At Girnhill Infant School, reading is a key part of all children’s learning and progress and the vast majority of children leave our school as confident readers with a real love of books. For the past three years the number of children reading at the expected standard has been above the national average and we have an increasing number of children who are also working at the highest standard in this key area.
The school’s main reading scheme is provided by ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ and is colour banded to ensure that appropriate challenge is provided as children’s reading skills develop. The reading scheme is constantly evolving to match our children’s interests and as a result the children are provided with books that not only challenge but also interest them. Children take home their reading record and their reading book every day so that parents can help their child to practise and improve their reading and we appreciate this support enormously. The reading record is used to provide parents with the opportunity to celebrate and comment on their child’s reading and to communicate with their child’s teacher on a regular basis. We also provide a parent booklet for each year group with ideas and information on how parents can best support children’s reading at home.
Quiet reading areas are provided in every classroom to give children the opportunity to read a wide variety of books from well-known authors and to experience the joy of choosing their own books and reading for pleasure. Children are also encouraged to use our school library and to borrow books from the library to take home and share with parents.
Phonics is an important daily lesson in each class from Nursery through to Year 2. The school follows the government’s ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme which helps children to hear, discriminate, read and write individual sounds and words. Phonics is combined with the school’s structured reading scheme to ensure that all children develop the skills of reading as quickly as possible. Every June the Year One pupils take the National Phonics Screening Check and last year the children at Girnhill achieved above the national average in this test.
Every child is included in a Guided Reading group and works with their class teacher to develop their reading skills every week. We carefully track children’s progress in reading so that any children who need extra support are quickly identified and provided with the help they need. One of the main ways we provide this additional support is through our ‘Early Birds’ reading club where children have breakfast every day and then work in small groups to develop their confidence with reading.