The teaching of reading here at Saint Stephen’s consists of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension (both when listening to texts and reading them). Our teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; we understand different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
In our study of Reading at St Stephen’s, we intend that our children will:
- Develop skilled word reading: involving both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.
- Develop an understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why we emphasise phonics in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start at our school.
- Develop good comprehension drawn from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world.
- Develop comprehension skills through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.
- Read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum.
- Read widely and often as we understand that this increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech.
- Have their imaginations fed by reading - opening up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
- By the end of their primary education with us, all of our pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.