English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
At Zaytouna school we want every child to develop a love of reading and become a life-long reader, gaining pleasure and enjoyment from the books they read. It is also vital that we support children so that they develop the necessary reading skills to confidently gain knowledge, be able to research, compare and evaluate information.
Reading for pleasure is a key component of our school reading strategy. This occurs daily throughout the school. We feel that it is essential that children have the opportunity to access and enjoy a wide variety of books. Reading for pleasure is central to our reading strategy. Every class has a special reading space dedicated to books and reading also all children have regular access to our library resources.
It is crucial that every child learns to read. We use a phonic approach through which children are taught to recognise the smallest unit of language – phonemes, which are visually represented as graphemes. They are then taught the skill of orally blending these together to form words. Through repeated practice, fluency and confidence in reading is developed. Alongside this children start to use their developing skill of reading to read stories and also information books. Having the opportunity to read information books plays a crucial role in developing each child’s vocabulary and knowledge of the world around them
As the children become more confident in the mechanics of reading there is a greater emphasis placed on the teaching of reading skills. We use a “Shared Reading” approach during which a text is shared with the whole class. Children are taught the V.I.P.E.R.S reading skills as a means of analysing and interpreting texts. There is a big emphasis on ensuring that children are familiar with the key vocabulary and its meaning prior to reading.
Reading is a skill which is required to access every area of the curriculum to gain ideas and knowledge, it is fundamental to learning. It also goes hand in hand with the skill of writing. Reading is therefore the key which is used to unlock learning not only across the school curriculum but is vital in nearly every aspect of life. It is therefore our aim to enable children to become fluent and confident readers.
What have we been up to?
Brand new library facilities
Blue Peter Book Awards
We are exceptionally proud to be one of only 14 schools in the UK to be chosen as a Judge School for the 2020 Blue Peter Book Awards in association with The Book Trust.
Not only will 40 children from Year 5 and 6 get to critique the shortlisted books – both fiction and non-fiction – but Zaytouna has also been chosen to host a film crew for the day so they can get our thoughts captured on film.
This is a huge success for our school and we are very proud to be involved in such a prestigious event.
Foyle Foundation Grant
The Foyle Foundation was formed after the death of Christina Foyle. She was the daughter of William Foyle who, with his brother, founded the family owned bookshop Foyles in Charing Cross Road, London, which she continued to manage after her father’s death.
As a Foundation, they award grants to schools and charitable organisations to fund the development of library facilities.
Back in October 2019, Zaytouna applied for such a grant. We are very pleased to announce that we were successful in securing a £5000 donation which will be spend on library books.
Over the coming weeks, children from each year group will be asked for their views on what titles – fiction and non-fiction – should be bought with the money.
Reading @ Zaytouna - Pedagogical Overview