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Reading in EYFS and KS1

Monday 13th January 2020

Dear parents and carers,

RE: Reading books

I am writing to you following the results from a recent ‘Deep Dive’ into reading, where we commissioned a local, lead Ofsted Inspector to complete an inspection across the school. During part of this review, the inspector evaluated our current phonics and reading provision in KS1 and gave detailed feedback identifying strengths and areas to develop.

The inspection was extremely positive about reading across the school and identified a clear love of reading. The phonic provision and English coordinators (which includes Phonics) were also praised for their expertise. The inspector was very impressed with the pupils that she spoke with, who were knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their reading.

It was identified that on occasions, particularly during early reading, that children are moved on too quickly and are given access to too many books, rather than being given the opportunity to re-visit texts and words to allow them to become fluent readers. Reading fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy and expression and better fluency leads to confidence and a better understanding.

Therefore, we have decided to amend the way in which we send books home. We want children to be fluent readers and in order to achieve this, children need to re-read books, revisiting words and phrases. We found that some children would still not recongise ‘tricky words’ or even words that are sometimes repeated in books when only having read the book once.

We want to ensure that children still have the love of reading and therefore we will still give them a range of books to take home as well as allowing a range in school. By changing books daily, children are not always given the opportunity to re-visit sounds, rules or words and therefore this can hinder fluency.

In Y1/2 we will be sending 3 books home on a Monday and 3 books home on a Friday. In Dexter Class, 2 books will be sent home on a Monday and 2 on a Friday. We will then listen to the children read to ensure that they have fluency with those books and change them accordingly. Please encourage your children to read these books several times.

As well as reading as much as possible, we also encourage a range of fluency activities which are listed below:

1. Read aloud to children to model fluency

2. Have children listen and follow along with audio recordings

3. Revisit ‘tricky words’ or words that children stumble across

4. Echo reading: children repeat adult’s reading whilst following the text

We want to reinforce that we do not encourage children to race through the reading scheme and it is not about achieving the highest level on the book band, but that it is about fluency and understanding within the level that is appropriate for them.

Thank you for your continued support,

Miss S Holden English Lead and Hereford Class Teacher


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