Reading at Redbourn
Reading is a key focus at our school for all children. We have recently implement the Monster Phonics scheme in Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 (KS1) and the Literacy Tree English platform for Key Stage 1 and 2 (KS2).
This document helps parents understand more about the reading books your children are bringing home and the reading that happens in school. Your children are given many opportunities to read in school:
Guided Reading: whole-class and small groups. New vocabulary and reading skills taught and practised with the teacher, using books where children can independently read and understand about 80% of the text. In Reception and Year 1, these sessions now use specifically targeted Monster Phonics books.
Class Book Corner: A range of interesting and diverse texts from a wide variety of genres and covering a broad range of abilities. These books are for children to enjoy, where they will see themselves represented in the literature in their classrooms. This is an opportunity to experiment with new authors and develop a love of reading for pleasure.
Library: Children are encouraged to explore and try out new genres. Children are signposted towards books that suit their reading ability, but if they find a book they really like and want to bring it home to share with you, they will not be prevented from doing this. You may need to read your child’s library book with them, or to them. Library books are a fantastic way to develop your child’s curiosity about the world and a love of reading. Each class aims to visit the library every week. We are beginning a piece of work to look at how we make sure this space is used to its full potential.
Class Reader: A more challenging text, chosen to excite and inspire the class, read to the pupils by the teacher throughout the year. Vocabulary and concepts explained as the book is read.
Reading Book: Your child reads their ‘reading book’ with staff, in school at least once a week in KS1 and once a fortnight in KS2. This book follows a banding system, with texts aligned to your child’s reading ability in KS2 and linked to the order of the sounds taught in the Monster Phonics reading scheme in Reception and KS1.
The children in KS1 now come home with three books to practise reading with an adult, and we ask that you sign their reading record when they have read to you. The more your child has an opportunity to read to you at home, the better. We ask that this happens at least 4 times a week.
One of the books is their Monster Phonics book, which they will have already read with a teacher in school. Children are expected (by the DfE) to be able to read 100% of the words in this book with the majority being read on sight, and the remainder being sounded-out and blended:
[School must ensure pupils] do not encounter words that include GPCs they cannot decode. If an adult is not present, they are not forced to guess from pictures, the context, the first letters of a word or its shape. ‘Decodable’ books and texts that children read should run alongside or a little behind the teaching of the GPCs, so that they always feel a sense of achievement when they are asked to read such books.
(GPC= Grapheme, Phoneme correspondence)
The other two books will follow a banding system, which runs from Reception all the way to Year 6. This system aligns with the Monster Phonics books, but there may be a few more instances of words the children need support to read. These are labelled ‘Share at home books.’
From Year 3 upwards, unless they are part of a phonics intervention, children will bring home one reading book, which they should be able to read as per the criteria above. These books follow the banding system. Children requiring phonics intervention may bring home books from the Monster Phonics Scheme. The more your child has an opportunity to read to you at home, the better. We ask that this happens at least 4 times a week and that you sign the reading record when they have read to you..
Below you will see the details of the banding system (and how it links to Monster Phonics books). It shows the year groups and the band colours we would expect a child to be reading in each year if they are working at or above the expected standard.
Your child will change their book in accordance with the information given out at the ‘Meet The Teacher’ session. Children should be reading and re-reading this book during the time it is at home with them. This allows them to become experts, not simply blending letters to create sounds, but so they firstly decode, then understand and re-tell the story and can then in read with expression, intonation and with an understanding of how the punctuation affects their reading. All of this must be fully independent. If you feel your child is tiring of the book, you can try challenges such as coming up with different words with the same meaning as words in the book, ask them to re-tell you the story or make up a new ending.
You have asked us for advice about other books at the correct level to read with your child. The bookshop below has an easy-to-use tool to find books aligned to the different book band colours. It is by no means exhaustive, but we hope you find it useful.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your child’s class teacher, who will be happy to help.