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A child’s reading skills are important to their success in school, as they will allow them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improve their communication and language skills. In addition, reading can be a fun and imaginative time for children, which opens doors to all kinds of new worlds for them.

Brownmead image 39As part of our curriculum review, we have identified ‘reading’ as a key area for development and is included in the school’s strategic development plan. With a busy timetable, teachers have not had enough time to read to their children as much as we would like, so we have made some adjustments to the start of the afternoon session. This will allow all pupils to start their afternoon by listening to a story read by their teacher to develop a love of reading. We have provided timetables for teaching assistants so that pupils in all classes will be heard reading a home reader each week. Additionally, pupils who have been identified as needing extra support will read to an adult several times each week. We are lucky to have some additional support from Rugby players at Coventry Rugby Club who provide excellent role models for the children and enjoy listening to children read to them. We are hopeful that the changes made to both the students and teachers’ timetables will prove to have great impact and will help to accelerate reading progress across Brownmead. We will continue to update you over the coming term with further reading initiatives.

Why is reading so important?

Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Likewise, evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who do not, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.

What difference can I make as a parent?

You can make a huge difference! Parents are the most important educators in a child’s life – even more important than their teachers – and it is never too early to start reading together.
Even before they were born, babies learn to recognise their parents’ voices. Reading to your baby from birth, even for just a few minutes a day, gives them the comfort of hearing your voice and increases their exposure to language.

Building vocabulary and understanding

Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what is printed on the page. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read. It is important for them to understand how stories work too. Even if your child does not understand every word, they will hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard.
Irrespective of whether your child is only just beginning to learn to read or whether they are fluent, you can play an important role in helping to keep them interested in books. Find out what interests them, help them to find books that will be engaging and fun, and spend time reading the books they bring home from school together.

At Brownmead we teach children to read through the Read, Write Inc. programme whose mission is to teach every child to read and write – and to keep them reading. No exceptions.