At Dean Field, we value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe that reading is key for academic success and progress in a number of curriculum areas therefore we provide our pupils with the skills and confidence to deal with printed language critically. We aim to provide children with experiences that will lead to rich language development so that at the end of their primary education with us, they are empowered with a breadth of vocabulary that they can build on in their future prospects.
We hold reading for pleasure at the heart of everything we do so pupils develop a real love and thirst for reading a range of genres. At Dean Field we have a vibrant library that not only invites in reluctant readers, but provides children with a wide range of texts to choose from. We resource the library based on children’s interests so that there are texts suitable for all readers.
We explicitly teach children the skills necessary to become a fluent reader as well as actively encouraging children to understand the deeper meaning of texts. We do this via weekly Reading VIPER lessons where pupils are taught how to infer, predict, explain and retrieve information from a range of texts. This allows children to develop their comprehension skills and allows teachers to assess their understanding of the text. At Dean Field, we also take a text-based approach to our English lessons to provide our pupils with more reading practice and reading comprehension opportunities.
In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children access the Accelerated Reader program (AR) which encourages substantial differentiated reading practice in order to create strong readers. Based on each student’s independent reading level, AR helps our teachers set personalised goals for each student and guide students to books difficult enough to keep them challenged, but not so difficult to cause frustration. First, a student’s optimal reading level is determined through the STAR Reading assessment. This assessment provides information on a student’s overall reading ability and suggests a range of book levels for each student called the “zone of proximal development”, or ZPD. By doing this, teachers are reassured that children are reading a book at the necessary level with the right amount of challenge which ultimately helps raise standards in reading.