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At Highfield Primary School, we ensure that Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. The key drivers in our provision is to embed essential literacy skills and to ignite a passion and lifelong love of Reading.

The Reading Curriculum

Our teaching of Reading is a composite of five key components:

  • Phonics: Teaching the relationship between sounds and the letters that represent them to help children decode words
  • Word Recognition: Developing children's ability to recognise and read high-frequency words and common sight words quickly and accurately
  • Comprehension: Teaching strategies to help children understand and interpret the meaning of the text they read, including predicting, summarising, inferencing, and analysing the text
  • Fluency: Focusing on developing children's ability to read smoothly, accurately and with expression
  • Vocabulary Development: Teaching children the meanings of words and strategies for expanding their vocabulary through exposure to a wide range of texts

These components are taught not only through the daily Phonics and Shared Reading sessions but in all subjects.

For information regarding how Phonics is taught at Highfield, please visit the school website’s Phonics page, where you will have access to a full range of materials.

In regards to ‘Shared Reading’, this is delivered in a weekly block of five lessons. These daily sessions provide systematic and explicit instruction of the essential skills required to be a proficient reader. Children focus on developing their:

  • Comprehension Strategies
  • Textual Understanding
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Critical Thinking

Reading for Pleasure

Reading aloud is a crucial part of reading for pleasure at Highfield because it encourages children to experience and enjoy stories that they might not otherwise read.

Throughout the school, at three o’clock, all teachers read aloud to their class in what is known as, ‘Read @3’. The story books are carefully chosen for the purpose of cultivating a love of reading, stimulating the imagination, fostering a sense of wonder and for extensively broadening vocabulary. Texts may also be selected to support the children’s emotional development by helping them to understand their emotions through exploring the feelings and experiences of the characters.

Reading for pleasure is also promoted with our Parents/Carers, as the home environment and school, are both essential partners in nurturing our children’s love of reading. To support and encourage the children to read with their family, they regularly take home and access both paper and e-books (their Bug Club virtual library). In addition to the children’s reading books, our pupils in the Early Years and Key Stage One, also choose a ‘Read To Me Book’, which they have carefully selected for their Parents/Carers to read to them.

To promote reading at home, a weekly competition is held called, ‘Bug Club 100’, in which classes compete against one another to gain the highest percentage of pupils accessing their online e-book libraries (‘Bug Club’). The results are celebrated during every Monday’s S.C.A.R.F. (Highfield’s School values) awards assembly, with rewards at playtime given to the top three rankings.

For further information regarding ‘Reading for Pleasure’ at Highfield, please refer to the Parent/Carer information letters on this web page.

In our Early Years Foundation Stage (E.Y.F.S.) setting, we encourage a love of reading right from the beginning by ensuring that Reading is at the heart of our provision.

Half termly themes are explicitly planned with literacy core texts as the key drivers. Our children are then immersed in a range of genres and texts that not only develop a love of reading, but have been specifically chosen to develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension skills.

These core texts are embedded through Shared Reading sessions and activities, which enable our children to internalise new vocabulary, explore language patterns and ultimately become confident in retelling the stories.

Reading is also promoted in our E.Y.F.S. through the organisation of our language rich environments. We ensure that we have dedicated areas that not only provide children with access to a diverse book selection but also incorporate interactive features such as storytelling props and puppets to encourage imaginative play.

Ultimately, our Reading curriculum is designed to foster a lifelong love of reading for all of our children as well as developing and nurturing their word reading and comprehension skills. By the time our children leave Highfield, they will be competent and fluent readers in all subjects and across all genres, with the ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations, both now and in the future.