How we teach reading

Reading has a high profile at Hannah More. It is the key to effective learning. Children are encouraged to appreciate books, to read independently, to make good progress and to take immense pleasure in reading. We aim to foster skills which will remain with the children for life. 

We aspire to support our children to become language rich. We believe that this can be best acheived through reading widely and reading ambitiously.


The start of the reading journey:

In the Reception classes, we encourage ‘book talk’. The children learn to handle books, they talk constantly about what’s happening and they begin to recognise a few key words. All this is happening alongside a phonics programme so that, when the children are learning letters and sounds, they can always apply these skills to the books they are reading. Therefore, you will see a story book, a phonics book and a reading book go home in the children’s book bags.

Moving on through Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2):

In year 1 and 2, as well as the teaching of phonics, there is also a focus on comprehension and reading for enjoyment.

All children will have an opportunity to read individually with an adult. We use a ‘banded’ scheme which is carefully graded to move the readers quickly; using one small step at a time.

In addition to that ‘Guided Reading’ takes place in classes daily, through a carousel of Reading activities to further develop word recognition and comprehension skills. We have added to our stock of books for guided reading over the years so that children can experience many different types of texts.

Classes, from year 1 upwards, have a guided reading session every day, for half an hour. Each group works at least once a week with the teacher, taking part in a guided reading session and following a detailed plan. During this time, the other groups focus on other reading activities linked to the text that they are reading with the teacher. These may be:

· Comprehension: reading a section of the text independently and answering questions about it.

· Reading Enrichment, the children read books/comics/newspapers or stories/poems/play or texts they have written themselves, quietly.

· Follow-up Tasks, linked to a guided reading session.

· Vocabulary tasks, linked to the text that is being read with the teacher

In all these activities, the teaching teams will look for opportunities to deepen ‘book talk’ and to develop the children’s spoken vocabulary.

Additional Support for Reading in Key Stage 1:

We have a support structure in place to give further help to children, if needed. All year 1 and 2 LSAs have been training in boosting individual readers. We have a ‘Reading Recovery’ teacher who works with class teachers, LSAs and the Special Education Needs co-ordinator to ensure all children are provided with the help they need to get off to a good start in reading. To facilitate this the Reading Recovery teacher works predominantly with Foundation Stage and Year 1 children.

Moving on through Key Stage 2 (years 3-6):

We are happy to see most children are reading fluently by the time they start juniors. Our task now is to make sure the children’s understanding of the text is keeping up with their ability to read fluently.

The teaching team will be asking highly focused questions that challenge children's ideas:

In fiction, we will be developing their ability to infer, deduce and to speculate on the reasons for authors' character, setting and plot choices. We will be using new texts as an opportunity to grow a rich spoken vocabulary.

We will use non-fiction texts to deepen the children’s understanding of topic work across the curriculum. We are seeking to ensure children appreciate reading helps them to understand the world around them. Again, we aim to use reading as a tool to increase the children’s vocabulary across every subject area.

Like the infants, junior children take part in a guided reading session, they will work at least once a week with their class teacher in a small, focused group, so that the class teacher can closely monitor progress in understanding.

Additional Support for children in Key Stage 2

All KS2 LSAs are trained in a variety of reading interventions. These interventions become increasingly specialised as the children move up the school, often tailored to the individual needs of each child. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator or the Reading Recovery teacher is on hand to advice teaching teams as needed.

More About 'Reading For Enjoyment'

We love to talk more about this! it’s key to developing that love of reading which inspires children to explore, learn and grow, integrating ideas for themselves.

In class teachers spend time sharing their favourite books with their class. Each term, each year group study a particular author. They read and compare books by their chosen author. That means, by the end of their school life, the children will know at least 30 significant authors.

Reading for Enjoyment in our ‘Hub’

Part of learning to read well is about finding your way around a good library.

We all love our ‘Hub’; a well-stocked, fully working library that is run by children as well as staff. We regularly add up to date fiction and interesting information texts, linked to websites. We subscribe to some magazines and even our own published newspaper is in the Hub. We have a school librarian who has the most delightful job; showing children how to delve into a text and...where to find it! All our book stock is computerised using the ‘Junior Librarian Net’ service.

Two children from each class who have been trained as 'Junior Librarians'. We look for children who have the characteristics and skills suited to library work. However, above all this, we were looking for children who love reading a wide variety of books and want to share their enjoyment with others. Our librarians help other children find books in the library that are exciting, interesting and easy enough to read but... with a bit of a challenge thrown in.

We are ever keen to involve parent’s and families in the children’s reading journey. So do drop us a line if you would like to experience reading at Hannah More for yourself. We’d love to hear about your favourite reading activities too!

Watch our video below, in English or Somali, to learn more about what we do and how you can support your child in learning to read.

Reading with Your Child ENGLISH VERSION from Adam DJ Laity on Vimeo.

Reading with Your Child SOMALI VERSION from Adam DJ Laity on Vimeo.

In the videos below, our Reading Recovery teacher, Kirsty Judge explains how we support children to become confident and familiar with books, and how you can too!

Reading video 1 - Book Talk.mp4 from Bern Leckie on Vimeo.

Reading video 2 - Bridge from Talking to Reading.mp4 from Bern Leckie on Vimeo.

Reading video 3 - Meaning.mp4 from Bern Leckie on Vimeo.



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Contact us

0117 9039936
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Hannah More Primary School, New Kingsley Road, St Philips, Bristol, BS2 0LT


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