At Carter’s Charity Primary School we aim to foster a love of books and of reading. We value books and reading so both have a high priority. Pupils encounter books through shared, guided and independent reading, through weekly class library sessions, through reading research within foundation subject areas and through general reading to gather information both at school and at home. Pupils read in groups, on their own, with teachers and teaching assistants, with families, with buddies and with Reading Volunteers.
We choose not to limit pupils to following a single reading scheme but recognise the importance of pupils applying their developing reading skills through reading books which are appropriately pitched. Teachers therefore help pupils select books which are appropriate for their reading ability using the ‘Book Bands’ system which is applied to books in school. ‘Book Banding’ is a method of grading the reading level of a book. The bands enable the books to be graded from the simplest texts suitable for very early readers through to texts for fluent readers. Each band is given a colour and the appropriate coloured label is stuck to the book. A range of reading scheme books, picture story books and non-fiction books from different publishers can thus be graded so pupils can select from a wide range according to their interest, knowing that the book will not be too easy or too hard due to its colour sticker. Early readers will practise their blending skills using phonetically decodeable texts selected by their teacher and also enjoy picture story books which they have selected from the school library.
Pupils in all year groups regularly hear stories read aloud and we try to ensure we keep up to date with the best quality children’s texts. Teachers share their love of books with pupils through talking to each other and to pupils about what they are reading themselves and through taking every opportunity to express and promote the importance of reading in their lives. We agree that you can’t teach reading for pleasure, you have to share it.
Each classroom has a reading area to give their children a space to read if they want.
Each class has daily story time which reinforces the joy and beauty of both reading and listening to someone reading. We make use of our whole space to celebrate books and the children especially love spending time outside.
Our reading inspired curriculum has been developed to nurture a love of books and reading for pleasure, in all our pupils. It is evident that there is a correlation between time spent reading and reading ability and this in return has a considerable impact on both educational attainment and wider life outcomes.
With this in mind, we have implemented our Reading Rocket challenge to encourage all pupils to read at home, with an adult, as often as possible. The challenge takes place weekly, and pupils are able to progress on the Reading Rocket each time they read at home. Pupils are asked to read a minimum of 3 times each week, in order to reach the top of the Reading Rocket and Dojo points are awarded accordingly. Parents / carers are asked to comment in their child’s Reading Record each time they have read at home.
At the end of each week, pupils who have read at least 3 times are awarded a raffle ticket, which enters them into a draw at the end of the half term, with a chance of winning a book token. Reading Rocket certificates are also awarded at the end of each half term, with pupils receiving either bronze, silver or gold certificates with a possibility of a platinum certificate at the year end.
The Reading Rocket trophy is also awarded at the end of each week, to the class with the highest percentage of pupils reading at home up to 3 times each week. This also encourages some healthy competition between the classes and the teachers!
Thank you for your support and Happy Reading!