'We are Joyful Readers!'

Central to learning is creating a life-long love of reading and books and at St James’ CE Primary School, it is our belief that every child should be able to read for pleasure and to a high standard. We passionately believe that reading feeds children’s imagination and opens a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. We also believe that every child should be given the tools to develop into an enthusiastic and confident reader both at home and at school. Reading improves language and vocabulary, inspires imagination, and gives everyone the opportunity to develop and foster new interests.

Every child is taught a range of strategies to support their development to become a confident, independent reader. In Foundation and Key Stage 1, Phonics is taught on a daily basis. Children are taught using the Read, Write, Inc programme which enables them to blend, segment and decode words. Once the children have learnt how to read, they move on to a daily reading lesson in the form of whole class guided reading. Throughout the week, pupils develop different reading skills which we refer to as VIPERS (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise) so they can then learn to comprehend and understand the text they are reading. Children are encouraged to use these strategies independently to understand, enjoy and learn from a range of texts. Through this they will become fluent, expressive readers with the stamina to enjoy challenging texts. The children also read independently and to an adult in school regularly. 

Teachers and support staff nurture a love of books by introducing new texts with enthusiasm and enjoyment, promoting a sense of wonder and expectation as the text is explored. 'Book Talk' is widely encouraged in class across all subject areas which supports children to empathise with characters, share opinions and debate topics. The children at St James’ CE Primary School have independent access to a wide variety of high-quality texts in dedicated class book corners.

All teachers use quality texts in all aspects of their teaching across the curriculum. This is supported by our Curriculum Reading spines which provide opportunities that extend and enrich the children’s learning. Our QUEST pedagogical approach to teaching and learning (based on Rosenshein’s Principles of Instruction), places reading as an essential component of successful lessons across the curriculum. It is these tools and opportunities that we believe give our children the necessary skills to become thoughtful and confident readers for life, which ultimately will provide them with the cultural capital to succeed in everything they do.

Reception and Year 1 also have their Traditional Rhyme Set Lists and their 'Beloved Books' which are a treasure trove of high-quality children's literature (12 books in each year group) which set the foundation for their reading journey. They become very familiar with these rhymes and books (having access to them throughout the day). Termly author focuses and set poetry in other year groups ensure that varied authors, poets, and genres are always promoted, and the children are encouraged to vary their reading repertoire whenever possible.

All children have story time during the school day, which is where the teacher reads to the class.

We know that reading at home is an essential part of children becoming excellent readers. All children take home reading books, matched to their individual reading ability, which we ask them to read to their parents or carers. Children in Key Stage 2 take part in the Accelerated Reader programme, which involves them taking fun online quizzes when they have finished their home reading books, to improve their reading comprehension. It is our expectation that children aim to read daily at home daily. We use reading incentives in school to encourage frequent reading. Children’s individual home diaries are an important source of communication between home and school, and it is vital that these are signed to indicate how often the child has read. In each class, there is a reading reward chart which is monitored daily. Rewards are given to all our regular readers including certificates, Dojos and more!

Overall, we just LOVE reading at St James and are ‘Joyful Readers’.

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