Reading @ Dropmore Infant School
At Dropmore Infant School we aim to instil a love for reading in all children, by teaching them to read with understanding. We have daily Guided Reading sessions (weekly in Reception), use books in many lessons, may have a class reader and often have story time at the end of the day. It is critically important that the children read out-of-school as well. To support and encourage a reading partnership with parents we send a reading book home every day (it may not get changed every day). These books are ‘banded’, by level of difficulty and quantity of text:
PINK - RED - YELLOW - BLUE - GREEN - ORANGE - TURQUOISE - PURPLE - GOLD - WHITE - LIME
The aim is NOT to progress through these bands as quickly as possible, but to enjoy books at the right level and read with understanding!!! Below are rough guidelines how these banded reading books are intended to be used.
PINK / RED / YELLOW
These books are for beginner readers. They often have repetition and the children rely on picture clues to help them. Encourage your child to read out loud to you, with expression. The books are short and often finished quickly, but should be read at least twice (not in one day):
- Decoding – your child uses phonics to read individual words.
- Read for meaning – read the book again, focusing on fluency and comprehension. Discuss the book.
The books are becoming longer and have more of a story line. Picture clues are still important. Continue to encourage your child to read out loud, with expression. Some books are finished quickly (in one day), and some should be read across 2 days (stop halfway). In both situations it is important to discuss the story so far and ask and answer questions. If the story is finished in one day it is still advisable to keep it for a second day, particularly if there was a lot of decoding and a lack of fluency (and therefore understanding). A good exercise is always to get the child to recall the story prior to reading it again.
ORANGE --> LIME
By now the books become text heavy, with some new vocabulary and less picture clues. Some books will even have chapters. The children should be fluent and should be reading for meaning. By now it is important to encourage your child to alternate reading out loud and reading quietly to themselves. To check their understanding (particularly when reading quietly to themselves) it is important to spend an equal amount of time on reading and discussing the story.
Your child will be given a Reading Diary in which we record the title of the book provided. It is important that you update the Reading Diary every time you read with your child (date / page number / any comments).
The Reading Diary and reading book should be kept in the book bag every day, to allow us to check, change and read the books.
Reading with your child a little every day and talking about the book is invaluable! Quality of reading is far more important than quantity of reading.