At Hetton Lyons we set a school reading challenge of- Every Child, Every Night.  The aim of this is to promote reading across the school and to engage parents with their child's reading. Over the years, we have had a number of initiatives to promote reading including the million page challenge, rewards for reading 5 times a week and finding every opportunity we can to reward children with books. Our current reading challenge is to read around the world with 10 pages equalling one mile! 

Our children's reading experience is much more than the reading book which comes home from school. Reading is happening all the time in a classroom and in the school. It is taught in specific reading and English lessons, but children are practising and using their 'reading' constantly across all subjects too.

Parents can support this 'reading journey' through regular reading at home. Reading to and with their child every evening for at least ten minutes can make a dramatic difference to a child's achievement within school. A report from the Oxford University Press highlighted the importance of parents reading with their children. 'Children who read outside of class are 13 times more likely to read above the expected level for their age'.

The report also offers six tips for reading with your child at home, including:

  1. Make time to read- even ten minutes a day
  2. Choose different types of books
  3. Take turns to read
  4. Talk about the book- asking your child questions
  5. Pay attention to the language
  6. Enjoy reading

Please follow this link to find Forbes best childrens books of 2019.'s-books-of-2019-so-far

Learning To Read At Hetton Lyons Primary School
Children learn to read in different ways and at different ages. The first part of a child's journey towards being a successful reader starts when the child is a baby and is listening to stories and rhymes. This encourages a love of language and stories and develops the child's vocabulary and understanding of language as they start to become familiar with what words mean and what they look like.

A vital first stage of a child's development as a reader is to be able to 'read' pictures and to determine what is happening or to predict what might happen from the pictures in a book. As this skill develops, children become able to use their grammatical  skills to listen to words within a sentence and to make sense of what they can hear. This is an important tool for the young reader as it enables them to make sensible guesses at unknown words within a sentence and to continue to read for meaning without being stopped in their tracks.

Most pre-school children are already reading before they start school; they will be able to read the supermarket sign above the shops they visit frequently, McDonalds, Lego and Disney will be easily identifiable to them too! Whilst your young child won't necessarily be able to identify the letters and sounds within those words, they read them because they remember the overall shape of the word. At Hetton Lyons we ensure that children have a good range of high frequency words that they identify without having to ask or sound them out so that they can maintain fluency within their reading, which in turn supports a good understanding of what they have read.

In our school children learn to read using Oxford Reading Tree. This scheme is supplemented by phonics reading books, Rigby Star and other scheme books. We also use class sets of real books, fiction and non fiction, that are used as the basis for literacy lessons. The use of whole class books and texts continues throughout the school.

Teaching Phonics At Hetton Lyons
In addition to these basic reading skills the teaching of phonics  is a key focus at Hetton Lyons for our developing readers and writers.  We ensure that all children in  our Foundation Stage, year 1 and year 2 classes are taught phonic skills through a daily 20 minute discrete phonic lesson. Our phonics lessons are based on the Letters and Sounds Programme and supplemented with reading materials from Floppy Phonics which links to our reading scheme. This develops the child's ability to tackle unknown words within a text by blending the phonemes (sounds) within the word. These phonic skills also enable a child to work out the phonemes they will need to use when they are writing words.

The phonic lessons are structured to ensure that children are first able to identify letters and to say the sound those letters make. Once children are confident with saying the single letter sounds and blending them to create words, they then start to learn the common digraphs (where two letters go together to create a new phoneme such as sh), trigraphs (where three letters create a new phoneme such as igh) and spelling patterns that we use within the English language.

At Hetton Lyons, the key objectives in our phonic, reading and writing lessons are that children are taught to:

  • love books and enjoy listening to stories, poems and rhymes
  • read and write letter-sound correspondences quickly
  • decode effortlessly, spell and hand write easily
  • comprehend what they read
  • read with fluency and expression
  • write confidently using oral rehearsal
  • work effectively with a partner or within a group to articulate their learning at every step

Reading Targets
Every year we agree a set of targets for reading and writing. This year the targets for reading are:

  • Attainment in reading continues to improve so that the % of children meeting age related expectations in reading and phonics increases year on year.
  • Continue to increase the range of non fiction books used to teach reading skills.
  • Intervention in reading continues to close the gaps between groups of pupils.
  • Children in our school develop a love of books and literature. This is demonstrated by their desire to read both at school and home.

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