All children take part in Whole Class Guided Reading sessions (daily in Key Stage 2 and twice a week in Key Stage 1), allowing the children to explore a text further, and discuss what they are reading in-depth. These sessions are primarily focused on teaching understanding of a range of texts, using different reading skills, and children record their understanding in a reading journal.
All children choose a home reading book, which they can read and share with an adult at home. Children are able to choose from a wide range of reading schemes, which enable them to have a broad and balanced range of reading experience, and appeal to different interests and learning styles. The reading schemes in school include: Jelly & Bean, Pearson Phonics Bug, Pearson Bug Club, Songbirds Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree, Oxford Project X, Oxford Traditional Tales, Oxford Graphic Novels and Heinemann Rapid Reads.
Many of the books in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One are phonic decodable, in order to support children in the early stages of learning to read. Reading is taught through systematic teaching of synthetic phonics in the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2, as well as for some children in Year 3. We primarily follow 'Letters & Sounds' for this.
There is a big emphasis on reading within the National Curriculum, and at St Thomas' we aim for children to develop a love of reading that will stay with them throughout their lives. Children are expected to read at home every day, and if children read at least 5 times per week, they will be entered into a fortnightly class draw to win a brand new book of their choice.
We also have a fantastic new school library, designed by our Reading Ambassadors, called The Deep, Dark Wood, with a huge stock of books to appeal to every child! Children are able to borrow a book from the library or sit and read a book inside the amazing reading tree! We hope that our library will encourage the children to develop a life-long love of reading. There is a reading space outside, called Bookshelf Beach, in which children can read their books in a quiet space during break and lunchtime.