At Meldreth Primary School, we believe that reading should be a fundamental part of childhood and a skill, which should be developed to support lifelong learning. Our aim is to develop and embed a strong, sustainable reading culture within the school community. Confident and competent readers will foster a love of reading through a rich and varied experience of texts, in which they are empowered to exercise freedoms of choice and independence.

We aim to enable pupils to:

  • read fluently and with understanding across a wide range of texts, on paper and on screen
  • use all available cues (phonic, graphic, semantic, syntactic and other visual cues such as pictures) in a text to search for meaning
  • understand that texts are composed for different purposes and are read for different purposes, e.g. for enjoyment, to inform, to provide models for their own writing, to persuade, to explain etc
  • make progress as readers and to become increasingly reflective readers
  • develop a positive image of themselves as competent readers
  • enjoy reading and to value books, respecting and caring for them

Our aim is for all children to become effective readers so that they can

  • read for meaning
  • discuss meaning and respond to the content in texts
  • predict and make informed guesses
  • use strategies of skimming and scanning in their reading
  • use a broad sight vocabulary
  • apply phonic, graphic, semantic and syntactic cues easily
  • read with accuracy, fluency and speed, both silently and aloud
  • express personal preferences about texts and their content
  • make critical appraisals of texts
  • explain the main and supporting ideas in a text
  • use indexes, glossaries, contents pages effectively
  • interpret information that is presented in a variety of different ways
  • use dictionaries and thesauruses and encyclopaedias appropriately – both written and electronic
  • use a library efficiently

How we support your child in becoming an independent reader

Children are supported in the development of their reading skills in a number of ways;

Guided Reading 

Where small group instruction in which the teacher guides students through a text that is at the children’s instructional reading level.  The role of the teacher is crucial in guided reading. Guided reading is planned, focused instruction.  The ultimate goal is to foster independent readers.

Shared Reading

Where a teacher leads and guides a group or the class in reading a shared text together, typically displayed on the interactive whiteboard, visualiser or by ‘Big Book’ for all to see. Specific decoding, grammatical or organisational features of texts can be clearly taught using this method.

Individual Reading – This is where you can help! 

Up to Year 3

Children have access to levelled books in class organised by coloured bands, to support the development of their individual reading skills. Children remain on banded readers until they become independent – usually by Year 3 or 4.

A guide to home reading is sent home for parents, which also introduces our online home-school reading record GoRead.

Year 3 and above

Once independent, children can choose from a wide variety of books from their class library. Children are encouraged to read at home for at least 20 minutes every day. They should be supported by an adult whenever possible until they are independent, self-motivated readers. Teachers also read a class novel or short story on a regular basis as part of a ‘story time’ session where quality texts are chosen.

Research shows that the amount of time children spend in independent reading is the best predictor of their overall literacy and language achievement. Reading independently for sustained periods helps children build fluency and become self-reliant readers.

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