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Southfields Primary School

Southfields Primary School


We believe that reading should be an enjoyable activity, and that one of the greatest gifts we can give a child is the ability to read. Our approach to reading is based on an emphasis on the teaching of phonics; once this skill is embedded, we extend and develop each child's reading skills. We dedicate 20/30 minutes daily to teaching, during which time the children are given a range of activities that take forward their learning, comprehension and skills.  

In addition to specific guided reading, we have 15 minutes of selected 'Reading Lighthouse' where classic novels, important to the children's appreciation of the amazing world of books, are read and shared. These books have been selected to inspire class teaching and reading, of which there are 76 classic novels in Key stage one and reception, and 36 in year three to six. Please click on the link to the right to have a look at some more information about our 'Reading Lighthouse'.

We aim to develop a love of reading and therefore encourage our pupils to take books home and share them with you. Children need to be able to read with understanding, for pleasure and for information. We have found that just ten minutes' one-to-one reading at home with an adult can make a huge positive difference to the children, and therefore we have included this as part of homework each evening. Parents are asked to complete the reading record; teachers may use this record from time to time, but do keep their own extensive notes within school.

Pupils' reading is formally assessed termly and the children use a variety of schemes and guided work to improve their skills, ability and confidence. As pupils go through the school, they are given more responsibility for selecting materials to read. We have free-reading extension books that will challenge pupils above the level of reading schemes. These free-reading books are designed to encourage children to become lifelong readers. Your child maybe selected for APP assessments in R/W/S&L and evidence portfolio's are kept. This will be communicated to parents if your child is selected.

We have two large reading bays and a well-resourced library with an extensive selection of fiction and non-fiction books. We also have an area for big books and group reading. Each classroom has a reading corner and listening station. Children rotate daily to read different materials in the Reading Roundabout, which develops a range of reading experiences throughout the week.

Children read to the class teacher weekly through guided reading sessions and are also expected to read at home each night as part of their homework. We send home a reading book and reading record that we ask parents to complete during the evening.

Reading Schemes used in School

Oxford reading tree, Oxford Songbirs, Oxford Fireflies, Collins and Collins big Cats, Pearsons Longmans, Floppy Phonics Oxford, Frankin and Watts, Story Worlds Heinemann, Macmillian Reading Bug, Orchard, Voyages Nelson, Star Rigby, Kids Random House, PM Plus, Ginn and Ginn lighthouse, Snapdragon, Jelly and Bean, Raising Stars, Boys and Girls Rule, Treetops Oxford, Lerner, Scholastic My Story, Zoom Ginn,Big Cat.

Writing linked to Reading

Pupils are helped to develop the ability to express their thoughts, ideas and communication skills through the written word. Every attempt is made to ensure that pupils develop a command of basic English which includes punctuation, spelling, grammar and correct letter formation. For handwriting, we use the Nelson scheme. The children have regular lessons until their writing is fluent and joined.

We believe it is important that children see their work as having purpose and that they regard themselves as authors of their work. Opportunities are provided for pupils to develop the necessary writing skills required for different purposes and audiences. The link between reading and writing is strongly emphasised.

Each child at Southfields is given a personal writing log, which tracks their written progress throughout their time with us. It allows both pupil and teacher to see improvement over seven years.

At Southfields we believe that it is important for children to learn all the different written genres and therefore we teach them how to write in three different phases.

  • 1. Phase 1 - immersed in the text type

  • 2. Phase 2 - learn the necessary skills to write in the genre style, eg. imperative verbs for instructional texts

  • 3. Phase 3 - the writing of the genre

We assess the children using "APP" resources; keep ongoing records and tracking to reflect and assess the work your child completes. This assessment provides an invaluable ongoing record of achievement.

We have agreed basic standards throughout the school and children will work to reach these standards. Individual children may need additional support through projects, 1:1 tuition, group work and have regular work to further develop their skills to reach year group standards where appropriate. This is a clip of the Upper School workshop to help support parents with helping children with reading.  Also, the session powerpoint is attached below.

The Power of Reading has had an incredible impact on our learning in Reading across the school.  Some of the work produced whilst doing these sessions are shown below.

  • Healthy Schools
  • Ofsted Outstanding 2011|2012
  • Ofsted Outstanding 2008|2009
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  • Leeds Inclusion Chartermark
  • Arts Council England
  • Financial Management Standard in Schools