At St. Bonaventure’s, we believe that English underpins our children’s development and in turn their access to all aspects of our curriculum. We aim to deliver high quality teaching of reading, writing and oracy (speaking & listening) in order to enable all our children to become independent and successful readers and writers, who can communicate meaningfully and effectively with others. We want our children to have the best experiences of English at St. Bonaventure’s, one which will endeavour to develop, support and enhance their learning journey throughout their school life and beyond. Above all, at St. Bonaventure’s we want our children to experience a rich and creative English learning journey, one which will provide a thirst and excitement for both reading and writing.
Children begin their reading journey in Reception by following a systematic, synthetic phonics programme which teaches them the initial sounds (and corresponding graphemes) they need to know to be able to begin reading. This programme continues throughout Reception and in to year 1 with the emphasis lying on developing the skills of segmenting and blending in order to become fluent readers. As children progress in to year 2 and beyond, reading becomes more focused on comprehension skills and children being able to understand what they have read. We follow the acronym ‘VIPERS’ which helps the children remember the key reading skills: vocabulary, inference, predication, explanation, retrieval and sequencing/ summarising.
We believe that to foster a love and passion for reading, the relationship that children have with books and reading at school must also continue outside of school. Ideally, the books that the children receive from school are the minimum amount they should be reading. We actively encourage trips to the library with parents, so that children can choose their own books. We also have a wonderful selection of books in our school library, which children can self-select and bring home to share. Parents are given information about how much reading should be done at home for each year group during the Parent Information Evenings at the beginning of the academic year.
Through our shared love of reading at St Bonaventure’s and our promotion of high-quality texts, our aspiration for all children is that they will:
- enjoy reading a wide variety of texts
- have an extensive vocabulary that they use within their speaking and writing
- make measurable progress from their individual starting point in reading
- be able to confidently talk about books they’ve read and why they have enjoyed them
- have a love and passion for reading!