"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go."
"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."
At Bedgrove Junior School, we want to inspire all children to become avid lifelong readers by delivering an engaging, cohesively-planned curriculum, delivered by enthusiastic teachers who ignite a passion for reading.
We strive to provide all children with the reading skills and strategies needed to succeed in becoming independent readers. It is our aim to ensure that our children transition between year groups and move to secondary school being able to access high-quality texts, in all subjects, through using decoding and comprehension skills – our children embark on the reading journey from phonics sessions through guided reading lessons across KS2 to develop them as a reader. We promote a love of reading through our frequent guided reading sessions, class reading time, effective use of the class and school library and celebrating events such as World Book Day – using a wide range of high-quality texts that celebrate different authors, genres and diversity. We strive hard to make sure reading is a well-loved and high-profile subject that is promoted by all members of staff. We also stretch and challenge our readers by providing opportunities to encounter, understand and use higher-level vocabulary to ensure they can use oracy through ‘book talk’ to deepen their understanding of a range of texts.
- Little Wandle Letters and Sounds SSP is used for teaching phonics in Year 3, and for continuous provision beyond the Autumn term for children that aren’t yet secure with their phonics understanding. Little Wandle reading scheme is used to further support these children across the school with practising their decoding skills and support with building comprehension. These children are assessed to track progress and support with creating phonics groups.
- Identified readers are listened to frequently (3x per week), including disadvantaged and SEN pupils.
- Whole-class Guided Reading is taught in four 30-minute sessions per week which includes book talk and comprehension type sessions. Differentiated questioning allows for challenge for all and a breadth of lesson styles promotes a love for reading. Comprehension lessons: focus on both the class text and alternative texts that may include poetry, non-fiction and picture books. Book talk lessons: all with an oracy focus – where we use either Jane Considine’s Reading Rainbow sentence stems, or an alternative activity that allows children to discuss a text and explore it at a deeper level. Free reading sessions: children and staff bring in books or other reading material of their choice and can spend time reading something they enjoy or share it with their peers.
- Reading skills explicitly outlined on planning, Smart notebooks and the children’s comprehension sheets. They are also explicitly referred to in wider curriculum reading. Children have access to the reading skills and strategies for supporting reading and these are referred to in lessons to embed understanding and ability to use.
- ICT is used regularly to support Guided Reading planning, teaching and learning.
- Through Talk for Writing, highly engaging texts allow pupils access to stronger vocabulary.
- PIXL assessments and data are used to identify areas for development for specific classes which are subsequently addressed with PIXL therapies; either in a whole class setting, as small groups, or independently.
- Further tuition groups across the school are put in place to close the gaps widened by school closures.
- Star reader tests are completed once per term to support with identifying and monitoring our lowest 20% of readers, as well as identifying children’s ZPD - the school ensures all texts are accurately matched to pupil ability, as all books within Accelerated Reader are graded to ensure progression and challenge for all children.
- Classes have library slots each week to allow them to visit, and to swap and read books.
- Teachers read to pupils regularly during story time (at least 3 times per week) from a novel selected by the teacher/the class for enjoyment.
- Whole-school reading spine has been updated to include a wide range age-appropriate texts that span a variety of genres and text types. These texts cover a breadth of subjects and celebrate diversity through content and different authors.
- Children opportunities to read for pleasure frequently across the week.
- Library refurbishment and book replenishment in Spring 2023 will promote reading and get children excited to read for pleasure.
On Thursday 21st September, Years 4, 5 and 6 were lucky enough to meet Jamie Littler, a children’s author and illustrator, who came for a special visit promoting his new book, ‘Arkspire’. And what an inspirational day it was! For both children and adults included, we were enthralled by the magical world of ‘Arkspire’ and simply could not wait to find out more. Jamie took us through his process of becoming an illustrator for other author’s until finally writing his own books. He took us on a journey through the trials and tribulations of the writing process, what inspires his ideas and how he illustrates his incredible books. We all got to have a go at drawing one of his characters alongside him, as well as helping him create a new character. Many children also walked away with a signed copy of Jamie’s new book with a special message from him inside. The children were buzzing as they left, hugging tight to their new books and discussing the imaginative new world of ‘Arkspire’ in great depth. It was simply fantastic and an unforgettable experience for all the children. It was great to see them so inspired by books and intrigued by the job of an author.
Jamie also had a look around our brand new library, which will be stocking his new book! He thought it was incredible and a great space for children to relax and enjoy a good book.
On Wednesday 15th November, Years 5 and 6 were star-struck when they met best-selling author, M.G Leonard, while promoting her book ‘The Ice Children’. The children were very excited to meet her having all read one of her books - ‘Twitch’ - in Year 4 in guided reading and some of the children had read her other books too. She was incredibly inspiring and enthusiastic about reading, writing and storytelling. Both children and teachers were in awe of her throughout the event and felt very lucky to have met her. It was fantastic to hear all about her inspiration behind each of her books, particularly when she discussed her love of all animals, insects and the environment. She read us the first chapter of the book and we hung onto her every word. It was amazing to see the children receiving their signed copies and many children have been racing to finish it ever since! Another wonderful and unforgettable experience for the children.
Parent Author Visit - Paula L. Estrela
On Thursday 16th November, Bedgrove were lucky enough to have Paula Estrela (mum of Eduardo and Isabella in Year 5) visit our school and talk to us about becoming a part-time author, whilst also being a parent and having another full-time job! She discussed self-publishing her book and what inspired her to write stories. It was lovely to see her journey to becoming an author and the visit has really encouraged the children to try to write their own stories and books. Her message about never giving up on your dreams encapsulates what we want to instil in our children here at Bedgrove Junior School.