HANNAH Harding, reception teacher at Micklehurst All Saints CE Primary School, discusses the importance of reading.She writes: “We value the importance of promoting a love of reading across the whole school from early years to the end of key stage 2.
“We are always striving as a school to improve and promote children’s engagement in reading.
With our recent introduction of a new ‘Reading For Pleasure’ programme we are focusing on how we can further engage our children to want to read for a variety of purposes, talk about their favourite books and to share their love of reading with their parents and carers.
“Within early years we ensure all our children have the fundamental building blocks from the beginning of nursery and throughout reception to ensure they have all the skills they need to develop into successful readers.
“We provide a literate environment, a range of books and stories to read and carefully plan our curriculum to develop the children’s listening and attention skills which is vital in the development of reading.
“We recently held a successful early years’ reading workshop to engage parents on how they can support their child’s reading at home. We have extremely supportive parents who value the support given by school regarding their children’s learning and we felt like this was a perfect opportunity to continue our engagement with our parents and carers.
“This was an interactive workshop providing reading strategies, progression steps and helpful tips for supporting reading while also giving them an overview of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme which we use as a guide to our short daily phonic sessions.
“Within this programme developing the children’s listening skills throughout phase one is predominantly taught in nursery which then leads into phase two towards the end of nursery and into reception where the children learn letter sounds and learn how to apply these sounds to read words and sentences.
“Parents valued this workshop and felt they had learnt such a lot to take away and use with their children at home.”
* “It was very informative, showing me the correct way to support my child at home.”
* “It’s reassured me that I’m following the correct steps to aid my child’s reading. Thank you for your continued support.”
* “Lots of useful games and websites to reinforce learning at home. I love how we are invited into school and I like how inclusive the school environment is for parents.”
Hannah continued: “Following its success, parents have requested more workshops to support other areas of the curriculum.
“As a school we always listen to the feedback from parents and carers and this is something we will be offering throughout the rest of the year. We are also very excited about our introduction of a wide range of new story sacks which we have purchased for our younger children.
“These sacks are sent home with children to share with parents and carers and include not just a reading book but lots of games and activities that relate to the text and that support early reading skills.
“This also links into our initiative of ‘Reading For Pleasure’. As a teacher within early years, I am excited to see the positive impact these will have on our children’s reading development and the enjoyment they will provide for the children, their parents and carers.”