Our Vision Statement for Reading:
At Featherstone Academy, we will endeavour to provide outstanding reading experiences with exciting and inspiring learning opportunities that promote the importance of this lifelong skill.
We use a number of different strategies to promote a child’s love of books and encourage them to become confident, independent readers. The children are provided with many opportunities to read, enjoy and share books as well as being exposed to a language rich environment, which provides access to many different types of print. We have a large inviting library that contains a wide range of reading materials to support children of all abilities. Throughout the school day children are provided with many opportunities to engage in various activities to develop and strengthen their reading skills. These include guided reading sessions, story times and group library sessions.
Every Friday afternoon the children swap classes so that younger children get the opportunity to read with older children in the school. Starting in Foundation Stage, we take every opportunity to expose the children to books, rhymes and stories.
At Featherstone Academy, pre-reading skills are taught using synthetic phonics and the school follows the government published programme ‘Letters and Sounds’, using resources from the ‘Ruth Miskin’ programme. We use a multi-sensory approach that accommodates all learning styles. The children are taught within the phase that is appropriate to their level of development. They are assessed on a regular basis and groups are sorted accordingly. The phonemes (sounds) are systematically taught before the children are shown how to blend them for reading and segmenting them for writing. Alongside this the children are taught the ’high frequency words’ (those words which do not entirely follow the phonic rules). Staff receive regular training in the teaching of phonics which enables them to deliver interesting, interactive sessions that engage and motivate the children.
From year 3 children receive BRP (Better Reading Partnership) run by trained TAs.
At Featherstone, we use various reading programmes, including Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. Children take home a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books which are carefully selected to match their current reading level and interests. Parents are requested to listen to their children read and provide comments in their individual reading record book. Once they become independent readers, children select their own reading material and they are also requested to complete a reading task on completion of a book to show their understanding of the text. We also use Bug Club which is an online reading programme which also aims to improve the children’s comprehension skills.
Parents are key partners in a child’s learning and are invited into school on a regular basis to view their children’s work and discuss their progress with staff. At Featherstone Academy, we host a reading café every Tuesday at 2.30pm for parents and grandparents to read with their children.