It looks at core areas of reading: phonics, comprehension and reading for pleasure, and the importance of all three of these core areas in ensuring children are confident, fluent and competent readers, with evidence-based practical advice and guidance for schools.
Talk and reading for pleasure as a foundation of reading and literacy
One of the core areas the ERF emphasises is the importance of talk in reading. To develop a broad vocabular- and develop an enjoyment and comprehension of stories, children need to be given the opportunity to listen to stories and talk about them from the earliest stages.
Comprehension first develops through discussion and talk, as word reading is limited at the earliest stages; until fluency is developed in decoding words, it is challenging for children to think deeply about meaning. Reading aloud to young children also helps them to hear and experience vocabulary they would not be able to read themselves and may not otherwise hear in everyday conversation.
Through carefully-chosen stories, read aloud in the classroom, children can be given opportunities to expand their vocabulary, develop empathy for others, build connections and the foundations for deep comprehension of text, and build a love of reading, which in turn leads to greater enthusiasm for reading and reading for pleasure.
Some of the core recommendations around reading aloud to children and developing reading for pleasure in key stage 1 are as follows:
- Prioritise reading aloud in reception and year 1 with storytime in the timetable every day.
- Choose stories which both reflect children’s own lives and experiences and enable them to understand the experiences of others. Each classroom should have a carefully curated book corner – it is less about what the corner looks like, and more about the quality and variety of texts within it, and how the children can discover them.
- Choose stories which will extend children’s vocabulary, with challenging words which can be discussed and stories which will elicit a response from the children -be that excitement, sadness or joy.
- Deliberately plan and select texts which offer opportunities to expand vocabulary, and plan these into the curriculum, looking for opportunities for cross-curricular links.
- Ensure multiple readings of stories: the first should be purely for enjoyment, following that vocabulary, words and meaning can be discussed, and eventually children can join in with common phrases and refrains on much-loved class stories.
- As teachers and leaders, take time to learn about children’s books and become educated about the texts available, new releases, and different authors and illustrators so you can select the best possible collection of texts for your class – professional development is essential!
Developing home-school links
The ERF also emphasises the importance of building home-school links around reading and encouraging parents to read aloud to their children at home, modelling reading behaviours where possible.
There are helpful tips on how to read a story to a child and suggestions on how schools can support parents, for example through the provision of videos of stories being read aloud and/or videos modelling reading behaviour.
How Pearson can help you implement recommendations from the ERF in your school
Pearson have a range of products and services which can help you to meet the aims of the ERF in your schools:
- Bug Club Shared Reading is a structured digital and print programme which encourages a love of reading and teaches high level vocabulary through the use of engaging, deliberately planned stories. The stories have a cross curricular approach, enabling children to learn vocabulary which will support them across the curriculum in reception, year 1 and year 2, and are engaging and reflective of pupils’ lives and the world they experience. The careful planning, with daily read aloud sessions, allows time for reading for enjoyment, and digging deeper into the texts, using a talk based, spaced-learning approach, to build enjoyment of reading, and develop vocabulary, talk and comprehension. Storytime videos and ebooks support the online planning to extend learning into the home encouraging parents to share the stories with their child.
- Bug Club Phonics is a DfE-accredited systematic synthetic phonics programme which contains everything you need to teach children the 44 most common GPCs and get them reading fluently. With daily lessons, electronic teaching resources, practice, games, assessment schedules and resources and a wealth of exactly matched decodable readers for practice children can start tackling their first books after only two weeks of teaching!
- Coming soon: Developing a Reading for Pleasure School Professional Development – a self-directed course on Pearson Academy developed in collaboration with Professor Teresa Cremin and the team at the Open University, through six modules you will learn how to build the foundations of a reading for pleasure school with guidance on how to build your own knowledge of children’s books, how to build reading communities, an understanding children’s reading, and the pedagogies behind successful reading for pleasure.
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To find out more about how these services can help your school, speak to us today