We Love Reading!
At St Austin’s Primary School we want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of English, and to be eager to achieve their very best in order to fulfil their God-given talents. We firmly believe that the recipe for success is high quality first-wave teaching in English, which is central to the life of our happy, caring school.
We begin teaching reading with a focus on phonics, using the Letters and Sounds programme. The foundations are laid in Nursery where the focus begins with developing a love for looking at books, careful and accurate listening and having fun with sounds, words and sentences.
The children learn good reading behaviour by imitating our teachers’ excellent models. Our children are encouraged to read words and captions around our text rich learning environment.
The Letters and Sounds phonics programme continues in Reception and into Key Stage 1.
Parents are invited to phonics meetings so that they are better able to help their children at home. The children are assessed every half term in order to effectively track progress and are grouped accordingly. Our phonics screening check results have continued to stay above the national average. From Reception onwards the children apply their growing phonics knowledge within guided reading sessions.
During the Early Years and Key Stage 1, children take a reading book home every week to practise their reading skills and to continue their reading development at home with their families. Most of these books are from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme but other schemes are also used. Until the children have completed phase 5 phonics all the books read within guided reading and those taken home are directly matched to the appropriate phonics phase.
In Key Stage 2 children are given the opportunity to change their own books within their reading band and once they get to a certain reading age they become a ‘free reader’ meaning they can choose any book from the school library. In addition to this we take years 2 to 6 to visit the local library in Stafford every term. Children can also visit the school library.
Each classroom has a reading corner/area where children can choose their own books to read. All year groups from years 1 to 6 participate in guided reading sessions where they share the book together.
Every year we celebrate World Book day and all the children and staff dress up as their favourite book character. All the children love sharing their favourite stories together. The School Council support us in choosing books for the library. They bring requests from their class to meetings.