"THERE'S MORE TREASURE IN BOOKS THAN IN ALL THE PIRATE'S LOOT ON TREASURE ISLAND."WALT DISNEY
English sits at the heart of our curriculum – it is through language that children learn to form concepts, connect ideas and express themselves eloquently. Through literacy, in all its forms, children learn to both make sense of the world and shape their place within it. We aim to inspire children to develop a love for reading and writing and we work closely together to promote curiosity and enthusiasm for language from Reception to year 6- and beyond! By the time children leave Westbury Park Primary School, they are original and imaginative writers with an exceptionally wide-ranging vocabulary; they are able to understand sophisticated texts and express themselves in a wide range of contexts.
To build on the steady acquisition of phonological understanding within the children’s early years at school to ensure all pupils are confident readers who can access with fluency all the multitudinous facets of the school curriculum. Above all, we want the children to love reading for pleasure and see books as a vessel on which they can set sail at any moment into the wonderful world of their imaginations.
Each week, reading lessons focus on the skills of comprehension, first through unpicking vocabulary, then moving on to unlocking the meaning of whole texts through critical appreciation. The children read a wide variety of material regularly with careful guidance from the teacher, including fiction and non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries and poems and demonstrate their understanding of these through carefully worded questioning. This is further enhanced by the use of the Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose scheme of work which allows the children to sink their teeth into a fantastic range of classic literature from Dickens to Dickinson.
We have two fantastic libraries where children are able to choose from a carefully selected range of books to read independently, with their teachers and each other. The library is open during lunchtimes for children to change their books and read with and to children of different age groups and has a growing stock of specially edited, dyslexia friendly texts from Barrington Stoke.
We also encourage the children to read a range of texts outside of school, guiding them to pick ambitious books they might not normally read, including classic texts, non-fiction (linked to their history learning) and poetry, whilst also ensuring those in need of more structured support receive it through targeted reading intervention. At Westbury Park we use Rapid Reading (a dyslexia friendly intervention scheme) which has a proven impact in increasing the rate of progress.
Alongside this, we always welcome visiting authors to bring the world of words alive, plan in immersive and cross-curricular literacy weeks and of course celebrate World Book Day in all its glory – one of the highlights of the year!
Each year group has access to a range of challenging and interesting novels for the teacher to read to the children, exposing them to language and stories which they may find too challenging to read independently but whose world’s are a joy and a thrill to enter.
At Westbury Park there is a culture that celebrates reading for pleasure and children love picking up a book and hearing others read. The results of statutory assessments are consistently high. Children are able to engage independently with the broad and balanced curriculum.
The following suggestions are by no means exhaustive and indeed barely scratch the surface of the wealth of good literature available on the market. We hope, however, that they may prove a useful guide when deciding on a book to buy or when you visit the library with your child.
The reading lists have been organised by year group and are followed by recommended books selected by the Love4Reading website; these are by no means prescriptive as, of course, not all children will be reading in line with their chronological age. The reading lists for Years 4-6 contain some older titles and may well be less familiar. They are, nevertheless, from authors with a proven track record in writing high quality literature and we hope that you may discover a gem among them which becomes a firm favourite with your child.
http://www.lovereading4schools.co.uk/ is a useful website to access suggestions for reluctant readers and dyslexia friendly books.
Thousands of schools up and down the country use Rapid to help children to gain confidence with their reading- and the results speak for themselves. An independent study by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) told us that children using Rapid Reading make more than twice the normal rate of progress in reading; a trial in Worcestershire found children quadrupled their expected reading progress! This carefully tailored intervention included real books which the children will read, supported, in school as well as links to digital versions which they can access at home.