English ~ Reading

'I spent most Saturdays during my early years at the library, drinking in fairy stories, myths and legends, classics, contemporary stories, fantasy, science-fiction and anything else I could lay my hands on' - Malorie Blackman

At Mount Hawke Academy, we are passionate about reading and children's access to books.  We value reading as a key life skill. By the time children leave us, our aim is that they are confident selecting and reading a wide range of material and that they enjoy regularly reading for pleasure.

We have an up to date choice of reading material - always involving the children's input.  We belong to Cornwall Schools’ Library Service, so we get a large book exchange from the Library Van every term, and our library is regularly refreshed.  Every classroom has an enticing book area, so the children can select books for reading for pleasure and for finding out more about the world.  There are shared story sessions for the children; all teachers read, entertain and thrill their classes with whole class reading daily, including sustained 'class stories', non fiction texts and poetry.

We strive to nurture life-long readers, who take pleasure in searching out new books to read, exploring and discovering through literature.  Our children’s reading experience is much more than the reading book which comes home from school.  Reading is happening all the time in our school. It is taught in specific reading and English lessons, but our children are practising and using their reading constantly across all subjects too.  Our children’s reading journey begins with ‘learning to read’ and moves on into ‘reading to learn’.  It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of reading. Without the ability to read, our children cannot access other subjects properly. Reading is empowering and wonderful.

Building on a love of reading, we teach English as a discrete subject and in a cross curricular way.  Reading Practice Sessions and focused sentence level work may be taught outside the normal English lesson. English is at the heart of curriculum planning so that subject matter from other curriculum areas is available as content or stimulus for speaking, listening, reading and writing. All curriculum areas involve some aspects of English.  We have developed our own Reading Spine for the whole school, selecting books that we know will stimulate, enthral and educate our children, enriching our teaching too.

How we Teach Reading in Key Stage Two

We teach reading comprehension through regular reading lessons.  Over time, our children will read and analyse a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Reading lessons include:

  • An element of prosody (reading with feeling)
  • A close look at key vocabulary that children may be unfamiliar with
  • Unpicking the key skill focus for that lesson (retrieval, inference, prediction, summarising, vocabulary, making links)
  • Modelled answering of questions
  • Opportunities to apply reading skills independently
  • Teaching fluency by model reading, echo reading, choral reading and paired reading

In addition to our explicitly taught reading lessons in Key Stage Two, we also provide our children with:

  • Opportunities to read for pleasure
  • Rapid catch up for children for any child who is not a fluent reader or cannot comprehend at at least an age appropriate level
  • Regular story times
  • Regular, open ended discussions about stories and books
  • Opportunities to read and discuss a wide read of genres including poetry and non-fiction (including news reports to ensure children are aware of local, national and global issues)
  • Books that our children take home are carefully chosen to match their interests and their level of fluency
  • In Years Three and Four, these include a structured reading book as well as a book for pleasure
  • In Years Five and Six we further support children to read a varied diet, often challenging them to read an unfamiliar author or genre
For information about our approach to Early Reading (Early Years and Key Stage One) please click here.
We also have a number of reading enrichment activities, including:
  • Regular visits from St Agnes Library, where children have book talk and are read to by the Children’s Librarian
  • Regular visits to the school library
  • Participation in local reading competitions including the library summer reading challenge
  • Book fairs - children are timetabled in for browsing sessions
  • Celebrations for World Book Week
  • Reading buddies - teaming up older and younger classes to share favourite books together

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