Teaching Reading at Harefield Junior School
We regard reading as the most fundamental skill that children need to have as it plays such a central part in pupil learning.
Phonics at Harefield Junior School
Children will have started to develop phonic knowledge when they were in the infant school. When the children reach the juniors, teachers from both schools will share information regarding the children’s phonic knowledge. Teachers at Harefield Junior School then continue to record systematically the progress of pupils' phonics understanding and this carries on through key stage 2 until pupils are fully confident in their understanding and use of phonics.
All children in the junior school will be given a reading book. Children will be heard read both at school and at home and children will work their way through progressively more challenging books that form our reading scheme. Teachers will judge when children are ready to move on to the next ‘colour’ band until eventually they are confident enough to become free readers.
Free readers have a ‘free’ choice of books from the school library or from home; this is generally towards the latter part of KS2 and is dependent on a child’s progress and comprehension. Throughout this time we encourage children to read widely and not just from the school’s scheme books, as these form only one part of their reading development. The school actively encourages members of the local community, whether they are parents, carers or grandparents, to come in to school to hear children read within lesson time. Harefield also runs an incentive scheme called ‘Reading around the Solar System’ to encourage daily reading at home, and staff monitor and reward children who read regularly. Events such as DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) also occur throughout the year in order to raise the profile of reading for pleasure in school.
The English Curriculum
Both English lessons and the wider curriculum provide opportunities for children to develop their reading skills. As well as developing children's word recognition, teaching increasingly focuses on ensuring that pupils have a full understanding of what they have read and how to apply this knowledge.
Pupils undertake guided reading sessions from Year 3 onwards. These are normally organised in ability groups to ensure the texts chosen are appropriate to the needs of the children. Teachers and other school staff will lead small groups who read passages from books and complete follow up comprehension exercises. Teachers will take notes to plot the children's progress. In Key Stage 2 the school has identified key, or core, texts, which allow the children access to a wide range of books and authors. Each child is given their own copy of the book which is used as the basis for English lessons and pupils are sometimes expected to carry out additional reading tasks at home.
In addition to ongoing assessment, more formal assessments in reading are carried out at various times. Throughout Key Stage 2 pupils will undertake half-termly assessments in reading with end-of-year results reported to parents. At the end of Year 6, pupils undertake a reading SATs test which is externally set and marked. Pupils are expected to achieve a nationally expected standard; these results are always explained and released to pupils before the children leave to go to secondary school
Throughout the junior school, pupils also undertake reading tests to ascertain a reading age. This information, together with other assessments, allows teachers to identify children who may need additional support.
Children throughout the school are able to borrow books from our school’s library. Each child has access to the school’s library internet system, where s/he can review books or work out what books are on loan to him or her.
Likewise we work with the local Harefield Library on schemes such as the Summer Reading Challenge. Harefield Library also comes in regularly to host assemblies to the school, as well as take part in the annual World Book Day events. Local authors/artists are also encouraged to visit the school and talk to children about reading and writing. In addition the school runs its own similar schemes such as ‘Book at Bedtime’ over the Christmas holidays.
Staff have created lists of books for each year group to read. Please download the attached documents.