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We Love Reading

At Bloxham, we are passionate about inspiring a love for reading. The importance that is placed on reading and the enjoyment a child has of reading is well known to have a significant impact on a child’s later life.

‘Making sure that children become engaged with reading from the beginning is… one of the most important ways to make a difference to their life chances’ (The Reading Framework, 2021). Therefore, reading should be part of our everyday lives. We model this every day across our school and we aim to support children to find their reading preferences.

Here are some of the ways that we encourage a love for reading:

  • Class novel / daily story time read by the teacher
  • Paired and independent reading
  • Reading recommendations
  • Informal reading opportunities with ‘book talk’
  • Inviting, cosy reading environments in every classroom
  • Author visits
  • Celebration of World Book Day and book fairs
  • Displays of favourite books

Book talk

A great way to encourage a love for reading is to talk about books. A culture of reading for enjoyment can develop life-long habits that will help children in all of their learning in primary school and beyond. Teachers discuss what they are reading with the children, make recommendations and inspire their class to do the same.

Each week, the whole school discusses a question linked to our love of reading. You may like to ask your children about which question it is this week so that you can continue the discussion at home. Modelling our love for reading as adults is a great way to enthuse children.

Here are some examples of the questions that come up throughout the year: 

  • If you could be any character from a story, who would you be and why?
  • Should you read the book before watching the film? Why?
  • Name one book everyone in this room should read before the end of the year.
  • Which author would you pick to write a story with you as the lead character?

Opportunities for reading

At Bloxham Primary, we believe that reading should be at the heart of the education we deliver. Children have the opportunity to apply their reading skills across the wider curriculum.

Children are heard read in a variety of ways. These include:

  • 1:1 reading
  • Reading aloud to the class in both whole class reading / reciprocal reading and other subjects
  • Reading in pairs / groups

Useful websites

Here you can find advice for how you can help at home for each age group:

https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/early-reading-skills-age-3-4/

https://wordsforlife.org.uk/

Local libraries

https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/leisure-and-culture/libraries/find-library/banbury-library

https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/leisure-and-culture/libraries/find-library/adderbury-library

Book lists

https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/category/reading-lists-for-primary-school-pupils/

https://www.booksfortopics.com/

https://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/
This website is useful for downloading an extract of the story so that you can read a chapter first to see if it’s something you would like.

Recprocal reading

Reciprocal Reading is a framework for teaching understanding in reading. It improves reading by teaching children strategies that they can use to help them understand what they are reading and can be used by children of all ability levels.

  • Reciprocal Reading can be used by children of all ability levels.
  • It encourages children to think about their own thought processes.
  • It helps children to be actively involved and boosts confidence.
  • It is challenging and fosters a real interest and excitement for reading.

The strategies we use, which will be explained further on, are

  • Making connections
  • Predicting
  • Visualising
  • Clarifying
  • Questioning
  • Summarising

These strategies are used, before, during and after reading. They are introduced over a period of time to ensure each strategy is fully understood.

Initially the teacher models the strategies. Gradually the children’s confidence and competence increases and the adult input decreases. The eventual aim is that children will use the strategies independently.

What does Reciprocal Reading involve and how can you help at home?

Making connections – This helps us make links to what we already know and new information.
With your child look at the title, pictures, and any headings. Ask your child to think about how the text relates to their life or experiences, a book they have read, events in the real world or something they have read on the computer, seen on TV or heard in a song.

Predicting – This uses clues to make guesses about what is being read.
Ask your child to predict what they think might happen in the text they are about to read. Ask them to explain their reasons for thinking this. They can also predict as they read through a story to guess what might happen next. After reading encourage your child to check if their predictions are correct.

Visualising – Good readers create pictures in their minds as they are reading and this helps them understand the story. Good readers don't just read their stories, they live their stories!
Have your child stop and think about what they see in their minds. Have them close their eyes and picture it.  What do they see?  What do they hear? What do they add to their own picture to help the image come alive?  Encourage them to use all their senses and build on what the author has said. See more than what is in the text.  

Clarifying – This is where readers look for clues to help make sense of unknown words.
During reading ask your child to pick out words or pieces of text they are unsure of. Talk together to try and work out what the word might mean, by using some fix up strategies. (Strategies to help clarify.)

1. STOP and think

5. Make connections

2. Reread

6. Look at pictures

3. Read on

7. Substitute  a word

4. Visualise

8. Look it up

Questioning – We ask questions as it helps increase our understanding of the text.
Ask your child to make up questions about the text. Good questions ask who, what, when, where, why and how.

Summarising – We do this after reading because it helps us draw out the main ideas and shows our understanding of the text.
Ask your child to tell you about the most important information and put it into their own words.