Reading and Phonics at Chartham
At Chartham School we do not follow one particular reading scheme; we use a mix of texts drawn from various schemes and we believe that this provides the children with a breadth of experience. All books that the children have as reading books are graded by difficulty using colour levels known as Book Bands; this method is used nationwide in many primary schools. Once the children are proficient, fluent readers and they have progressed through the colour bands, they begin to make choices from the school library.
Our children learn to read using systematic synthetic phonics and we follow the DfES Letters and Sounds programme throughout Key Stage 1. This learning is enriched using other schemes such as Jolly Phonics when class teachers feel it is appropriate.
Some useful websites:
There is further information regarding reading in the Inclusion section of the website and on individual class pages.
Picture Book Week July 2018
Picture Book Week was a super time for each class to base their work on a picture book chosen by their class teacher. The week started with a visit from a published author and it culminated in a mini exhibition where each class displayed their work for the rest of the school and parents to see. There was some very imaginative and creative work on display and it was so lovely to see the development of the childrens' learning from Reception to Year 6, along with such a variety of ideas. The pupils who manned their class stall were very keen to talk about their work and they were fabulous ambassadors. Thanks to everyone for a lovely week, and we hope that it helped to deepen the childrens' love of books.
Thanks again to The Friends
Each term The Friends are kindly funding the purchase of some newly published books
which are refreshing library stocks. This time, the School Council helped Mrs Flewitt to choose what to get. There was much excitement and discussion around the choices and a good spread of ideas.
Everyone is incredibly busy, finding time to read with your children can often be a challenge. BookTrust have some fabulous ideas to help with this. Check out the BookTrust website:
How to find little pockets of time to fill with family reading.
If you are looking for help in choosing suitable books for your children to read then have a look at one of these websites, they are great for finding out about all things bookish! There are recommended book lists for different age groups, news and blogs and occasional competitions or incentives.
There are also super tips on how to read with your child, whatever age:
Log on to www.oxfordowl.co.uk to find lots of fabulous E books. Just another way to keep up the reading mileage!
The children will use the website at school but you can create your own profile at home, it's free.
Reading Diaries September 2017
Years 4 to 6 are trying out a new way to record their reading using plain notebooks. This means that they can respond to what they have read in any way they choose and make it more personalised. In order to kick start the trial the children could enter a competition to design a cover for their reading diary with a bookish theme. A winner was chosen from each class. Well done to Meredith, Megan, Grace, Stella and Asher - great designs!
Thank you to The Friends
The Friends have very kindly agreed to fund the purchase of magazine subscriptions for the children to read in school. The magazines will appear in the library over the coming weeks and are another great way to get the children reading for pleasure. Ask your children what magazines they have been reading!
Thank you - new books
Many thanks to parents and carers for their generous support at our School Book Fairs. We have been able to choose new books free of charge using commission that we have built up at each fair. These books are a wonderful addition to our Literacy resources and contribute to the childrens' learning.
Picture Book Week - March 2017
What a wonderful week the children have had exploring picture books specially chosen by their teachers. The work that they produced was so colourful and creative. The children swapped teachers and classrooms for a story session for a different experience and we even had an assembly with the traditional tale of The Enormous Turnip in French!
World Book Day 2017
We celebrated World Book Day by dressing up as characters from Where's Wally? He is 30 years old this year!
Making the best out of
reading with your child
Books that children have read more than once are considered ‘familiar’ texts, and are an important piece of the early literacy journey. Reading books that are easy over and over again helps children to practise reading fluently, which means that reading sounds and not choppy or robotic. It should sound like talking, with expression and intonation. Children need to read familiar books many times before their reading sounds quick, expressive and like spoken language. Good fluency leads to good comprehension, an easier transition to the next reading level and it increases confidence.
Remember, it is not necessary to have a new book every day and it is good if your child returns to a book that they have chosen in the past.
Take a sneak peek yourself before you read it together
This will enable you to give the child a brief overview of what the story is about, the characters’ names and activities and a sense of where to direct the pre-reading conversation to ‘activate’ related vocabulary and / or any prior life experiences that will help your child connect on an emotional level to the book.
Have a quick look through the pictures together before reading the book; talk about the story and the characters
Looking through all of the pictures prior to reading will give the reader a reminder of the entire story, from the beginning to the end, and will help him or her to predict what is coming up as he or she tackles the words and phrases on each page. It also helps refresh the reader’s memory for new vocabulary and character’s names to avoid stumbling on them in the middle of a sentence.
Take turns reading
Your reading sets an example and the pace for your time together. It also helps you get through more stories in less time! Another perk? Reading comprehension. An experienced reader can bring characters to life with exaggerated voices, sound effects and expression. Another advantage of shared reading is that both partners can be listening to ensure that what is being read makes sense.
Keep it short and sweet!
A parent knows their own child best. Goal number one is to ensure an enjoyment of books and reading. Light hearted fun, praise for a great time together and some laughter is a positive outcome.
Every Friday morning, each class will pick a reader of the week. The award is not necessarily about being the BEST reader, but for displaying something which we feel is important ………….fluency, expression, segmenting, blending, reading more at home than usual, comprehension, etc! These children will be recognised in celebration assembly on Fridays, they will be awarded with a trophy for a week and a certificate to take home.