On this page: Information on Guided Reading, our Library, and our Kindle Reading Club
At St. Stephen’s Junior School, we aim to inspire a love of reading by providing a language-rich environment and stimulating reading curriculum. Throughout the school, children encounter a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and media texts. Reading skills are taught through a balance of whole class, independent and group reading activities.
In addition, teachers read aloud to children on a regular basis, ensuring that pupils of all abilities can access high-quality literature.
All children take part in regular ‘guided reading’ sessions that focus on promoting reading for enjoyment, developing reading stamina, and exploring texts at a deeper level to extend comprehension skills. Children are engaged in reading a variety of carefully selected books within a group setting. Each group is assigned a particular book, matched to their reading ability. They are encouraged to read independently, and are designated specific tasks to deepen their understanding of the text, e.g. ‘Discussion Director’; ‘Word Wizard’; ‘Character Analyser’; ‘Predictor’; ‘Summariser’.
Each group works with the class teacher at least once a week to share the tasks they have been carrying out and discuss what they have read in greater depth. The small, differentiated groups provide a relaxed, focused setting for children to share their thoughts and opinions about what they have been reading. Children are supported in understanding and responding to texts, and are taught appropriate technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.
‘School planners’ are provided to monitor children’s daily reading at home and there is an expectation that parents will support this. Our levelled reading programme provides emerging readers with the right level of support and challenge; texts include a wide range of authors and text types within series such as Collins Big Cat, Project X and Treetops alongside carefully selected “real” books.
Recommended reading lists for both Upper and Lower KS2 are available:
- Riveting Reads for children in Lower Key Stage Two
- Riveting Reads for children in Upper Key Stage Two
An intervention phonics programme (Read, Write, Inc.) is taught daily in Years 3 and 4 to support children who need extra help. The programme focuses on teaching children, within a small group, how to blend and segment phonemes for reading and spelling; to read with expression; and to discuss their understanding of what they have read.
Our school Library offers a wide range of high-quality texts and the expertise of a dedicated librarian. Each class is timetabled to spend 45 minutes every week in the library, when they can select and borrow their own choice of reading material, with guidance from the class teacher or librarian. The library is also open to children and their families after school, or at lunchtime during the school day. Our school librarian produces an informative library newsletter, and organises an exciting range of reading initiatives, including Kindle Club, ‘Read to the dog’ and Book Fairs.
Kindle Reading Club
We started our Kindle Reading Club here at St Stephen’s Junior School at the end of the Autumn Term 2015 under the direction of Mr Jarvis, Head of Year 5 and myself Mrs Chidgey, Reading Co-ordinator.
The school purchased kindles to trial this programme and five boys were selected from Year 5 to be part of the group. These boys were reluctant readers initially, but the results have been astonishing. They are now very enthusiastic and committed to their Kindle Club, which is encouraging as we are only in early stages of the programme.
Each week I send home a reading guide for the boys and their parents, detailing what they are expected to read before we meet at the end of each week. The group then discuss what they have read and answer comprehension questions that I have prepared.
The boys have shown responsibility, commitment and enthusiasm for reading which is by far their greatest achievement.
We look forward to continuing with our club and reading more of the Jamie Johnson series!
Mrs R Chidgey, Reading Co-ordinator, St. Stephen’s Junior School
A link to the article on the Dan Freedman website can be found HERE. Mr. Freedman has added his own comments as follows:
'St Stephen’s Junior School have a fun and unique way of encouraging their reluctant readers to make a start and enjoy reading. Mrs Chidgey kindly sent me this letter and a photo explaining what they have achieved using Kindles to get some of their students to pick up a book and actually enjoy reading it! I would like to thank Mrs Chidgey for taking the time to inform me of their club and the positive benefits that it has produced. I think that this is a fantastic incentive that can easily be recreated in schools all over the country to get children who don’t like reading (as I was myself!) to make a start and enjoy that feeling of losing yourself in a great book! Thank you St Stephen’s, for this great idea!'