At Carnforth School, we love reading. We believe that reading is the cornerstone to learning. A love of reading is nurtured through opportunities to read a range of exciting books, for a range of purposes, but most importantly – to enjoy them. Reading underpins our curriculum and our thematic approach to learning. Through considered planning, we build regular opportunities for children to be exposed to a range of rich, high quality texts through many different aspects of the curriculum, not just in reading and writing. We believe a child’s reading journey begins when they are a baby, through sharing books at home. As they enter school, our aim is to nurture this love of reading.
‘I love reading because it’s fun and it helps your writing as well. It’s great having loads of new books in our library too – it makes me want to read even more!’
At Carnforth, we understand that language variation in children is a complex issue and one that requires careful planning and a rich diet of both language and immersion in books to bridge the word gap. Quality interactions rich in talk and language provide the building blocks for reading and an emphasis on this development is created right from Nursery. Children’s experiences are built upon through the use of high-quality texts, which exposes children to a rich range of vocabulary and linguistic conventions. DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read) is a much-loved moment of the school day in which classes read together for pleasure.
‘DEAR time is fun because it will help you with your writing because it gives you vocabulary. I like listening to stories as well as reading alone.’
Enhanced by the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to begin to develop fluency by the end of EYFS and become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. Teaching is tailored to the children’s need through high quality teaching and timely, rigorous assessment in order to match learning to enable continuous, speedy progress.
The teaching of daily phonics is a whole school approach which is given a high priority. Our children’s journey to becoming fluent readers is bolstered through the provision of home reading books that are matched to their reading ability. This provision is school-wide to ensure that all children access reading books that are appropriate to their reading ages and abilities, whether these books are phonetically matched or allocated via their ZPD.
In Year 1,children transition into developing comprehension skills through specific taught sessions that build upon reading mechanics and early comprehension skills covered in EYFS Children at Carnforth learn comprehension skills through a bespoke reading programme we have called ‘Reading Together.’ The aim of this is to equip and develop children to be competent and confident in their comprehension of reading.
Reading Together sessions are built around the Reading Domains, in which children are taught specific skills which are developed and KS1 and built upon across KS2. As part of these sessions children are exposed to and taught explicit strategies for answering different question types including: Right There, Dig Deeper and Reading Detective. At Carnforth we see reading as broken down into two main aspects; Reading in the Moment and After Reading. Children are developing skills to be active readers that fully appreciate what they are reading and show a thorough understanding. A universal language has been adopted and developed to support children with embedding the strategies into their long term memory.
‘I like Accelerated reader as it makes us want to have more points and read more. It has made us like books even more.’
‘If you read more books, you get more ideas and I learn how to use more description.’
At Carnforth School, the children’s reading diet is jam-packed including visits to the library, taking part in the university book festival and performances. Reading Ambassadors represent classes for reading and help to shape the content of books in our school library, create reward systems and support children who are finding reading challenging.
‘I used to enjoy reading a bit, but now I love it. It’s really exciting, especially all our new books!’
At Carnforth, in EYFS we want our children to be excited by books and stories, to ask questions and become intrigued and to be confident with decoding, segmenting and blending. Children will be able to demonstrate that they have secured the phonemes in set 1 and some of set 2. They will demonstrate the ability to read and understand simple sentences by using their phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately.
By the end of KS1 we want our children to be fluent readers – confident with strategies to use if they are stuck and to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the text through comprehension questions. At the end of KS2 (and beyond) we want children to be developing a life-long passion for reading and see the benefits that this can bring. Children will be confident entering the next stage of their learning journey armed with a range of strategies to understand the text and its impact on them.
Going for gold! At Carnforth, children work to earn reading stars; each term, children can be rewarded with a bronze, silver or gold star that can be worn on their blazer or jumper. Stars are awarded according to how many times they have read at home. Children can earn one each term so by the end of the year, they could have three shiny stars upon their uniform!
Within each class, reading ambassadors were voted in democratically by their peers. The reading ambassadors represent each class and have many important duties such as: Creating displays, recommending books and authors, supporting children with their accelerated quizzes, organising the library, reading with younger children and purchasing books for the school.
To nurture a love of reading in our children, we encourage the reading of a broad and rich selection of books. Our Reading Passports have been complied with a list of age appropriate texts to stimulate and engage our young readers.
Accelerated Reader: Click on the button below to go directly to our school’s Accelerated Reader page:
Ruth Miskin parent portal: Click the button below to go directly to the Ruth Miskin “Read, Write Inc” website:
Oxford Owl parent zone: Click on the button below for hints and tips for helping with phonics at home: