"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, focusing on fluency, vocabulary and range of question types such as retrieval and explanation. By following Steps to Read, children are exposed to a wide range of diverse texts and lessons follow a structure that exists in every year group, allowing for consistency and a clear progression of skill. Beginning with Reading, lessons then move on to Modelling, Practising and Applying, all the while exploring classic and modern literature as well as non fiction. Questions encourage children to justify their thoughts, predict, use examples from the text and determine vocabulary meaning using context.
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.
Children in Key Stage 2 have library cards and are encouraged to talk with librarians (children in Y5 and 6) to help them find new books and explore new authors.
We also immerse children in some incredible texts through our use of No Outsiders within class and key stage assemblies. Children are encouraged to discuss the issues that arise within the stories and work together to respond to the text.
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 learning in foundation subjects) 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. Children who find reading aloud challenging have the opportunity to read 1:1 with one of our many experiences LSA's in order to improve their speed and fluency.
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.
What does Reading look like in each year group? Progression Pyramids
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.
Suggested reading list by ages
At Westbury Park, there is a culture that celebrates reading for pleasure and children love picking up a book and hearing others read and, in addition, the results of statutory assessments are consistently high. Children are able to engage independently with the broad and balanced curriculum.
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.