Our School Library
Our school library has 9,600 books at present comprising both of Fiction and Non-fiction as well as the Reading Scheme books and Guided Reading sets of books. The pupils borrow books using the Junior Librarian software whereby they scan the books barcode. They then scan their own thumbprint on a small digital scanner to link the book to their account. Each class has two Library Monitors who are trained to support their peers through the process of borrowing and returning books. These monitors are rotated termly not only allowing more children to take on the responsibility of this monitor role but also ensuring each monitor has time to build up the skills and knowledge about the books and the maintenance of the library. Within the library, there are also a number of computers for pupils to use during their break times. These are used mainly by School Council members and pupils researching projects they are working on.
Here, we provide books at an appropriate level for every child in the school. They have the opportunity to change these books regularly. The children read the levelled books in school with a teacher, support staff or parent helper as well as taking them home to read with their parents. The books available within each Reading Scheme level are both fiction and non-fiction, from stories to comics and cover a wide range of topics and genres.
Dyslexia Friendly Books
We currently offer the Barrington Stoke dyslexia-friendly books as a reading scheme for our pupils with dyslexia. These books have a well-spaced dyslexia-friendly font on tinted paper. The stories are short with simple storylines. They enable all children to read books from an amazing range of authors including Michael Morpurgo and Malorie Blackman. The books look like normal chapter reading books, so no children feel different. They are ‘graded’ according to both reading age and intellectual age. For example, a child aged 11 with a reading age of 7 will find something that works for them.
Aims of the National Curriculum
The key elements of Reading in the National Curriculum are:
- Word recognition
It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners (i.e. unskilled readers) when they start school.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop 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. All pupils must be encouraged to 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. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
It is essential that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.