Reading for pleasure There is overwhelming evidence that literacy has a significant relationship to people’s life chances. Reading for pleasure is more important than either wealth or social class as an indicator of success at school. We as adults are the most important reading role models for children and young people, yet according to the Reading Agency, only 1 in 5 parents easily find the opportunity to read to their children. What does reading do for our children?
1. Children who read often and widely get better at it After all, practice makes perfect in almost everything humans do, and reading in no different.
2. Reading exercises our brain Reading is a much more complex task for the human brain rather than watching TV, for example. Reading strengthens brains connections and builds NEW connections.
3. Reading improves concentration Children have to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the story when they are reading. If they read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.
4. Reading teaches children about the world around them Through reading a variety of books children learn about people, places, and events outside of their own experience.
5. Reading improves vocabulary and language skills Children learn new words as they read. Subconsciously, they absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features effectively in their writing and speaking.
6. Reading develops a child’s imagination As we read, our brains translate the descriptions we read of people, places and things into pictures. While we are engaged in a story, we are also imagining how a character is feeling. Young children then bring this knowledge into their everyday play.
7. Reading helps children to develop empathy As children develop, they begin to imagine how they would feel in that situation.
8. Reading is fun A book or an e-reader doesn’t take up much space and is light to carry, so you take it anywhere so you can never be bored if you have a book in your bag.
9. Reading is a great way to spend time together Reading together on the sofa, bedtime stories and visiting the library are just some ways of spending time together.
10. Children who read achieve better in school Reading promotes achievement in all subjects, not just English. Children who are good readers tend to achieve better across the curriculum.
Talking about books Once children have learned to read, comprehension of what the words are telling you becomes an important skill to practice, and reading to your child is a good way. Just a few of the multitude of techniques that could encourage discussion about a book are:
Fiction vs non-fiction Many children have a preference for either stories or fact books, but it is important to get a mix. Fiction helps children have empathy with other people, understand characters and how they relate to each other, while non-fiction gives children the ability to understand facts and more complex ideas. A book at bedtime Reading a story to your child at bedtime is a great way to end the day and a lovely way of enjoying reading for pleasure. Reading to your child gives them access to stories and vocabulary that they might not be able to read so fluently themselves and is great for reluctant readers too. A story at the end of the day is also part of a good night time routine that can help your child settle and wake up refreshed ready for the next day.
We believe children achieving fluency in English is essential if they are to both access and succeed across all areas of the curriculum. Confidence and competence in reading, writing and spoken language play vital roles in preparing children for the next stage of their learning, and indeed throughout their adult lives. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. We endeavour to ensure children reach their full potential in these areas by providing an inspiring, relevant and rigorous English curriculum which promotes high standards of language and literacy, equips pupils with a strong command of spoken and written word, and develops a life-long love of literature through reading and writing for enjoyment.
We aim for our pupils to:
Reading starts within our EYFS provision through our Phonics scheme: Read Write Inc teaching synthetic phonics. This is a well-established and embedded phonics programme that we have been using for many years to provide all of our pupils with a successful start on their reading journey. This gives our children a great foundation to reading, which is then taken into Year 1 and carried into Year 2 if needed. Alongside and after the Read Write Inc scheme we use a blended approach to reading using high quality books from a range of schemes including Read Write Inc and Oxford Reading Tree.
What does the rest of our reading provision look like?
Language Acquisition & Vocabulary Development
We endeavour to ensure we provide our pupils with a ‘language rich’ environment. Within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary across the wider curriculum to ensure we acquire an understanding of a breadth & depth of language with our knowledge organisers, termly vocabulary grids and working walls.
We aim to share our vision of high aspirations for all of our pupils through our high expectations across the wider curriculum; by setting these high expectations, our pupils are aware of the standards we expect in all lessons and learning opportunities.
As children’s reading develops at different rates, teaching is tailored to each child and their ability. Children will read daily in the classroom, either in shared reading, one to one reading or guided reading groups. Children are encouraged to read a range of books in school and at home and communication between staff and parents is encouraged.