At Barnfield, we teach English through the Power of Reading. This is a programme provided by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education which puts quality children’s literature at the heart of the curriculum and supports our work in teaching literacy creatively and effectively.
The Power of Reading is a well-established initiative which has raised achievement in over 2000 schools. Data from established POR schools show that children make significant progress in reading and writing, particularly with those pupils who had previously been reluctant to engage with literacy and is effective in narrowing the achievement gap between groups of pupils. POR schools also report that their children choose to read more often, at greater length and are more confident in talking about books. This final outcome is one which is of particular interest to us at Barnfield as we seek to provide ways to encourage children to read regularly and for pleasure.
The Power of Reading and reading aloud
POR places enormous emphasis on reading aloud to children. Research tells us that children are able to access texts and vocabulary considered to be two years beyond their chronological age when the text is read aloud to them. Reading aloud slows written language down and enables children to hear and take in tunes and patterns. It enables children to experience and enjoy stories that they might not otherwise meet.
Developing understanding and writing through the Power of Reading
The Power of Reading approach provides pupils with a wide range of learning opportunities to develop and enrich their understanding of what they read. This includes book-talk, debate, reading journals, role play and drama, use of visual images and story mapping. This leads on to varied and engaging opportunities for pupils to develop their writing skills.
In Year 1 and Year 2 guided reading sessions are introduced to the timetable. In these sessions children work in small groups with an adult to read and discuss a book together and answer questions about it. This is a fantastic opportunity to extend children’s reasoning and inference skills.
In key stage 2, comprehension skills are further developed. Pupils will read, discuss and respond to texts in various ways e.g. through drama, comprehension tasks, writing in the role of a character, analysis of the features of a text. As well as developing reading skills, this learning also plays a crucial part in the development of their own writing. The texts chosen include short texts e.g. a letter or a short story, extracts from longer texts to the study of class novels such as Goodnight Mr. Tom in Year 6.
Whole Class Guided Reading
Reading is also taught through whole class guided reading sessions throughout the school. Pupils work with their teacher, reading and discussing a range of texts. These sessions are also used give children focussed support with developing the skills and techniques needs for effective comprehension, enjoyment of books, and answering comprehension questions in test situations. Small group interventions are used for identified pupils in need of further support.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation are taught throughout the school, both in conjunction with reading and writing skills and as stand alone lessons. The contents and progression follow the requirements of the National Curriculum. We use letter join to support the development of handwriting across the school.
Suggested reading lists
Have a look at the lists below which provides some great reading ideas. Remember to have a look in our local library before purchasing books.