Reading at school and home
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
Dr Seuss said it right, reading is the key to everything.
Both at school and in life!
It all begins with reading…
As part of our phonics delivery, children in Key Stage 1 (and those accessing phonics provision in Key Stage 2) have their own personal online Bug Club account. Bug Club will enable your child to read books that have been assigned to them personally, in accordance with their phonics / reading stage. You may recognise the books that are available to read, as we use the same books during our phonics lessons. All children will have access to reading books that are tailored to their reading needs. Throughout the books there are quiz questions for your child to complete. To answer a question, just click on the bug icon. Your child does not need to finish all the quiz questions in one sitting and can come back to a book later.
When your child has finished all the quiz questions in a book, he or she will earn 'ActiveLearn Coins'. By reading more books, your child will earn enough coins to 'buy' a reward in one of the many reward schemes. The answers to the quiz questions will be sent back to our teacher site so that we can see how your child is progressing. We will also be able to assign more books for your child to read if the virtual book bag is running low. Children are expected to read these books regularly at home to develop their word recognition, fluency and enjoyment of reading.
Children accessing the Whole Class Reading provision use the online Accelerated Reader (AR) program, which allows teachers to monitor your child's home reading. AR helps teachers track students' independent practice and progress with reading. It's intended to encourage children to read independently, at their own level and pace. The idea behind AR is that children enjoy reading more when they can select their own books. Each book has online "reading practice" quizzes. Teachers use these quizzes to track each student's progress and set appropriate goals for each. Each student is assigned to a specific range of books. Books in that range will be challenging for the student but not too hard to read. This concept is called a zone of proximal development (ZPD). In AR, it's used to guide book selection. After finishing a book, the student takes a short, multiple-choice online quiz either in school or at home. It checks if the student has read the book and understands it. It is part of our homework policy that your child reads for at least 20 minutes every day, and completes an Accelerated Reader quiz as soon as they have completed an appropriate book. In most cases, this will be at least one quiz a week.
Please follow the unique link to log into Accelerated Reader website. The URL is:
Your commitment to regularly reading at home with your child will have a big impact on their learning in all sorts of ways. If you aren't confident doing this, for whatever reason, have a look at our Reading at Home guides in the downloads box. Don't be afraid to speak to your child's teacher either - they'll be keen to help and should have good advice specific for your child too.
Reading for pleasure
Integral to everything we do, is ensuring that we provide an environment where children see the true value of reading and develop a love for the written word. School book fairs, competitions and visiting storytellers and celebrating World Book Day are just a few of the other ways we encourage children to become excited about reading! Every class has story time during the school day to foster the love of reading and to allow for quality discussions about the text. After all, reading is the foundation for learning.
'We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves.'
As author Neil Gaiman points out, few things are more important than reading aloud to our children. It's great for their education and its fun. What could be better?
That's lovely, but my child can read independently. Why would I need to carry on reading to them?
Reading aloud to already fluent readers can still be hugely valuable:
· It gives them the chance to listen to books that they might not be able to read independently – books that are too long for their current level of reading stamina, books with tricky vocabulary that needs explaining or books that introduce tricky concepts that benefit from discussion with an adult.
· Listening to an adult read also gives a model for fluent reading. It allows children to hear how a skilled reader brings the words on the page to life, using their voice to share the meaning of the text.
· It enables booktalk – time to discuss ideas and share opinions about what you're reading. This is great educationally, as it helps children to think deeply about a text and practise justifying their opinions, but it can also help to build the habit of reading and talking together, a wonderful end in itself.
· It can safeguard some shared time together – time to enjoy a book that you both want to read, a book you now share in common.
Great, I'm sold. Just one problem – I want to read to my child, but they'd rather read on their own at bedtime…
Don't worry, this is quite a common issue. You could try:
· Let your child pick the book. It might be something that everyone is reading at school, an old favourite you're read a hundred times before or something you wouldn't pick yourself: another book about ponies or the biography of a footballer you've never heard of. Giving your child free choice of the book is a great way of building excitement about being read to, helping to form the reading aloud habit.
· Build up the challenge level. Children often love the idea of reading something tricky or something aimed at children older than them. Ramping up the drama with lots of 'Well, a 9-year-old wouldn't normally listen to this book, but if you think you're ready for it, I suppose we could try…' or 'I'm really not sure. Well, if you insist that I read it to you, but we can stop at any time if it's too hard…' can work wonders.
· Try a bit of compromise. Perhaps you read a page to them and then they read a page to you. Or you read one chapter and then they read the next few to themselves, before you read another.
· Listen to audiobooks. Listening to an audiobook together can work well (even better when it is played from the hallowed tablet or smart phone). This could be curled up at bedtime, but it could also be in the car or at home while you're getting ready for school.
"Don't judge a book by its cover!" we're always told...so where do you start if you want to buy good books? Over 3000 are published every week! Whilst there is no guarantee you or your child will love a book, below are lots of links to lists of acclaimed books and those shortlisted for different awards in recent years.
If you like the sound of a book for every day reading, why not try to find a cheaper second hand copy online on sites like Amazon and eBay?
Please note: we are not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites. Listing should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and we have no control over the availability of linked pages. Not all books listed below will be appropriate for children of all ages so please consider the age categories if they are listed or make a judgement based on the themes of each book.
Great websites to explore!
· https://www.shauntan.net/new-page-2 (amazing picture books for older children)