At Thundersley Primary School we are passionate about reading. We know that reading opens up a world of possibilities for our children and brings great joy as through reading we can escape into an imaginary world, visit another land or travel back to a different time. All members of staff are committed to teaching all our children to read with confidence and enjoyment.  Our rich reading environment includes a huge selection of books in our wonderful library and in our classrooms where children have access to an extensive range of high quality books and different text types including stories, poetry and non-fiction.

Through phonics lessons, independent reading, and shared reading we aim to develop the following:

  • excellent phonic knowledge and skills. For further information on our approach to phonics click hereTPS PHONICS
  • fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts
  • an extensive and varied vocabulary
  • a range of skills to facilitate understanding of a range of different text types
  • a love of reading and an appreciation of books

 In the early stages of learning to read, children take home books from a colour banded system based on individual assessments.  We expect children’s parents/carers to hear their children read frequently.  Initially, these books are linked to the children’s learning in phonics.  In Keystage 2 we use Accelerated Reader, which is a computer program, to help us manage, monitor and encourage children’s independent reading. When children have finished a book they take a short quiz on the computer program, to check their understanding.  We use Accelerated Reader assessments regularly to monitor children’s reading attainment and this, together with teacher assessment, helps us to determine an appropriate book level for the children.  Accelerated Reader has also allowed us to run reading competitions which the children enjoy and which encourage reading. 

 Children of all ages have the opportunity to take home other books of their choice to share with their families that will help develop their interests, their vocabularies and their love of books.

 Pupils read to their class teacher or learning support assistant regularly.  Children also participate in lessons linked to a shared class novel, text or poem which include core texts that have been carefully chosen to provide challenge for all children and give our pupils the opportunity to discuss and learn from high-quality literature and experience different authors. These include well-known and much-loved titles such as The Hodgeheg, The Iron Man, Holes and Goodnight Mr Tom.  Our reading lessons provide opportunities to learn key reading skills, such as vocabulary development, fluency etc. Comprehension skills are developed at every opportunity through reading and discussing fiction and non-fiction books and texts, poems and sometimes songs! Giving children access to a wide range of texts helps children to develop their knowledge of the world in which they live; to establish an appreciation and love of reading and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.

 Reading diaries are provided for every child at the start of each new academic year. These are used to track the number of times the children read each week.   We celebrate our love of reading with a reward system and the results are shared both in a weekly assembly and with parents and carers in our weekly newsletter.  As well as expecting our children to read their individual reading book at home, we also set regular reading homework to help develop their oracy and fluency skills. As the children become more competent readers we may also set reading comprehension homework.

 Each year group is given a suggested reading list of books that we would like the children to access during their time at our school. These lists include some of the classics, old favourites and more recent releases. These books might be shared during whole class reading, used as a class story-book, read independently by the children or shared at home. 

 Teachers regularly read to their classes either during our whole class reading lessons or when sharing a class novel. This gives children an opportunity to hear their teacher using a ‘storytelling’ voice and is a perfect opportunity to share ideas and thoughts about their class books.

 We have also celebrated reading in a number of ways by having author visits sponsored reads and book fairs, which the children have thoroughly enjoyed.

 At Thundersley Primary School we know that reading opens up a world of possibilities for our pupils and we are committed to encouraging our pupils on a lifelong journey of reading for both enjoyment and learning.