'There's so much more to a book than just the reading.' Maurice Sendak
At Morley Victoria we consider Reading to be ‘The Master Skill’. Reading allows children to acquire an array of new knowledge; to develop new skills from across the wider curriculum and to bring different subjects to life through non-fiction. Reading fiction texts allows children to ‘get lost in a book’ and immerse themselves into the wonderful world of their imagination. Our children also love poetry – this is something that the children enjoy in every year group. We aspire to ensure that all children leave our school reading to the very best of their ability and ready for the challenge of the next stage in their education.
Reading at home
It is an expectation at Morley Victoria that learning is a shared responsibility between home and school, therefore all of our children and families are asked to read at home at least three times a week. The expectation is the same from Foundation to Year 6.
In the Foundation Stage the staff work with our families to demonstrate what ‘good reading’ looks like. They discuss posture, how to hold a book and how to interpret pictures and how children should hold their book. The aim is that good habits, formed early on, will benefit the children as they progress through school.
It is vital that our children not only read but that they are read to. Children love listening to stories, no matter how old they are. Share books, talk about books, join the library…make it a special time to sit and read together. There are many audio books available to share with your child too - this sometimes gives a different slant on reading if someone else or even the author is reading the story. Listening to the change in tone, and different voices, can make it very exciting and appealing. It is also lovely and relaxing way to end the day.
Resources to help you at home
On this page you will find folders with many useful resources that you can draw from for ideas to help promote reading at home; from suggested and recommended reading lists to the presentations that the staff have done about reading. We also use Twitter to raise awareness of organisations such as The Book Trust and recommendations for reading from the DfE.
Our staff will organise meetings that will offer support and guidance for helping your child read at home – look out for letters coming home via email. We will also provide information packs, which include lots about reading at your Learning Review Meetings twice a year.
Reading at school
Reading is a big part of what we do in school on a daily basis – reading is incorporated into everything we do. Sometimes we read individually, in pairs and sometimes in groups. Reading is done as a whole class – our children love to read and they especially love being read to! Reading ambassadors from Year 6 go and read with the children in Nursery – a treat to watch! We read in lessons, in assemblies and at every other given opportunity.
Early Reading and Phonics
In the Nursery and Reception classes, when staff feel the time is right and the children have acquired enough of the initial sounds in phonics, the children are presented with a book to read. This is often very exciting! The children and their grown ups are shown what to do by the teachers so they can replicate this at home.
The children in Foundation and Key Stage One are read with individually once a week. Some children may get some additional reading should we deem it necessary to aid their progress. The children’s books are carefully selected by staff so that their reading and phonic ability are closely matched. Our main book scheme in school is 'Bug Club' but we do have a range of resources and reading materials as we recognise that one scheme will not fit all types of learners. Each child is assessed regularly using ‘Running Records’ to establish whether a book is at the right level for the child’s ability. The children will also receive sound cards and/or some high frequency or tricky words to learn alongside their book. The teachers will show families how to play games using the cards. ‘Wonderful Words’ are introduced from Nursery to Year 2 to develop and extend the children’s understanding and use of complex vocabulary.
Whole Class Reading
In Key Stage Two, we continue to track reading closely and for some children the individual reading continues to ensure that progress is made. Running Records continue to the end of Blue Band so that we can track the children’s skills and identify gaps. After this we continue to encourage the children to choose books to read for pleasure but ensure that their reading material will continue to strengthen their vocabulary and challenge their thinking.
Whole Class Reading was new in 2019 for us at Morley Victoria and this goes across Key Stage Two (with KS1 dipping in and out as appropriate). This model allows the children to access a text that is age appropriate but at a level beyond what they would possibly read to themselves. The children take part in fluency lessons which focus on pace and content. They do ‘Vocab Busts’ within these lessons as well – helping the children to develop a broad and ambitious vocabulary. The children are then taught specific reading skills which we call ‘The Magnificent Seven’. These skills are taught explicitly and through the text so that the context is apparent. Our aim is that the children will be able to identify within a question, what skill is required in order to find the answer. The children will be expected to be able to respond to the full range of question types in both verbal and written formats. Feedback from the children and the staff is immensely positive.
What else do we do?
We are lucky that our children have access to a range of different books in our libraries and class book corners from Nursery to Year 6. We also have ‘The Book Club’ saving scheme operating in Foundation Stage to encourage that love of books from the very start.
In school we also have and celebrate:
- Free and accessible libraries
- Reading challenges – in classes, year groups and sometimes for the whole school
- Reading Ambassadors
- Mystery Readers! (Please volunteer if you would like to surprise a class with a story.)
- Extreme Reading?
- Recommended reading lists for fiction, non-fiction, poetry and magazines
- Reading assemblies with our special reading chair!
- MV Book Day
- The Book Fair
- Y6 take part in the Leeds Book Awards
- The Summer Library Challenge
We are always open and looking at ways to further encourage reading – let us know if you have any ideas.