Reading is a key tool for life. It is at the heart of our learning and essential to every aspect of the curriculum. Teaching children to become confident and fluent readers is an exciting part of what we do at Hook Norton. Children at our school develop a genuine love of reading and books, a respect for the pleasure reading can bring and the information it can provide.
We have many opportunities for reading inspiring and exciting books and materials thanks to well-resourced reading areas throughout the school. Our children are encouraged and supported to choose appropriate and exciting reading materials, matched to their abilities and from a variety of genres. Book areas and libraries are designed to look appealing and make it simple for children to select from a rich range of texts.
The development of children’s reading skills begins in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 through the rigorous and systematic teaching of Phonics using the Read Write Inc phonics programme. Children read texts that carefully match to their phonetic knowledge to help them build confidence and fluency applying their decoding skills.
We aim to create successful readers. In Whole Class reading lessons children are explicitly taught strategies including inference, questioning, summarising, prediction and summarising. Pupils are taught to use these strategies to THINK, check their comprehension and understanding and review texts when something does not make sense. Pupils develop skills in skimming, scanning, forming opinions, thinking aloud and asking questions. These skills can them be applied by pupils with increased independence when interacting with texts across all curriculum areas. Quality texts are used that engage our children, develop a breadth of vocabulary and support ideas for writing. We continually evaluate and update our core texts to maximise cultural capital and adapt to the introduction of newly published materials alongside classic texts.
Teachers foster a love of reading by reading aloud daily. From Nursery onwards, children enjoy engaging fiction, non-fiction, stories, reports and poems together. These texts are carefully selected to ensure excitement and enjoyment. Staff model fluent reading with intonation and expression. Children are encouraged to share and discuss their favourite texts with one another. Activities based on texts are exciting and engaging – from story sacks, to role play and drama.
Events through the school calendar including World Book Day, visits to the village library and Christmas productions provide enrichment opportunities that encourage a sharing of stories as well as applying reading to creating performances.
We encourage parental engagement with reading through our parent meetings and interactions. We strongly encourage parents to read with their children everyday whatever their child’s age and stage. We advocate for children not only reading to their parents, but for parents to read to their children too, sharing a love of books together. We support this through sending home phonetically decodable books for our early readers to ensure success, alongside reading for pleasure books for families to share. As children advance in their reading, they are able to select from our range of quality texts with teaching staff closely overseeing choices.
We inspire children to enjoy reading, to choose to read for pleasure and to become lifelong readers that appreciate the value books can bring to our abilities to LEARN and THINK. Our children leave Hook Norton with a LOVE of literature, and an enthusiasm to LIVE a life filled with imagination, DARING to dream of new possibilities and adventures! So many of our children engage with village library events, demonstrating a passion for reading that extends beyond the school gates and into their bookshelves and lives at home.