Our Reading Intent
At Benchill Primary School we believe that reading is an essential life skill and we are committed to enabling out children to become lifelong readers.
Reading for pleasure opens up new worlds for children. It gives them the opportunity to use their imagination to explore new ideas, visit new places and meet new character. Reading for pleasure also improves children’s well-being and empathy. It helps them to understand their own identity and gives them an insight into the world and the views of others.
At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love for reading, enriching children's learning through carefully designed teaching that utilises imaginative stories and thought-provoking texts.
Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundation for success in other subjects, further learning and future careers.
At Benchill Primary School all classes follow a structured approach to reading using the Success for All (SFA) scheme. All sessions are interactive and teachers facilitate speaking and listening opportunities, model the reading process and guide children’s reading and comprehension.
Our aim is to teach children to not only read a text fluently, but to improve their comprehension skills as this will help children to understand and reflect upon what it is they have read.
High quality texts and passages are chosen, appropriate to the expectations of the year group or ability of children, and teachers use this to model the application of reading skills. The types of questions children will explore are relevant to one of the key comprehension skills: discussing and exploring vocabulary; making predictions; discussing the author’s choice of language and the effect it has on a reader; summarising themes and ideas; retrieving information from the text and making inferences using clues from the text.
Supporting your child’s reading
As well as being an enjoyable shared activity, reading to children and listening to them read, can provide the motivation to further their own reading whilst also exposing them to a wide variety of genres and texts they may not necessarily choose independently. If your child sees you enjoying a book, magazine or comic, laughing at the characters, hearing you enthuse about the story and valuing books, they will be inspired and more inclined to do the same themselves.
Be comfortable. Whether at bedtime, snuggled up on a comfy chair or even listening to an audiobook on a car journey, sharing books and reading together is one of the most important experiences children can have.
When reading to your child have fun (be brave) and use different voices for the characters. Use expressions and inflections in your voice to create suspense and excitement as you read. Vary the speed at which you read sentences and, if possible, always end on a cliff-hanger!
Talking and asking questions during and after reading is immensely valuable. Not only does discussion reveal a child’s understanding and interpretation of the text but it gives an opportunity to explain reasons and form opinions.
Whilst reading and sharing books, asking open questions such as ‘does that make you think of anything/anyone else?’ or ‘why do you think that character did/said that?’ allows a child to share their thoughts and develop a deeper understanding of the text.
Children always like to share their ‘favourite’: a picture, character, even a favourite page, particularly in information books. Encouraging them to expand on their choices develops their vocabulary and offers opportunities to make links to real-life experiences. Ask them why they like – or dislike – a particular character, section or page.
Try including discussion and questions about the author (and illustrator); ask your child if they would have used a different word at certain points of the text, or what they think the author meant by creating certain characters. When appropriate, try to link your topic of discussion with your child’s own life and experiences.
Asking a reader to predict what will happen later in the story opens up further opportunities for talk as well as giving valuable insights into the reasons behind their expectations.