Approach to reading
Every day at Stepney Primary School children throughout the Foundation stage and Key stage 1 have a focused phonics session, with small groups led by a member of staff. This is really important as phonics underpins and enables pupils to learn to read and enables them to be a successful reader and access all other areas of the school curriculum.
Pupils first learn their letter sounds taking care to pronounce them correctly. Then they apply these to word building so they can read small words. The letter sounds are taught in the order that the speech sounds are acquired, therefore it supports the early stages of speech and language development. Pupils learn to read the phonemes and blend them together to read the words. The children learn to read small words and then build up to two and three syllable words with all 44 phonemes and their alternative choices. At the same time the pupils are taught to segment the words to spell them and choose the correct spelling choice.
Pupils are also taught to use and apply their phonics to read both real and nonsense words, children in year 1 are required to be tested using their phonics to read a range or real and nonsense words.
Whilst children are building up their phonics skills they learn to apply these within their reading and writing.
During their phonics sessions they are able to apply their newly acquired reading and writing skills to write captions, read books and investigate spelling choices.
Pupils read every day individually, sometimes in small groups and as a whole class (often called guided reading and shared reading). The reading books chosen by the teachers are very carefully matched to a pupil’s ability providing a suitable challenge for them to comprehend the book and answer questions about what they are reading about. A variety of different genres, both fiction and non-fiction are chosen at the appropriate level of ability for each pupil. As well as being able to read the text and answer simple questions, pupils are encouraged to discuss the book, expressing their individual opinions of the content and answer inference questions and will be asked to compare the themes and speculate on the tone of different texts.
We use a range of literature from a variety of reading schemes . to excite and engage all readers. We also encourage pupils to select their own books and welcome suggestions regarding the texts they would like to read in future. Pupils are encouraged to read regularly at home by themselves and with their parents/carers.
Reading is a valuable, lifelong skill that intersects all areas of the curriculum. We develop our pupils reading through independent and shared reading as well as crosscurricular sessions which empower them to find pleasure in reading.
On the way to our KS2 classrooms, pupils pass through our library area. Sometimes used as a
teaching space for small groups, this is often used as a place for reading and for pupils
choosing books. It's kept in order by the English coordinator and year 6 library monitors. We
have recently been revamping this area and there are still plans to improve it further. We have
long term loans collections from the Hull School Libraries Service in the library as well having
short term loans for our termly thematic subjects.
We are fortunate that it is only a short walk into the city centre so we take advantage of this
and visit Hull Central Children's Library, borrowing books and attending events.
We love to celebrate the joy of reading at Stepney. We always make sure World Book Day are World Poetry Day are fun times, especially when it's a chance to dress up in fancy dress. We sometimes have a VIP visit from well-known authors and illustrators. In 2017, during Hull City of Culture year, we had the honour of welcoming the Children's Laureate himself to Stepney. Chris Riddell, spent an afternoon drawing with our pupils and students from Hull College's School of Art. These pictures then formed part of an exhibition at Hull Central Library.