Home Reading Diary. Practice really does make perfect! Children can read their Reading Scheme book, their library book, comics, newspapers, websites, instructions, recipes. Take a look at this to find out more about how to help your child read aloud well.
- * reading to your child. All our children love hearing a story. Choose a book that would be too difficult for younger children to read on their own, or a book you and your child could read together. The more children share stories at home, from the time they are babies, the better they understand how books work. They can recognise and use story language, can join in with rhymes and retell stories. The organisation Booktrust has more information here about how beneficial it is to read to your baby.
- * giving your child access to lots of stuff to read! Joining the local library means being able to borrow 20 books at a time.
www.wordsforlife.org.uk – advice, fun stuff to do together, recommended reads, activities for children from birth to 11 years.
www.booktrust.org.uk – a great website supporting parents in reading to children and inspiring children to read for pleasure, packed with ideas and information.
www.readingagency.org.uk – they say ‘because everything changes when we read’. A charity with a mission to inspire more people to read, they run the Summer Reading Challenge and other programmes for readers of all ages.
www.readingzone.com – a brilliant website with sections for children of all ages and families, with news, reviews, author information, activities and much more.
www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site – a huge amount of information, top tens of book themes, activities, reviews by children, author interviews etc. Something for everyone.
We have the best school library in Coventry! We know how important it is to develop a love of reading, and to that end we have created a fantastic library in school.
The library has a brilliant selection of picture books, fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, comics and newspapers, and there are plenty of cosy places to sit and enjoy a good read. As well as older children being able to change their books whenever they need to, every class has a fortnightly visit to the library, and KS2 having an additional fortnightly session with Miss Etheridge. Every day in the library a Reading Hero is chosen – someone who has shown a real love for reading – and house points awarded. The school Reading Panel helps to select new stock, and all children can fill out a Book Request Form. Every week in Assembly a Book Request Form is chosen at random, and that book is then ordered for the library.
The library is open all day, every day, even after school on a Thursday until 4pm for any parents who would like to help their children to change their books, read a story together or chat to Miss Etheridge about reading.
Our fabulous Y6 librarians help to keep the library and reading scheme books organised, and they also help younger children choose books. We are also lucky to have Mrs Armston, a Central Library librarian and parent in school, visiting weekly to help with the library. A real expert!