At Ark Tindal, we believe reading is the greatest gift and strive to provide children with the tools they need to go on to become confident, fluent readers who use reading as a tool to access the wider world.
We begin our reading journey in Nursery, where pupils learn to identify and distinguish between different types of sounds. We follow the Letters & Sounds programme, during which children develop their oral skills and awareness of sounds. The children learn different nursery rhymes, songs, poetry and stories, providing a solid foundation for their future reading.
From reception, we use the excellent Read Write Inc. reading programme which is based on "synthetic phonics"; that is, children learn what combinations of letters make all the different sounds in English, how to blend these sounds to make words, and how to decode words when they see these combinations. As some words are not spelt the way that they sound, children are also taught to read trickier words through sight; these are displayed in the classroom and practised throughout the day.
Our Reading Curriculum
Every year group has dedicated time each day for reading, with a focus on one main text each week. At the start of the week, children are explicitly taught vocabulary and definitions that appear in the new text to help with understanding. We then read the text multiple times throughout the week in order to practise skills, increase fluency and ultimately to focus on the text's meaning.
There is a strong link between reading and our wider curriculum at Ark Tindal. Our pupils have access to quality texts that are closely linked to what they're studying in humanities and science, providing extra opportunities to develop vocabulary and understanding.
Beyond the curriculum we have additional reading programmes, including reading volunteers and peer to peer reading, where the children read to one another. Pupils in need of additional support have access to carefully planned interventions multiple times a week from their Year Group Lead.
Pupils are encouraged to practise reading at home every day, and always have a home reading book carefully matched with their reading age. Books can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry or playscripts, and we use a reading diary to record which books children have chosen, with an allocated space for parent-teacher communication about their child’s reading.
Reading for Pleasure
We want to encourage our children to not only be expert readers, but to identify themselves as readers. Our staff create immersive reading areas, so our pupils can discover different real and fictional worlds throughout their school career such as a Hogwarts Castle reading nook in Key Stage One to a Viking Warship in Key Stage Two. Walking from class to class, you will also discover our 'corridor libraries': shelves filled with books all around the school. Our children take great pride in looking after the books and we nominate library monitors to support the children with their book selection and ensure our books are well looked-after.
As staff, we are very vocal about the things we like to read and encourage children to engage in conversations about books that interest them. We celebrate reading through events such as World Book Day and performance and poetry assemblies.
English as an Additional Language
We are fortunate to have so many home languages within our school community. We believe that books are magical in every language and encourage our parents and volunteers to come into school to read to the pupils in English and their home languages. This allows the pupils to experience different storytellers and see their familiar stories come to life though someone else’s words. We also have dual-language books that for pupils to take home.
We are very excited to announce that a brand-new library is currently under construction. We will have a dedicated Librarian to help pupils choose the exciting books that are right for them. The library will be open before, during and after school, and parents will also be invited to read together with their child there.