‘When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language.’
James Earl Jone
At Shirley Heath, we believe that equipping our children with the skills to read fluently and confidently with good understanding, as well as acquiring a wide vocabulary, will ensure successful participation in society. Reading enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know and, in turn, good comprehension draws on children’s knowledge of the world. Consequently, our aim is for all children to develop and maintain positive attitudes to reading widely for both pleasure and information.
Children are taught Reading Comprehension, for approximately half an hour three times per week, in classes in Years 3, 4 and 5, and in sets in Year 6. In these lessons, children are exposed to a wide range of quality texts that follow a half-termly theme. These texts are the basis for the explicit teaching of the suite of reading comprehension skills and new vocabulary as well as discussions with the teacher. Reading is embedded across the curriculum, where teachers seek opportunities for children to use their comprehension skills and further develop their vocabulary.
Each child has a school library book that is in line with their reading target, as well as access to a range of age-appropriate books in their class reading corner. There are daily independent reading and class storytime sessions, and weekly focussed reading groups and newsletter features created by a class. In addition, we hold half-termly celebratory reading events and book swaps, as well as a number of one-off reading events each year, all of which contribute to the positive reading environment at Shirley Heath.
Click below for tips from Cressida Cowell, the Children's Laureate.