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Hillcross Primary School

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Reading

It is widely recognised that children who read are more articulate, more confident and better informed. 

This is supported by research (PISA, Jim Rose Review) which suggests that reading for pleasure is more important for children's educational success than most other factors; there has also been links made between the emotional development of primary children and deep engagement with great literature and storytelling. 

Reading is an important way to gain knowledge and understanding across all areas of the curriculum.  The children read at school every day, across all areas of the curriculum but time is limited in school for sustained periods of reading for pleasure.

Therefore, we need to work together to try and encourage and intrigue your child to read high quality texts and there needs to be a balance between the types of books we ask our children to read. 

Children (and adults) are creatures of habit and will tend to choose books that are comfortable and known.  Our joint task is to suggest, coach, nag and help our children to experience a greater exposure to a range of quality texts including those they will enjoy and lap up as well as those that will challenge them and extend their learning.   

In addition to your child reading books, we also encourage you to read to them (no matter how old they are!) and to make time to talk about what has been read.  Books provide a great forum for starting conversations and talking to children. It is important that children have the opportunity to talk about what they read so that they can explore and better understand the meaning and messages beyond the pages of the book. 

Most families tend to read fiction books but listening to and discussing information books and other non-fiction literature sets the foundations for children’s learning in other subjects.

Development in reading has a direct link to a child’s writing - by regularly listening to stories, poems and non-fiction that they cannot yet read for themselves, your child will begin to understand how written language can be structured in order.  Reading and listening to books also helps your child to increase their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge and all this information can then be drawn on for their own writing.

Reading is not merely the decoding of words on a page, it is paramount that children understand what they have read and that they understand what is inferred and suggested from a text—especially those things that are not directly said.  Even if a child is an able reader, it is important for parents and carers to create opportunities to read to them, question and talk with them about what they have read. 

All children have a Home Reading Journal.  Please write about your child’s reading experiences at home as often as possible but at least three times a week. This could be a record of what has been read, a short comment related to the reading guidance pasted in by the class teacher each week during Book Smith Apprentice sessions or a response to the text read. 

Where children are able to do so, they can write their own comments in the reading journal too.  This will support class teachers in gathering evidence about your child’s reading and enable them to make more informed judgements about their achievement.

There are also a range of optional tasks that can be completed by your child to support their engagement with the texts they read.  These can be completed termly if you wish as the outcome will change according to the text the task is applied to.