At Alexandra Park Primary, we love reading and value the endless benefits that it provides. We believe it is key not just for academic success but also for enjoyment and fulfilment in many areas of life. We have found that children who enjoy reading are generally happier in school and achieve better not just in English but across the entire curriculum. We promote a reading culture that inspires children to love reading, makes them want to read and helps them to develop into ardent, avid readers and life-long learners. Research demonstrates just how crucial reading for pleasure is to children’s future mental health and economic success. Our ambitious expectations are that our children LOVE reading! Our children should be taught to read fluently, understand both fiction and non-fiction and be encouraged to read for pleasure. We will do everything we can to promote wider reading. We will provide library facilities and set ambitious expectations for reading at home. Our children will be helped to develop the stamina and skills to read at length. We believe teachers should develop pupils’ reading and writing in all subjects.
"That's the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet."
- Jhumpa Lahiri
We want our children to Care, Aspire and Achieve. We are committed to delivering a curriculum which enables all of our children to become confident and ambitious readers with a passion for reading. We aim for our children to gain knowledge, understanding and curiosity through reading that remains with them for life.
Care: A reading diet that develops every child’s ability to care, respect and understand themselves, others and the world in which they live.
Aspire: A reading diet that provides a wide range of texts, carefully chosen to develop every child’s sense of what is possible for them to achieve now and in their future lives.
Achieve: A reading diet that ensures all children’s reading ability enables them to access skills and knowledge in all aspects of their lives. We want each child to have their own reading identity and crucially an attitude that allows them to achieve in all areas of life.
Alexandra Park Primary School Reading Approach
Our reading curriculum is evidenced based and is continually developed as a result of our research, using a range of internal and external sources. Our key aim is for every child to leave our school as a competent and confident reader, who has a true love of reading.
The curriculum is designed to develop phonological awareness, accuracy, phrasing, reading for meaning and overall comprehension skills.
The curriculum is designed to nurture reading fluency, allowing all children to confidently, smoothly and expressively read a wide range of texts. This should enable children to not only enjoy reading but also be able to approach any text with a strong growth mind-set and a desire to overcome any challenging language or principles.
A Love of Reading
The curriculum is designed to engage and inspire the children and foster a lifelong love of reading. Reading lessons are taught across the school and are tailored to meet the needs of the children within the specific year group. A range of practices and designs will be used to ensure all of the above is achieved on a consistent basis.
"Let us remember. One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world."
At the start of the Alexandra Park Reading Journey, children take part in daily guided reading sessions for at least thirty minutes. The guided reading method is chosen to allow a teacher to work with small groups of children working at a similar instructional level. This allows the teacher to show children how to use appropriate reading strategies and how to apply them into independent reading. Children are grouped by ability. There are five groups of no more than six children to enable teachers to provide tailored instruction and feedback to develop individual children’s reading strategies. Our reading journey closely matches the Letters and Sounds phonics programme that is delivered within EYFS and Key Stage 1.
"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
- Frederick Douglass
Years 3 to 6 have daily whole class Guided Reading lessons which focus on high quality texts chosen by the teacher. This is delivered through a weekly reading cycle that includes daily lessons focusing on prediction, fluency, reading for meaning, vocabulary and comprehension skills. All year groups have a daily story session where the teacher reads from the class book. The focus of this session is reading for pleasure. Each classroom has a selection of books in their classroom available for children to choose and read independently.
"Books are a uniquely portable magic."
- Stephen King
"My son has always enjoyed reading but seems to have taken big strides forwards in him abilities this year."
"Both of my children have started reading more, asked to go to the library more and asked for books for their birthday also!"