Reading at Bleak Hill

Reading is of paramount importance at Bleak Hill. It is something that we prioritise in our curriculum in a number of ways. We have our Reading Spines which link books to subjects within our curriculum; we practise reading skills daily as part of our Whole Class Reading sessions, we read for pleasure and also have writing drivers that provide the basis for our English curriculum.

Whole Class Reading Sessions

During our whole class reading lessons our children are explicitly taught the skills of reading (outlined in the National Curriculum and the KS1 and KS2 test domains).

KS1 Reading Skills:

1a: Draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts (Vocabulary)

1b: Identify/ explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction, such as characters, events, titles and information (Retrieve)

1c: Identify and explain the sequences of events in texts (Sequence)

1d: Make inferences from the text (Infer)

1e: Predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far (Predict)

KS2 Reading Skills:

2a: Give/explain the meaning of words in context. [Word Knowledge]

2b: Retrieve and record information/identify key details from fiction and non-fiction. [Sign Posting]

2c: Summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph.

2d: Make inferences from the text/explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text.

2e: Predict what might happen from details stated and implied.

2f: Identify/explain how information/narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole.

2g: Identify/explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases. [Word Choice]

2h: Make comparisons within the text.

Whole Class Reading Lesson Structure

Monday Interrogate the Text - retrieval based questions on the selected text for the week
Tuesday Vocabulary - understanding definitions of ambitious vocabulary used in the text
Wednesday Model and Mirror - deduction based questions answered as a class
Thursday Warm Application - independent questions assessing children's understanding of the text
Friday Cold Application - comprehension activity on an unseen text


Reading for Pleasure and Accelerated Reader

We believe that it is vital that children have time to read a variety of books so they enjoy reading. Reading for Pleasure. This reading is not to work towards an objective or a writing opportunity to but to simply get lost in a book and become a life long reader.

We use Accelerated Reader at Bleak Hill to motivate and enthuse childre to read for pleasure and to celebrate our children's amazing reading across the year at school.

What is Accelerated Reader?

AR is part of the Renaissance Reading software package recently adopted by the school to encourageand motivate children to become avid readers and enable our classes to build communities of readers.  

Your child will choose a book at their own level and read it at their own pace.  When finished, they will take a short quiz on the computer, the quiz allows teachers to track the books that the children have enjoyed also gives a word count so that we are able to celebrate our word millionaires within school.

AR is used as part of a comprehensive reading programme in place at Bleak Hill  Primary School for children in from Year 2 - 6.  While we continue to teach the skills of reading in class through whole class reading texts and whole class texts, the AR books chosen by your child will provide them with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have developed. 

What are STAR Reading Tests?          

Every child taking part in AR will complete a STAR reading test at the beginning of the year and at the start of each half-term.  It is a roughly twenty minute multiple choice reading assessment completed individually on the computer.  Questions continually adjust to your child’s responses so if their response is correct, the difficulty level is increased.  If they miss a question or give an incorrect answer, the difficulty level is reduced. 

The STAR reading test, along with teacher judgement assists us in identifying a child’s ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) range and provides the children with an area of books to choose from in the library. 

Class Novel

Reading aloud is one of the most important elements to our reading for pleasure element at Bleak Hill. Reading aloud allows our children to experience and enjoy rich, texts that they might not meet otherwise. We make it a priority at Bleak Hill and have a dedicated class novel set for each year group across the year. Reading aloud is a non negotiable that occurs everyday and time is specifically allocated to enable all of our children to have this quality listening and appreciation time. By reading well chosen books aloud, teachers help classes to become communities of readers – ensuring they can all share in experiences of a wide repertoire of books they enjoy. This links to the commitment we have to deepening and broadening our children’s vocabulary and promoting reading for pleasure.

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