How do we teach reading at Hardwick & Cambourne CP School?
Here at Hardwick and Cambourne Primary School we strive to ensure that all children will leave our school equipped with the skill of reading as well as having a a life-long love of reading. To reach that goal we begin our reading journey with daily phonics in EYFS and KS1 using the Letters and Sounds programme supported by the use of the Jolly Phonics kinaesthetic actions. As children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they practise by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them from our Collin's Big Cat for Letters and Sounds scheme as well as Oxford Reading Tree.
Once children have a secure knowledge of letter/sound correspondences and can blend words confidently, they access our colour coded Book Banded reading scheme which has books from various published schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree, Project X and Collins Big Cat for letters and sounds. These schemes are designed to give children experience of a variety of reading genres and allows children to practice their phonetic decoding as well as their common exception words. There are a great range of fiction and non-fiction books within each colour level. Children are regularly assessed to determine that the books they read in school and take home are at the correct level for them.
Once children can read fluently and with a good understanding, they self- select books to take home from a selection of organised books. Teachers supervise and check which books children are selecting each week to ensure children are building upon their reading ability as well as gaining a love of reading for pleasure.
In addition to daily phonics; all year groups from Reception to Year 6 will have daily or weekly reading lessons. This may take the form of a guided reading carousel or a whole class shared reading lesson. In these sessions children will focus on a variety of 'reading domains' such as text retrieval, comprehension and inference. Activities are finely tuned to the needs of the children and either support or extension put in place to cater for the needs of each individual child.
Class teachers also promote a love of reading by sharing what they are currently reading for pleasure on their classroom doors as well as offering the chance to ‘relax and read’ in book areas in their classrooms and break out library areas.
We reading at school and at home!
Wherever possible, please read with your child at home and expose them to a variety of fiction and non-fiction. Not only is reading an essential life skill but it can be a really rewarding past-time where quality and interesting texts are available and it will help build your child's vocabulary as well as their written skills. The lists attached are not exhaustive, but aim to provide an overview of potentially suitable books for your child to read with an adult and/or independently. Fairy tales and nursery rhymes are the ideal place to start learning to read and we would expect children to begin school with an understanding of the most well-known of these tales and rhymes. Older children still very much enjoy traditional fairy tales: The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, as well as 'twisted fairy tales' are always very popular in our assemblies. EYFS are enjoying their 'poetry basket' to learn poetry and song, so please ask your child to share these with you at home. Please see your child's teacher if you would like advice as to how to help encourage your child to read.
For access to 100s of Ebooks that follow the school's colour banded system try visiting these sites:
(requires an email to create a free account)
Reading Targets: age-related expectation
How to help with reading at home
Black Lives Matter
This is a very topical issue. BBC Newsround offers child-friendly information and advice for anyone wanting to learn more about racism, including how they might help. Within the Blue Peter link, there are also a number of additional links to web-pages that provide historical context and offer suggestions of where to seek support. The 'Little People Big Dreams' series can be a good starting point to help children learn about key black figures (and other influential people) from history. These picture books can make a lovely gift and can also be watched online for free via You Tube.
Books to support conversations about race and racism
It is important that we share stories from a broad range of cultures, races and experiences with our children. Right now stories about acceptance are more important than ever. Click on the link below to find a great selection of books for all ages:
Reading Well: books to help you feel better
Recommended Reads (Fiction)
Recommended Reads (Non-fiction)
http://subscribe.firstnews.co.uk/ : Children's newspaper
http://thehappynewspaper.com/ : A Newspaper that only reports good news
http://www.booksfortopics.com/ : Topic-related reads
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround: Online newsroom for children (reading and/or watching news items)
Magazines are a very useful resource for encouraging children to read in short bursts and to broaden their curriculum learning, interests and world knowledge vocabulary, for example:
- National Geographic for Kids
- First News
- The Phoenix
- The Week Junior
- Wildlife Watch
Recommended Reads: Chosen and Written Independently by our Children
Books for Boys
We asked our male staff to share what they enjoyed reading as children to help boys who might be reluctant to pick up a book or who might like some additional suggestions. Children from all year groups will also be posting their own reading recommendations on this page, but meantime this is what our staff have chosen to share as potential inspiration:
Mr Regon: he loved Spike Milligan's poems and other nonsense poetry, Goosebumps, Horrible History and Horrible Science series.
(the Poem Hunter website provides access to a range of poets)
Mr Minei: he was obsessed with Ronald Dahl books and even used to collect them! His favourites were The Twits, The Witches, The BFG and George’s Marvellous Medicine. When he was in year 5/6 he loved Fighting Fantasies books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. These are books where the reader has to make decisions and turn to the relevant page based on what they choose to do...he was engrossed these books.
Mr Hoban: he enjoyed Ronald Dahl, books by Dick King-Smith (especially Charlotte's Webb), a magazine called Aminal Ark, Happy Families, Winnie the Pooh, Wind in the Willows, The Littlest Vampire, The Beano, Oor Willie, Goosebumps. Mr Hoban says he read loads as a child. He particularly liked the poetry in Winnie the Pooh and also a poem called 'When Daddy Fell into the Pond' by Alfred Noyes (of The Highwayman fame) that was his favourite for ages. As young teenage reader, he enjoyed Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.