At Howard Park, reading is singled out as of extreme importance since through it ‘pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually’. Reading allows pupils to ‘acquire knowledge’ and to ‘build on what they already know’. 

The 2014 Curriculum divides reading skills into two dimensions: 

  • Word reading/ decoding
  • Comprehension 

We recognise that both these elements are essential to success and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various methods. We recognise that these areas are clearly linked to the other aspects of English learning: speaking and listening, writing, grammar and vocabulary. We also understand that reading is a developmental process and part of life-long learning and we encourage and praise pupils at every stage of it. We also believe that promoting a love of reading is of huge importance and this is a significant aspect of a child’s reading journey through their time with us.

Phonics At Howard Park

The phonics scheme we use at Howard Park is Read Write Inc. This is a rigorous, systematic and structured approach where sounds are taught at a rapid pace beginning in Early Years. Pupils work in homogenous groups where they learn all the necessary skills, they need to become a fluent, confident reader. They develop communication skills and learn to form their letters correctly. 

As pupils progress through school they continue to be taught RWI in homogenous groups. In KS1 pupils also receive further teaching of English through real’ texts; they do this in their own class. Pupils take part in both paired/guided reading and enjoy regular story times to develop a love of reading. Provision is made for pupils who require extra support through intervention, differentiated class teaching and targeted teaching groups.

In Key Stage Two, the progress made in Key Stage One is built upon. The focus is on developing higher order reading skills such as inference and deduction and the ability to read texts critically. Where necessary, specific phonic support is used to develop pupil’s reading skills through the use of interventions. 

Reading Books/Reading At Home

Throughout school, we expect all readers to share a book at home with a grown-up. Supporting reading at home is hugely impotent to securing learning and promoting a lifelong love of reading. All children have a reading record book which we encourage parents to fill with positive comments.

During the school year we offer parental workshops to help support parents read at home with their children. These sessions are aimed at supporting parents to understand how we teach phonics and how this knowledge can be used to support their children at home. We also offer a variety of supporting documents that can be accessed below.

Reading With Eddie

As part of our rewards system and encouraging children to read, every week, members of staff in KS1 select children to read with Eddie, our school dog. This is an opportunity for pupils to show off their reading without feeling pressured at all.