"THERE'S MORE TREASURE IN BOOKS THAN IN ALL THE PIRATE'S LOOT ON TREASURE ISLAND."WALT DISNEY
Reading is the key to unlocking learning and at Westbury Park we encourage children to engage in books, story telling and performance and foster a love of reading that grows as children move through the school. Reading for pleasure is such a huge part of our school and, when children find that favourite author or treasured story, it enables them to connect with story telling in a personal and wonderful way. We strive to encourage children to find a passion for reading that goes beyond the four walls of the classroom.
Our curriculum is structured to allow children to slowly build their reading skills, from phonological decoding in the Early Years to justification of their thoughts on a text in Year 6. It is our aim for children to leave Westbury Park as fluent readers who can comprehend, infer and make comments on what they have read but, far beyond that, we hope to instil a love of reading in children, parents and staff through a curriculum that is centred around the magic of books.
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.