At Cross Farm we have an important role to play! We strive for every child to be a confident reader. We aim to foster an intrinsic ‘love of reading’ through ‘cosy clubs’ reading focused Marvellous Mondays, author and illustrator visits, Mystery readers and so much more. Reading is taught following the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage expectations. Reading is an essential life skill that provides access to the experiences of people from different cultures and times. Children must acquire good reading skills in order to access the information that will support their development in all curriculum areas. Reading also offers emotional benefits. Through listening to and talking about stories, children can talk about their ideas and feelings and lose themselves in books. Our Reading policy outlines the importance of a balance between word reading and language comprehension skills with high engagement of dialogic talk between adults and children.

We have our own Cross Farm systematic synthetic phonics progression map from Reception to Year 2. Phonic sounds are taught daily across the school Monday to Thursday and the whole school ends the week with tricky word Friday activities. We use a multi-sensory approach to our phonics encompassing visual, auditory and kinesthetic activities. In Reception the children are exposed to many phase 1 opportunities in the first 2  weeks and throughout the year. They then start to learn phase 2 phonics in discrete teaching and learning sessions alongside phase 1 games and rhyming. This is promoted in the indoor and outdoor classrooms through continuous provision.
To promote language comprehension, core texts have been chosen based on the children’s interest and Pie Corbett’s Reading spine. They focus on rehearsal, widening vocabulary, pattern and rhyme. There are ‘Talk for writing’ resources linked to the texts to promote story telling in both the indoor and outside classrooms. As some children arrive in Reception with gaps in their language and communication skills we believe that language comprehension should be taught alongside Word Reading throughout their journey at Cross Farm so they have the best chance of understanding texts and developing their love of reading. We use three skills of retrieve, interpret and choice to teach language comprehension with a clear focus on the rich vocabulary in texts as research shows that the number of words a child has heard and can speak by the age of 3 is a predictor of their later language development. From Reception the children are taught the skills to retrieve information and interpret what they read. As they move through the school they learn about choice and apply inference and deduction to gain a deeper understanding of texts. We use images to support these skills across the school.

• Children leave Cross Farm talking about the books the love.
• Children blend sounds in words, noticing tricky parts.
• Children use a range of strategies to work out the meaning of texts. phonemic awareness, phonic knowledge, word recognition and graphic knowledge, grammatical awareness, contextual understanding - and comprehension.

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