Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will do. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that your child develops a life-long passion for reading. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
We start by teaching phonics in Reception using the highly successful ‘Jolly Phonics’ programme which then leads onto the teaching of the 'Letters and Sounds' programme within Key Stage One. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how sounds can be recognised from letters. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. The children also practise reading ‘common exception' words which cannot be read phonetically, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. These words are the exception to the usual spelling rules. Once a child can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics sounds and the ‘tricky words’ they know. Then they start to believe they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
Children undertake regular guided reading sessions with the staff in their class. We monitor children’s reading skills regularly so that we can ensure they are making progress and understanding the texts.
There has been a significant investment in a variety of reading schemes to encourage your child to access a range of texts suited to their own personal interests. These engaging books extend a child’s reading ability and provide them with confidence. Pupils also have access to a significant library collection of books and a reading corner within their classroom.
At Surrey Hills we give high priority to reading for pleasure. Teachers regularly read to the children so that the children get to experience and enjoy all sorts of stories, poems and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. Reading is also promoted through special events such as ‘World Book Day’, ‘Shakespeare Week’ and reading challenges. The curriculum is supported by engaging texts that inspire work across all subject areas and motivate children to write.
You can help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘blend’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names at first but help your child to focus on the sounds. A good understanding of these sounds really does make a difference!
Sometimes your child might bring home a book that they already know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy,’ as they may have chosen that because they enjoy it! Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.
Make reading fun! Remember to keep reading to your child. They will come across far more adventurous words than they will in their early reading books and you will be helping them to grow a vast vocabulary and develop a deeper understanding of different texts. It will also encourage them to love books and want to read more; if a child sees and hears an adult reading they are inspired by them!