Sutton Park are shaking things up with regard to reading. Having battled with low engagement for some time, our primary focus was to light the spark and reignite a love of reading as without that we saw little hope of long-term success.
To up engagement levels, we have been working to harness ‘The Power of Reading’. With a starting point of rich texts, children have been immersed in the core books and have wide reading opportunities around them- a range of text types and genres. This diversity begins right from EYFS where our library of texts has been improved which has had a positive impact and has supported children’s learning across the curriculum, enriching their knowledge and understanding and bringing purposeful learning opportunities, not only in English but also in maths, science, history, geography, R.E., art and design etc. Children are immersed in their learning, always with a focus stemming from books and literature, meaning these skills are constantly being developed. This approach has had a positive impact on our entire curriculum and is improving the outcomes of our children as they secure a solid understanding of topics to draw upon.
As well as increasing engagement, it is important that we continue to develop the necessary skills for reading. Upon starting their reading journey, from as early as EYFS for those who are ready for it, the focus is on decoding and phonics as the foundations of reading with sessions delivered daily and tailored to children’s needs and abilities.
As children progress through school, core reading skills including: retrieval, inference, evaluating language choices, prediction, summarization etc. are taught more discretely, practiced and developed so that they can be refined over time with increasing complexity, the aim being to produce confident, insightful readers able to tackle anything that comes their way.
We are seeing incredibly positive changes as a result of our approach to reading: pupils are more motivated to read, doing so on a daily basis, with regular reading being rewarded and encouraged with the gift of reading where children are given books to continue on their own reading journeys; they take pride in their work, producing outcomes of real quality and they are engaged- reading is an activity that is shared from right down in EYFS with regular ‘stay and read’ sessions where family members can come in and enjoy books together, up to year 6. There’s a buzz around learning now that comes from a place of excitement and curiosity.
We hope you can join us on our journey.