Reading at Monkwick

Reading for Pleasure

At Monkwick Infant and Nursery School, we understand how important reading for pleasure is and because of this we have these set of principles in place for all our children:

  • By the third week of the new academic year, all children have a selection of books chosen for them based on their interests. These books are kept in the class in the mini-library in a relaxing area of the classroom. Adults take the time to share stories demonstrating an expert reader voice and model the important skill of prosody and expression.
  • Reading corners are designed where possible to link with the topic and will be cosy and inviting for children.
  • Across the school, each year group select an author and share as many of their books as they can with the class. Teachers have taken the time to select authors who provide the children with a range of fiction and topics to deepen their understanding.
  • To improve the enjoyment of reading children will have the opportunity to review books. These are not written but verbally shared with the class during story time to provide the children with opportunities to develop book skills needed for the next phase of learning.
  • Classes will display reviews of children’s favourite books that the children have listened to throughout the year or read at home.
  • During the Spring term, we hold special reading afternoons called Super 6. These are afternoons when the children choose a mystery reader and book. Children across phases do not know who the readers will be. This is a chance to hook children into the love of reading. Different members of the school community and parents will be asked to become secret readers.
  • Each morning class teachers display two books and the children vote on which book the teacher will read during the day, this is completed by placing a counter into a pot located next to the books. This helps to promote British values within our school.

Did you know?

Children listen on a higher level than their reading level. It is not until they are about 14 years old that their reading level catches up with their listening level.

  • Children are never too old at primary school to enjoy a story being read to them. In fact, they love it! It is an excellent way to enable children to hear stories that are too difficult for them to read easily but that they can understand. Reading aloud some of your own favourite books from your childhood and talking about why you liked them is a great way to share books.

Parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading; children are more likely to read well and continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued.

  • You make such a difference. Let your children see you read. Set aside time to share books together. It is just as valuable for you to read to your child as it is for them to read to you. If your child is tired, don’t force them to read. Make it a fun time with you reading to them instead. Talk about books you enjoyed reading as a child.

Children who read for pleasure are 5 times more likely to read above their expected age.

  • Make sure your child is reading something they enjoy. If they are not enjoying the book or text they are reading, let them change it. Take time to help them choose the right thing for them, this could be, for example: a magazine; comic book; graphic novel; football programme; the internet; a newspaper or a fiction or non-fiction book.

Research reports a link between library use and reading for pleasure; young people who use their public library are nearly twice as likely to be reading outside of class every day.

  • We are lucky, we have libraries extremely close to us; Colchester Library in town. It is free to borrow books and with such a wide selection and librarians on hand to make recommendations, it is an excellent way to help your child find a book they will want to read and even broaden their reading diet

Studies show that children whose parents read a book with their child every day (or at least twice a week) during the first year of primary school do better academically in their school work and tests.

  • Make time for reading a story every day if possible. Establish a routine for this, for example, just before bedtime. It is a fun time your child can look forward to and is starting the reading habit from a young age. When you read to your child you can record it in their reading record.

90% of difficulties of understanding what has been read are due to a lack of fluency when reading.

  • To help children read fluently, be prepared to ask them to re-read a page or sentence again if it is not read smoothly and at an appropriate speed. You may need to read it for your child so they can hear how it should sound when read fluently and with expression. You could then read it together maybe a couple of times, if need be, before your child reads it on their own. It may help to track the words above the line with your finger, making sure to move your finger in one continual motion above the words rather than pointing to each word separately. This helps the eyes to track correctly.

And finally:

  • Children who read for 20 minutes a day are exposed to 8 million words a year.
  • Children who read on average for 6 minutes a day are exposed to 282,000 words a year.
  • Children who read for less than a minute a day are exposed to 8,000 words a year.
  • So it would take a child who reads for less than one minute in a day a whole year to read the number of words that a child who reads for 20 minutes a day would read in 2 days.

Top Tips:

  • The main aim is to make reading fun – if you are too busy or your child is tired, keep reading to a minimum and just read to them.
  • After reading, to make sure your child understands what they have read, get them to:
  • Ask you a question that you will answer
  • Answer a question that you ask them
  • Talk about their favourite part
  • Summarise what has been read.

Keep it simple. Have fun!