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Reading at Holt House

Reading is at the heart of our school.  Attractive and engaging reading areas in every classroom bring high quality books alive for children, so that they can immerse themselves in reading.  Through well planned and sequenced lessons, children learn the essential reading knowledge and skills that they need for life.  There are many opportunities for reading throughout the school day which include:
⦁ Individual reading – one adult reading with one child
⦁ Guided reading – one adult reading with a group where everyone has the same book
⦁ Shared reading – one adult reading one big text large enough for everyone to see with a class
⦁ Independent reading
⦁ Story time with their teacher
Children are encouraged and expected to read and enjoy books at home. When children need extra support we provide additional reading in school.

Synthethic phonics is learning about sounds and then synthesizing them together to make words. Learning phonics is the main way in which we teach children to read. At Holt House we use the ‘Monster Phonics’ programme.
Most children are able to learn to read by learning phonics. A few children find this tricky, but are helped to catch up quickly with one of our reading support programmes. If there are any concerns about a child’s reading, parents and carers will be informed and Mrs Reilly, the special needs co-ordinator, may get involved.Phonics is taught progressively, in a fun way that everyone can enjoy.  Children are provided with phonetically decodable books to help them read independently.

Early Readers
Children who are not ready yet to read published books have their own personal book called, ‘My Reading Book’ which has the first sounds and words in it to practise at home. Sounds and words are added to ‘My Reading Book’ until the children can read simple sentences.

Developing Readers
Once a child can read simple sentences, their teacher will chose a book for them to take home to read. This is linked to their reading development and is changed after the weekly group guided reading session with the teacher. It should be read and practised several times, so that it can be read easily, without sounding out.

Confident Readers
Children who have secure phonics knowledge and are confident readers transfer to the ‘book band’ approach (usually in term 3 of Y1, or early in Y2). This gives them the opportunity to read from a range of books at each stage, so that they can read widely and develop their comprehension skills. Children are supported in choosing a book that they would like to take home from their colour band, so that they develop the skill of selecting their own book.

Loving Reading
Children should take home a picture fiction book each week for story time with their parents and carers, particularly if they are not confident readers. This ‘story time book’ is not linked to a child’s reading development. This book is just for pleasure and may be read to a child by their parents or carer. This book can be changed in the mornings at 8.40am, if parents and carers wish. Children are also taken to visit the local library at Ecclesall and are encouraged to become members.

Support for Parents and Carers
Parents and carers should help their child by reading to them and listening to them read their ‘My Reading Book’ or the book given to them by their teacher every day. Teachers will write messages to parents in their child’s reading diary and may ask them to do something extra to help their child. Teachers are available at the beginning and end of every day for brief conversations – for longer conversations, appointments can be made. Every term there is an opportunity for parents to have a meeting with their child’s teacher about their learning. Teachers also write short reports for parents in December and March and a longer report in July. Each year parents can attend a reading workshop in school for their child’s year group. Please have a look at the powerpoints from these workshops.

Recomended Books

Early Years reading workshop Early Years reading workshop
Year 1 reading workshopYear 1 reading workshop
Year 2 reading workshopYear 2 reading workshop