“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Why do we believe reading is so important at Seven Stars school?
Reading unlocks all the doors in our 'Open Doors' Curriculum bringing hope, understanding, information, empathy and wonder
Door 1 (key skills): it unlocks all the other doors across all subjects to deeper understanding, greater appreciation and more informed thinking and action
Door 2 (the World): reading opens a door into our fascinating world of other cultures, views, opinions & beliefs. Reading takes our children beyond their immediate surroundings and transports them around the world. They can read about people and places, past and present that they may never meet and never visit but can still learn from through their reading.
Door 3 (Healthy Living): reading fluently brings self-confidence and gives our children a balanced outlook building empathy and relational understanding. Reading is therapeutic and builds understanding of ourselves by reading about others like us (or those very different from us). Reading is crucial in opening doors to careers and opportunities securing future financial health and is increasingly essential in order to take part in the world of social media.
Door 4 (Creativity): Reading enables our children to be more creative by exposing them to fresh thinking, new ideas and creative means of expression that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to if they did not read
Door 5 (Communication and Language): Reading widely (and hearing challenging texts read to them especially) broadens our children's vocabulary (functional, technical, descriptive, emotional and social) and improves their ability to communicate well with those around them.
We believe there are two key elements in reading that we want our children to acquire:
FLUENCY - addressed through
- our systematic synthetic multi-sensory phonics scheme called Phonics Shed which you can see more details about on our Phonics page Phonics at Seven Stars (including additional phonics sessions and 'phonics blasts')
- Our early Guided Reading sessions in Early Years
- Our focused guided reading sessions at Key Stage One
- Whole class reading sessions at Key Stage Two
- our high value on hearing children read as often as we can and daily targeted readers
MOTIVATION - reading widely for pleasure (including being read to) and nurturing a true love for reading which we do through a number of ways including:
- High quality reading challenge with lists of recommended books
Click here to see our Seven Stars Reading Challenge Recommended Reading list
Reading Challenge Recommended Reading List
- Participation in the Fantastic Book Awards Fantastic Book Awards
- Celebrations of books on a regular basis e.g. assemblies and book fairs
- Library 'Learning Pod' decorated with book characters and stocked with high quality books from the Lancashire Library Service
- Author visits (e.g. Ian Billings, Tommy Donbavand) and on-line workshops (Axel Sheffler)
- ‘The Lost Words’ week finding wonderful words from books and the natural world around us
- 'The Colour Monster' developing vocabulary about emotions
- Sharing books with Reading Buddies as classes hear each other read and read to the younger children
- Class Novels read to the children and using books outside (e.g. for identifying birds)
Door 1 (Key Skills)
Read easily, fluently, widely and with good understanding
Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas when speaking
Door 2 (The world)
to read about current events and events from around the world and focus on celebrating diversity, other cultures and religions.
write in different viewpoints and character roles to develop empathy and understanding of people from all cultures, diversities and background
debate, discuss and engage with current issues around the world
Door 3 (Healthy Lives)
good English skills unlock opportunities for a healthy flourishing life.
access to high quality texts that support good self-image and empathy with others
explore the role of the media and social media and the influence and impact this can have.
Door 4 (Creativity)
creativity in writing for a range of purposes and audiences including engaging with poetry, fiction and plays
Drama (including visiting performers), Art and Music bringing texts to life and inspiring creative thought and response with language skills that facilitate creative expression
using the creative power of language whether spoken, written or read.
Door 5 (Communication and Language)
using an increasingly broad and rich vocabulary and well-crafted language skills
-debate, persuade, discuss, perform, present and respond verbally at all points of the school curriculum
reading out their work or from key texts, explore different ways of communicating relevant for specific purposes and audiences
Speaking, listening, reading and writing are an essential part of all activities in the curriculum. At Seven Stars Primary School we aim to provide children with a wide range of creative and inspiring activities to develop and embed these skills. We strive for children to develop a love of reading and the ability to write confidently and fluently. We encourage our pupils to take pride in their work and to aim for the highest standards in writing and presentation.
The National Curriculum for English aims to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
All classes have:
- Working walls for both English units and SPaG which are used and relevant for the work in the children’s books
- Writing and Reading targets displayed
- Vocabulary displayed
- Writing and Reading resources which are accessible
- Inviting book areas and lending libraries set up
- Cross-curricular writing examples
- Places to celebrate children’s achievements in writing
- Comprehension activities/ challenge boards/cards/areas
Staff at Seven stars are constantly attending training to improve their practice and knowledge. Training is delivered by the subject leader along with Lancashire Literacy Consultants. We have recently had training focusing on grammar, spelling and boys writing.
What our children say about reading
"I love reading because it is calming. You feel safe and you can just read"
"I like to read silently because it helps us to imagine"
"I like that we don't always know what we are going to read. It can be anything"
"Reading is the best lesson!"
"I like reading because it calms me down when I come into school. Reading is enjoyable"