Shears Green Infant School

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Reading at Shears Green Infant School

English Statement of Intent

Communication is the key to our English curriculum: to provide exciting and challenging opportunities to develop written, oral and reading skills to enable children to express themselves as individuals.

"The National Curriculum programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 consist of two dimensions:

  • word reading
  • comprehension (both listening and reading).

It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school.

Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds."

The National Curriculum in England, Key Stages 1 and 2 Framework Document, Sept. 2013

At Shears Green Infant School, we support the children with their reading in a variety of ways during the school day.

  • Daily Phonics, where the children are exposed to a range of sounds but also complete activities set to their own level.  In Reception children follow the Letters and Sounds Programme taught through Jolly Phonics.  In years 1 and 2 children follow the Read, Write, Inc phonics programme.

  • Buster's Book Club.  We take part in this Kent Messenger initiative which encourages children to read for extended lengths of time.  Children have the opportunity to win certificates, badges, trophies, reward vouchers and trips to prize giving days.   
  • Bug Club.  This is an online reading activity for children to complete at home.  Books are set by the teachers for children to access at home.  There are activities to encourage children's comprehension skills. 
  • Daily Guided Reading sessions. In Year R children participate in daily big book sessions which allow the children to build upon their early reading skills and to develop them further through: exploration of how books work, front covers, blurbs, authors, illustrators, characters, the direction of turning of pages, word recognition, application of phonetical skills and knowledge, expression, fluency, picture cues, modelling of pleasure and excitement and understanding.  In Year 1, children participate in daily guided reading sessions where they are presented with a chosen text and discuss this in small groups whilst supported by an adult.  In Year 2 the children follow the whole class guided reading approach and study a text as a whole class for a week.  The sessions in Years 1 and 2 provide teaching and learning opportunities that promote phonetical knowledge and application of phonics to decode words, the teaching of inference to begin to understand different layers of what is being read and what the author wants us to know without saying it, locating information by using different strategies, making links, exploring new vocabulary and enriching our own language, sharing opinions and understanding everyone can read things differently, exploring our abilities to recall information to show our understanding leading into being able to explore comprehension skills to fully explore our understanding.

  • Power of Reading – usually linked to topic - where children are given opportunities to read and discuss texts as a class.    

  • The curriculum – reading and writing present themselves in other areas of the curriculum so that children are reading and writing for a purpose, whilst developing their knowledge and understanding of the world.

  • Building Reading Power (BRP) – Our Teaching Assistants are trained to support children to develop their reading skills

  • Story Time – The children enjoy a daily story session which lasts at least 15 minutes. The extended texts shared are carefully selected to ensure the children are regularly immersed in rich vocabulary and have the opportunities to discuss the characters, events and ideas within the story.

Please click on this link for a downloadable Parent Guidance on reading, writing and spelling with your child