Reading is highly valued at St Joseph’s – it is the key to accessing much of the curriculum and a valuable life long skill. The teaching and development of reading skills has traditionally been a strength of our school, as shown consistently in both KS1 and KS2 reading SATS scores over the last five years. Much of this success can be attributed to the focus put on individual reading, both at home and in school, from Pre School right through to Year 6.
All children read regularly, both with their class teachers and our experienced team of Learning Support Assistants. Our core reading scheme in the first years at school is Oxford Reading Tree; the children also read and experience daily stories, rhymes, factual and ICT texts. Books are sent home for consolidation, with nightly reading being the expectation for good progress. The Home School Book is a vital part of our Home/School partnership, as recognized by OFSTED in 2010. It is used by teachers, parents and children in commenting on books read and skills being developed. Valuable guidance on reading with your child can also be accessed here.
Daily synthetic phonic work is now a national requirement. At St Joseph’s we closely link phonic skills with successful reading development – a systematic teaching of sounds to help read by blending and spell by segmenting. Children in our Reception and Key Stage One classes take part in daily 20 minute phonic lessons; these have now been extended to include pupils in Years 3 and 4 who continue to need support in further building their reading skills. Our interactive phonics lessons make use of ICT ‘Fun with Phonics’ and ‘Phonic Bug’ resources, alongside newly purchased graded reading materials. Research has found that good readers will usually also become the best writers as they move through the school. Children from Year Two upwards all access the national ‘Support for Spelling’ programme in continuing to extend their word skills.