At Gray’s Farm we love reading and so do our pupils. We are passionate about instilling a love of reading within our children and we work tirelessly to ensure that reading is a subject they love. Reading takes place continuously throughout the school day, and as well as being taught as an individual subject, you will also see it embedded across all aspects of the curriculum. Skills such as inference and deduction are taught, as well as grammatical and punctuation conventions. Vocabulary is a key part of our reading sessions as we believe broadening a child’s language helps them to understand and communicate in more developed ways.
Here’s a glimpse at when focused reading happens within our school:
We also celebrate and enjoy reading as a school in the following ways:
Reading Assembly – each week we host an assembly completely dedicated to reading, where we celebrate Star Readers, play the ‘Masked Reader’, discuss book recommendations and much more. To watch our most recent Reading Assemblies, click here.
D.E.A.R – our ‘Drop Everything and Read’ sessions do exactly what they say on the tin! They are opportunities for the children, our staff and our Gray’s Farm families to stop what they are doing, find a comfy spot and enjoy a book together. To watch our latest D.E.A.R sessions, click here.
Library – At Gray’s Farm we have a brand new, recently revamped library that has been created together by staff and pupils. We listened to what our pupils said about the types of books they’d like to read and the kind of environment they wanted to read in and as a result we now have an amazing library full of books and lots of huge bean bags so that our children can grab a book and find a cosy spot to enjoy it in! On the walls of the library you will see book recommendations written by our pupils, as well as book reviews just in case you need a little inspiration with your next book choice. And if you feel like you need a new reading challenge, do not fear! Our book collection is always being added to; you will find our latest arrivals on our ‘Bookflix’ display in the main school corridor.
Accelerated Reader & myON
At Gray’s Farm, throughout KS2 we use the Accelerated Reader scheme which allows children to access (through myON) books at exactly the correct level for their reading ability. They can do this by choosing a book from the library which has a fantastic range of books, or through accessing myON on a device. Accelerated Reader & myON are a fantastic resource for our pupils as not only do they have access to well over 5000 books, but they also take part in regular Star Reader assessments.
Star Reader - These assessments allow teachers to monitor reading progress and plan lessons according to the exact needs of the children in their class. Children take part in these assessments every half term and actually often look forward to them as they get to find out whether they have moved up a ZPD level. The ZPD level is a book range that is given to the children so that they can choose books (on myON, from the library or in their classroom) that match up to their reading ability. We believe that this is so important as it encourages a love of reading, as they read books that they can access. The best thing about the ZPD range is that it is exactly that – a range! This means that when children are given a new ZPD they are able to choose a book in the middle of their range and then as they gain confidence, we encourage them to challenge themselves and pick a book/s from the top end of their ZPD.
Reading catch ups – because we recognise the value of having regular conversations with our pupils about what they are reading, we have weekly ‘catch ups’ timetabled in between teachers and pupils. These are opportunities for us to hear them read, discuss their book choice and talk through any barriers to reading that they may be facing. As well as this, we also have specific members of staff who work across all classes with the task of identifying any children who might need extra support choosing a correctly levelled book, as well as helping to identify those who would benefit from extra reading support. We whole heartedly believe that these conversations are so valuable and we have seen the impact of them on our pupils, who are now confident at discussing their ZPD and book choice with anyone who asks.
Bookmark Challenge – to encourage our children with their reading and to celebrate progress, we run the ‘Bookmark Challenge’ throughout Key Stage 2. Children all start on Bookmark Challenge One and once they have achieved a set of targets, they then receive the first bookmark before moving on to Bookmark Challenge Two. Once they have received all 10 bookmarks, they are then awarded a Kindle; which we think is definitely merited after all their hard work!
World Book Day 2021
Well, what a fantastic world book day it has been! Remote learning couldn’t stop us at Gray’s Farm from having a fun filled day as the whole school took part in family challenges throughout the day! This year our theme was ‘Mixed Up Book Characters’ with the challenge to come dressed as not one, but two of your favourite book characters! Take a look below at some of our costume winners this year.
Throughout the day families were set 5 challenges all based on some new books that we have been enjoying together. Each challenge saw families completing a range of tasks, together including taking part in a Clever Clean-up of litter on the streets, creating their own Horrible Hotel and making their very own Sickening Soup!
Well done to everyone who took part – you did us all proud! In fact, because there was such a fantastic response from you all, we will be holding World Book Day Take Two in the summer term – so watch this space!
Every half term we spend an entire week dedicating our reading lessons to a person of significance; someone who with perseverance and persistence has changed the world we live in. Our chosen significant individuals are people who inspire all of us and we love to celebrate and look into their lives a little deeper whilst often discussing some quite challenging topics. This year we have already celebrated the amazing achievements of Kamala Harris, Marcus Rashford, Greta Thunberg and Rosa Parks. At Gray’s Farm we are passionate about creating a curriculum that celebrates diversity and promotes acceptance, which is why we want our children to regularly learn about, and be inspired by, individuals from all backgrounds, cultures, religions and ethnicities.