Reasons to read out loud to your child...
After two consecutive years of interrupted education due to the pandemic, research shows that our nation’s children have gaps in their learning. At St Mary’s, we are doing our very best to help the children overcome this. One easy way you can help your child is to read to them regularly. Here are some important reasons why…
Children understand at a higher level than they can read.
Learners can typically comprehend text that is far above their independent reading level.
The more words you use, the more words a child knows and can use. New words encountered in context are easier to define and understand.
Numerous studies show a direct correlation between reading to a child and academic success. Students who are read to have a higher aptitude for learning and more positive attitude about school.
Develop a love of reading.
Research shows that motivation, interest, and engagement are enhanced when reading aloud. This can improve children's attitudes about books and foster a love of reading.
Help them be better writers.
Children who listen to books being read over many years are more likely to develop competence in written and verbal communication skills.
Help us talk about tough issues.
When you have to talk to your child about a difficult topic, books (both fiction and nonfiction) can be useful. For parents, a book can help lessen anxiety; for the child, a book can provide context and make it easier to ask questions.
Broadens their horizons.
When children pick their own books, they tend to pick the same type of texts (over and over). Children tend to be more open to new genres and themes when read aloud.
When reading with your child, you have the opportunity to discuss topics and ideas that might not come up in the normal course of events. Children's author Katherine Patterson said, "Books are a dress rehearsal for life."
Spending time reading with your child is an opportunity to get closer, both physically and emotionally. Even if you p don't snuggle up, just being close to your child to share a book can foster deep bonding.
Your child wants you to.
83% of children across all age groups say they love to be read to.
Amazing Author Visit
KS1 (Apple, Chestnut and Maple) had a special visitor! They have spent the week reading the book Cousins and author L.G Etherington paid us a visit. He spent the morning reading to the children the last few chapters of the story before answering lots of questions from them. He surprised us by reading the opening chapter of his upcoming book. Mr Etherington then went into the classrooms and lookedat eve ry single child’s character ideas and letters which were written to try and persuade him to include their character in his next book... who knows if we will see oneappear in a future book. A huge thank you to Mr Etherington for coming in and if you’re interested in reading the story, then you can easily find it online.
1st October 2021
Reading highlights from September 2021
Roald Dahl Day Friday 10th September 2021
What a great celebration of reading we had last week!
We kicked off with a fashion show to see all our amazing costumes
In the afternoon, we mixed up the school so that older and younger children could share their books. In the afternoon, we mixed up the school so that older and younger children could share their books.
Here are some winning outfits….
Mindfulness and Creativity: St Mary’s International Dot Day
International Dot Day is celebrated by adults and children for boosting courage so that their creative potential is released. It is a great day to connect and collaborate, and also to celebrate self-expression. This week the whole school will be reading this inspirational book together and unleashing the children’s creativity in English & Art to inspire confidence and encourage self-discovery.
The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to make her mark. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.
What started as a story in the pages of a book is transforming teaching and learning around the world as people of all ages re-discover the power and potential of creativity in all they do.
17th September 2021
Reading at St Mary's
At St Mary's Primary School we use Bug Club and Renaissance Learn to teach reading. Pearson's Bug Club is our structured reading scheme. The children follow the structured colour banded system from EYFS until they are fluent, confident readers when they select books to read at their level with guidance from their teacher. Whole Class Reading is a daily lesson where the teacher works with the children to focus on comprehension skills and discussing the texts.
Individual children’s reading progress and attainment are rigorously monitored through termly assessment tests and teachers continuous assessments. We also use Renaissance Learn Star Test to monitor children’s reading age in relation to chronological age and gaps are quickly addressed. Attainment levels are reported to parents at our parent’s consultations where progress is discussed. Children are encouraged to read at home as often as possible. We work closely with our parents, using the children’s planners to as a two-way communication to record reading success.
How you can help your child read
If they get stuck on a word, you could:
Practise and Praise
The purpose of the ‘Reading Record’ book is to give your child’s class teacher feedback on how well your child is reading at home. If you have any concerns about your child’s reading please contact the class teacher by contacting the school office during the COVID pandemic.
Here are some questions to help you read with your child:
Reception & Key Stage One
Lower Key Stage Two
When and how your child will read in school
Your child will experience a variety of reading activities in school:
At every occasion when your child reads in school there will be an emphasis on their understanding of what they have read, as well as fluency. It is also important this is encouraged at home.
Handwriting at St Mary's Primary School focuses on the process of joined-up cursive letter formation. We use an online resource called Letter-join. This is a resource for teaching cursive handwriting at school and at home. It uses interactive animations to demonstrate joined-up letter formation. There is also an app version available for use on tablets. This is an example of the cursive alphabet.
You can support your child at home by encouraging them to trace over the handwriting sheets provided on a regular basis. Reluctant writers are often more willing to try if you give them different colour pens to trace over. You can even enlarge the letters and trace over using paint, chalk, using a bottle of water with a sports cap, or even tracing over the letters with a toy car.
Constant repetition is the key, emphasising the correct entry and exit strokes every time. It is essential that your child gets into good habits early on and this includes having the correct pencil grip.
One of the advantages of the cursive style is that you can quickly identify when a child is forming letters incorrectly. For example trying to start a at the bottom and moving clockwise, rather than starting with the entry stroke and then moving anticlockwise from the top of the letter to the bottom.
Here are some resources to help you at home!
At St Mary's Primary School we firmly believe that good spelling is an essential skill which allows the children to communicate their understanding in all curriculum subjects. In order for pupils to develop into effective and confident writers they need to develop and use a range of effective spelling strategies. By providing the children with a range of strategies, we equip them with the independence to attempt spellings before asking for adult help.
We particularly want the children to develop a love of language and the confidence to spell more challenging and ambitious words. In allowing them opportunities to develop a rich and exciting vocabulary, we are enabling them to become effective communicators.
By adopting a consistent approach to the teaching of spelling we aim for the children to develop confidence and accuracy when spelling across the curriculum. In doing so we aim to:
Here are some more fine examples of how the children are progressing with their English skills across the school. We are taking a look at our oldest and youngest children's work this week.
Great job, children! You are continuing to make excellent effort and progress as we drive through to half term. Very well done!
Oak Class UKS2
A Child's War
UKS2 have been studying World War 2 and looking at its impact on the lives of children. Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll is our class book. The children have been basing some of their writing tasks around this excellent text. Please take the time to read some of the work below. Outstanding!
Lilac Class EYFS
Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs
EYFS have been working hard on their letter formation and creativity! They were asked to change parts of Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs. Great improvements all round! Very good work!
I wanted to show you some of the work that the children are producing across the school. Amazing things are happening at home, despite all the difficulties we are facing as teachers, as learners and as parents!
Well done, children! You are managing to move ahead with your learning even in these very tricky times! That's a credit to you all, and your parents, and all your teachers. I'm very proud of you all.
Keep up the good work!!
Maple Class KS1
Bright Lights, Big City
KS1 have been learning about the Tudors and Stuarts in their topic this term. Maple Class have been working so hard on their letter writing skills. Check out these authentic letters to King Charles I. Beautiful work!
Well done everyone!
Hazel Class LKS2
Hazel have been hard at work this week writing myths for their topic on Traders and Raiders. I was lucky enough to be invited into their classroom on Friday to congratulate them on their hard work. Here are some fine examples from Hazel children.
What lovely creativity and so entertaining to read! Excellent use of punctuation and handwriting too! Keep up the good work!
Hawthorn Class UKS2
Hawthorn have been using persuasive writing techniques to write from the point of view of one of the characters in our class book, Letters from the Lighthouse. The main character, Olive, is trying to persuade Esther to be friends with her.
Excellent work guys!
Can I switch it on?
Reception children have been practising their writing skills. NOT an easy task at home!
What an excellent job! You should feel very proud of yourselves!
Helen Moss Visits UKS2
The Phoenix Code
Helen Moss, author of THE PHOENIX CODE, our class read in the first half of the Autumn term, visited school in October. We were delighted to welcome her! She explained her research methods and how to plan a full length novel and each class benefited hugely from her writing workshop. Thank you Helen! What a great experience!
Thank you to all parents who attended our Reading Workshop.The evening began with a talk by Mr Curzon in the hall outlining the importance of reading in St Mary's. Following that, all teachers returned to their Key Stages to present age appropriate information on how parents can support their children outside of school. If you missed the information, please find it below along with some useful links.
Before the holidays, we have issued a challenge to the children to be 'caught reading' over Christmas! We look forward to finding out where people have read their books... Check out the display in the entrance in the new school year to find out!
Mrs Rose, caught reading at The British Museum
Towards the end of term, each class has revamped their reading corner...
Reading a variety of texts is essential to develop a child's language skills as well as their fluency and comprehension. We encourage pupils to read regularly at home and ask parents to support them in ensuring they do so. Pupils use the Renaissance Reading scheme when learning to read, from phonics through to free reading. Books are also available to borrow from the class library too.
In September, we took a day to celebrate the well-known author Roald Dahl. We came to school dressed up as our favourite Roald Dahl Character! (No money donations, just for fun) There was even a special Dahl Dinner Menu. We spent part of the day reading together, older and younger children switching classes to enjoy a book in the sunshine. The children were given golden tickets instead of house points for excellent work and behaviour, with a prize for the children with the most tickets at the end of the week. The afternoon was spent taking part in Roald Dahl inspired activities. Fun!!
SUMMER READING CHALLENGE
The Summer Reading Challenge has been a great success!! All the children have done exceptionally well with the volume and quality of reading they have undertaken during the six weeks we have spent away from school.
The class with the most children who completed their teacher’s challenge was Oak, with 20 complete challenges. Oak will be allowed to choose their playtime activities all week next week as their prize.
In the staff v class competition, the children won! Staff members read a total of 105 books over the summer and the top three reading classes where Oak (132 books) Ash (122 books) and Holly (120 books). The teacher that read the most was Mr Curzon, who read 13 books!
Key Stage One (2018-19) particular mentions should go to the following children for putting in extra effort and bringing in photos of all the different reading bingo tasks they completed: Mia, Grace, Millie, Daniel T, Nicole, Lottie, Samuel, Derya, Henry, Hannah, Tabby, Samuel and Matthew
In Key Stage Two, 75 children read 6 books or more, with 573 books read in total! Several children read even more than they were asked! Edward, Lucas, Leo, Aaliya, Eden and Amy all read 7 books. Erin read 12 and Harriet read 15!! Many others did an excellent job of their reviews: Ethan, Lola, Caden and Oscar. Kitty brought in a wonderful bookcase of her book reviews which are in the entrance to be admired!
Thank you to all the parents and carers who helped the children with reading over the summer. Well done everyone!
See our 'recommended reads' booklist below. How many of these have you read? Are there any you would add to this list?
More Handwriting Help