How We Teach Reading at Bridge
Reading at Bridge
At Bridge Junior, we aim to foster a life-long love of reading. We endeavour to develop children’s word reading and comprehension skills, so that they are able to access reading books at an age-appropriate level, as well as texts that are used across the curriculum. By the time they leave us at the end of Year 6, we hope that children are fully equipped to tackle the more demanding texts they will come across in the next stage of their learning journey. At Bridge, reading is taught through weekly shared and guided reading sessions.
Shared reading is a whole-class, teacher-led lesson where children are taught a range of reading comprehension strategies. The structure of a shared reading session is as follows:
- The class teacher reads an extract with the class and discusses unfamiliar vocabulary.
- The teacher introduces and models the comprehension strategy that is to be taught. The range of strategies includes questioning, inference, using background knowledge, identifying themes, information retrieval, predicting and summarising.
- Children work with their learning partner to apply the skill they have been taught.
Guided reading follows on from a shared reading session. Children are grouped with others of a similar reading ability and the teacher works with each group over a two week period. The text used will be at the instructional level (children are able to read 9 out of 10 words.) The structure of a guided reading session is as follows:
- The teacher recaps on the comprehension strategy taught in the whole-class session.
- Any tricky vocabulary is taught before the text is read.
- The teacher models the strategy using the first few sentences of the extract.
- Children read independently, practising the new comprehension skill. The teacher ‘checks in’ with each child to ensure they have understood and are applying the strategy correctly.
- The group comes together at the end to answer a ‘big question.’
As well as shared and guided reading, children are able to practise and develop their reading skills through their individual reading book, whole class readers, Bookshare sessions, library books and texts read as part of their Cornerstones topic.
Every child at Bridge has a reading book from our colour-banded Collins Big Cat reading scheme. The scheme offers a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts including poetry and play scripts. An adult listens to each child read their book on a regular basis, and children are expected to take their reading book to share with someone at home.
Every class teacher at Bridge has a book ‘on the go’. Whole class sets have been built up and allocated to each year group. Through listening to their teacher read aloud, children have access to texts that they may not otherwise be able to tackle. Children are encouraged to follow the text with their own copy and contribute to discussions, offer predictions and express opinions. As can be seen from the table below, during their four years at Bridge, children will have access to a wide range of high-quality texts. It is hoped that, through access to these texts, children will develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really BIG Adventure
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark
The Magic Faraway Tree
You’re a Bad Man Mr Gum
Billy the Kid
The Iron Man
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Hundred-Mile-an-Hour Dog
James and the Giant Peach
The Legend of the Worst Boy in the World
A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Midnight Fox
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
The Suitcase Kid
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom
An Elephant in the Garden
The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler
Those children who struggle to decode, or who are new to English, will be offered a rigorous and systematic phonics programme so that they can catch up with their peers. At Bridge, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme which consists of six overlapping phases. Children who require phonics teaching are given a phonics-matched reading book from our Collins Big Cat scheme as well as a ‘regular’ reading book. For children in Y5 and 6, particularly those with specific reading difficulties, Read Write Inc. books are used.
Better Reading and Writing Partnerships (BRWP)
BRWP is a specialist 1-1 reading intervention designed to identify and target a child’s reading difficulties. Children are taught to recognise when they have mis-read a word and to apply different strategies to correct errors. Children are encouraged to read in phrases (to read like they talk), to aid their comprehension. Those who deliver this intervention have received specialist training.
Lexia is a computer-based reading programme which works by monitoring the individual performance of children and adapting automatically to their learning needs. The intervention covers a wide range of reading aspects including: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Finding the right starting point for the children in the programme is achieved through an assessment task that the children complete independently. Bridge Junior currently has 60 licences for Lexia UK. Children who are part of this project spend 30 minutes, five days a week using the online resource.
Inference groups are run by teaching assistants who have been trained in the programme. Children work in a small group to unpick a text in order to gain a deeper understanding of it. Children are asked to read a text; identify unknown vocabulary; visualise; and draw on their background knowledge in order to show their understanding and answer questions. Inference sessions last 40 minutes and take place twice a week for six weeks.
Our School Library
In September 2015, we were fortunate enough to receive a grant of £5,000 from The Foyle Foundation in London towards a school library. Details of the work of the Foyle Foundation can be found here: http://www.foylefoundation.org.uk/
Using the grant we received, plus money from the school’s own budget, we established a library which currently has over 1,000 resources in. We stock a range of children’s fiction by popular authors such as David Walliams, Francesca Simon, Jaqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo, as well as a range of non-fiction, picture books, graphic novels, poetry and joke books.
Here are some useful reading websites: