At Alver Valley Schools we believe becoming fluent, confident and enthusiastic readers is the key to accessing the wider curriculum and the world around else. Our children are able to communicate in a thoughtful and articulate way. They enjoy different types of literature and can write in many genres in contrasting forms.
Children are encouraged to speak audibly and fluently to respond appropriately to adults and their peers. They use spoken language to develop understanding and knowledge of a subject, through asking questions, listening and responding to others. Children participate in collaborative conversations, expressing different viewpoints to justify answers, arguments and opinions. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.
Early reading uses a synthetic phonics approach. This is taught systematically and uses multi-sensory strategies, enabling the children to access texts. The choice of texts available are closely linked to the phonic stage they are working within. We encourage children to hear sounds in the environment and words before progressing to recognising letters and blending sounds to read words.
As children progress through the colour book bands they gain greater confidence and fluency. Reading widely and often, enjoying books for pleasure as well as for gaining information. There are opportunities for rich dialogic talk around texts so children can explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
Comprehension skills are taught alongside word reading and understanding of a text. With opportunities to learn new vocabulary and grammar. Teachers model fluency of reading across the curriculum and children are encouraged to read aloud to others.
At Alver Valley Schools, we utilise a range of phonetically decodable reading books which will help the children to practice their phonic skills while they are learning to read. The range of published schemes used include Rigby Star Phonics, Big Cat Phonics, Fun with Phonics, Floppy Phonics, Phonics Bug and Songbirds.
All of our early reading books are colour banded. Your child will be given a colour band to choose their home reading book from which will help to ensure that the book they select is at the right reading level for them. Every colour band includes books from a range of reading schemes so that they will experience a range of stories, genres, text types and illustrations. We encourage parents to share their child’s reading books together daily, followed by asking and answering questions about the text in order to improve comprehension skills.
Pupils regularly engage in Guided Reading sessions in class to practice their reading, and focus on developing reading skills such as inference, deduction, developing opinions and so on. These sessions support pupils to become well rounded readers, able to interpret texts and develop personal tastes.
Reading for Pleasure
At Alver Valley, we encourage pupils to develop a love of reading before they start school through our on-site nursery and by taking part in our Music Makers workshops, which develop Nursery Rhymes and songs.
Once they begin school, we continue to encourage families to share books with their child, and all classes have a designated story time. From Nursery, pupils have a weekly school library visit and continue to take home books for sharing with their parents alongside their own reading book. We hope that these habits continue as pupils get older – once they are independent readers, pupils select their own reading material, but our school librarian is still on hand to guide and advise pupils. Our librarian is also very happy to speak to parents who want to support their child in widening their reading habits.