Reading At Home – Covid Amendments | 17th September 2020

Dear Parent and Carer

Parental support is extremely valued at Clarice Cliff Primary School and we recognise the impact it has on children’s progress and attainment in reading. All children will still take a book home each day (Monday to Thursday) but we will need to make some adjustments to the way in which we issue reading books. For the academic year 2020-2021, new books will be issued on a Monday and collected back in on a Friday to be quarantined over the weekend. This will enable us to significantly reduce the risk of possible contamination via the sharing of reading books. This may mean that some children are not changing their book as frequently as previous years. However, this is something that we will be actively promoting throughout the coming year. Reading/listening to the same book multiple times, will allow children to develop fluency, allows children to pick up new information, dive deeper into the meaning of the book, and make connections between themselves and the book — as well as between the book and other books they’ve heard.

EYFS & KS1

Children across EYFS and Key Stage 1 will take home a phonetically decodable book (Collins Big Cats) and a reading for pleasure book.

Phonetically decodable book – This book is well matched to their phonic ability and children should be able to read this book without too much difficulty. This will enable children to apply their phonic knowledge and develop reading fluency. (Where possible, Reception and Year 1 children will take home the same book that they are reading in their guided reading sessions).

Reading for pleasure book – The other book will be a book of their own free choice from our school library and we strongly encourage that these books are read to the children by an adult. These will be changed less frequently due to library access, however, reading/listening to the same book several times has many benefits as outlined above.

Key Stage 2

Children across Key Stage 2 will take home their Accelerated Reader book and a reading for pleasure book.

Accelerated Reader (AR) book – AR is a computer program that helps teachers to manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. When children have read a book, they take an online quiz and get immediate feedback on their responses. Pupils respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills. When children pass a quiz, it is an indication that they have understood what they have read. Research states that AR produces an average of two years’ reading age growth in just one academic year, whilst still promoting reading for pleasure. With AR, we can create a reading programme to meet the needs of every pupil. Using information generated by the software, teachers can help pupils select books that provide adequate challenge, but that are not too difficult to cause frustration. In addition, it helps teachers to monitor pupils’ vocabulary growth, literacy skills development and reading skills taught through other reading schemes. The use of technology will be managed in line with the school risk assessment to ensure that Covid-19 safe procedures are adhered to.

How many times do children need to read at home?

As a school, we expect children to read at home 5 times per week and at least 3, where 5 is not possible. Research shows that reading regularly at home has a significant positive impact on children’s development in reading. When children read 5 times per week, this is celebrated in class and the children are given a reward. Reading at home is recorded in our school planners and children are given a bronze, silver or gold sticker at the end of each week to indicate how many times that they have read at home. This is recorded in the class reading files. Where children are not reading in line with school policy, a reading reminder letter will be sent home and support will be offered to parents/families to enable them to work towards meeting out policy expectations. We will still expect children to read 5 times per week and this will be recorded to run from Friday to Thursday. Each Friday, the children will be given alternative reading material to engage with over the weekend whilst their reading book is quarantined. This may be in the form of phonics flashcards, a printed text or an online reading source such as an eBook.

Reading planners

Each pupil has a home school reading planner, that teachers and parents can use to share information about a child’s reading. Parents are encouraged to read with their child daily. Although children may become more independent in recording their own reading as they move up the school, we still encourage all readers to share a book at home with their grown-ups.

Lost/damaged reading books

Over previous years there have been a small number of repeated cases of lost and damaged reading books. The school have invested heavily this year in new reading resources and re- stocking our library to replace missing books. We feel it is extremely important to give our children exposure to a wide range of high quality texts and to ensure that all of these books remain available throughout the year. It is therefore no longer possible for us to replace missing reading books at no cost to parents. Unfortunately, if a child loses/damages their reading book or planner, we will be asking parents to cover the cost. We would ask that you encourage your children to really take care of their books, particularly when transporting them to and from school. Please try and avoid books being put in bags with water bottles as sometimes they can leak and cause damage to our lovely new books.

Parent workshops

Reading workshops are held on an annual basis to keep parents informed about reading at Clarice Cliff and also to support parents, in supporting their children at home. As we are currently unable to invite parents into school, workshops will be held later in the year. These may need to be held virtually.