Why do we constantly talk about Early Reading??
I often refer to the Dr Seuss quote 'THE MORE YOU READ THE MORE THINGS YOU KNOW. THE MORE THAT YOU LEARN THE MORE PLACES YOU'LL GO'
As adults we know how important reading is. We use it everyday for everything we do and it is fundamental to learning across all of the curriculum areas. This is why we focus heavily on reading at the beginning of Reception through to Year 2.
During the children's time at Cross Farm they are taught these main areas of reading.
Children need to have a strategy of being able to read words that they do not know. The National Curriculum focuses heavily on phonics as this main strategy and as a result we developed the Cross Farm Phonics Programme which has been successfully implemented for over a year now. This uses ditties and pictures to help children remember the sounds the letters make. Within our phonics programme we teach 'tricky words'. These are words that cannot be decoded using phonics.
Once children are confident with their phonic knowledge we will then develop fluency of reading. Children should be able to read by the end of Year 2 at a rate of 100 words a minute. This fluency is key for their understanding. If you have to spend a lot of time decoding the text then you will lose the flow and therefore will find it difficult to comprehend what you are reading.
With decoding and fluency developing, children can start to really focus on comprehension. To start with children will be asked to retrieve information from the text. It will be focused on the events or information in the text and as the children develop their comprehension skill they will be asked to predict and infer. To infer will require children to analyse the text further to understand why certain things happen and give their reasons why.
Reading for pleasure
Children will be encouraged to read for pleasure at all times. They will be exposed to a range of different texts and will be asked to review and evaluate these. Some children will enjoy fiction texts where others will love non-fiction texts. During this time children will be able to discuss books with their friends and enjoy a book in whatever way they choose. Reading for pleasure is important for children to understand that reading is not just another task you do at the Academy but it is an enjoyable thing to do during free time etc. When I am in the classroom I will often talk about extreme reading where children can explore books whilst they choose where they read. This might be under a table or with their feet up or laying on the floor. This is to reassure children that reading doesn't just happen when sat at a desk.
Reading for purpose
Through all of our subject areas we focus on why reading is important to them and how it can support all learning. We often research ideas in different subjects by exploring texts and using the internet to find out more. Children will be exposed to reading across all subjects and ensuring it has a really clear purpose.
How can you find out more?
There are many different websites below that support with information around Early Reading. We also have our own Cross Farm presentation that can be accessed here
Oxford Owl - a range of materials to support parents with reading at home
Literacy Trust - support for parents with reading at home.
Book Trust - Tips for reading with your child at home