Teaching children to read is of paramount importance at Carr Junior School and we believe reading is a life enhancing skill that is the entitlement of every child. We provide a rounded and wholesome approach to reading that encourages children to love books, love reading, love finding out information and love sharing stories together.
Guided Reading is taught 4 times a week throughout the school by all classes. At Carr, we follow the ‘Reciprocal Reading’ approach, which is designed to enhance comprehension in the classroom by enabling students to take on a more active role in discussing their texts. Children use 4 strategies (predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising) to explore and comprehend their text.
In addition to this, all classes teach a one hour reading lesson per week. This focuses on children looking at a small section of their text in an in depth manner. This session develops children's ability to explain their thinking and also look at the language, vocabulary and style of questions used in a reading test paper. This will familiarise children with using the wide range of skills required.
In order for children to make excellent progress in reading all children must read at home. Research has shown that reading at home for as little as 5 minutes every day can dramatically improve reading levels. To encourage home reading at Carr, our children can earn 'High Five' reading stickers. They also can progress along their class reading chart, which sees that all of the class are given an exciting reward when every child has read at home 10 times. All parents and carers need to do, is sign their planner to show that you have either enjoyed reading with them, or have witnessed them reading independently. All children are able to achieve this and we are seeing great results in their daily reading and writing. Parents/carers - we need your help with this!
We are extremely lucky at Carr, to have a fantastic amount of reading volunteers who come into school to read with children. Our volunteers range from University students to parents and grandparents and there is at least one volunteer per class. Their time and efforts are much appreciated and it is something our children really enjoy. You may find that they have written in your child’s planner, if they have spent time reading with them that day.
At Carr Junior, children don’t just love reading independently, but also love to support their peers. Our fabulous Year 6’s give up some of their time to be ‘reading buddies’ with our year 3 children. They are partnered up and spend 20 minutes together where the year 3 children read aloud to their reading buddy. Our year 6 children are wonderful advocates of reading and have been specifically trained to give our year 3 children the very best of their skills.
In order to encourage reading and writing for pleasure, Carr Junior takes part in a wide variety of exciting competitions. Many of our fantastic children have even had their work published into stories that can be bought by the public! We hold termly ‘Book Bingo’ competitions, in which the children aim to complete the reading related bingo grid in order to earn themselves a certificate, prize and their picture on our reading wall of fame (you can find this down our main corridor, near reception!)
Ultimately, our goal at Carr Junior School is for children to read for pleasure. Research shows that reading for pleasure not only leads to happier children but to an improvement in children’s overall wellbeing. At Carr Junior we have set up our library to be run by yr 5 and 6 on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes. This enables children from across the school to share their love of reading with friends and to expand their knowledge of genres. Over the next few months our library will be based around themes which will explore a variety of authors and books. To help keep our library open through lunchtimes we rely on volunteers to support our young librarians.
At Carr Junior, writing is an integral and fundamental element of our whole curriculum: from writing explanations in Maths, to exploring investigations in Science or writing for another purpose in English. All of our writing is thematic and linked to the exciting topics children learn about in their year groups.
Writing at Carr is taught in a 5 step process: immersion, planning, drafting, editing and publishing. Children are fully immersed in the subject of their writing before they begin to put pencil to paper. Teachers achieve this through providing exciting opportunities for the children to explore their own knowledge, ideas and feelings towards their writing purpose. Children are then allowed time and given support in turning their ideas into an informative plan, which will provide structure and reassurance. By this point, children are enthused and prepared to start their writing journey! At Carr we approach their drafting through the form of ‘modelled writing’.
We believe that when children are provided with a ‘mastery model’ of writing, this allows them to gradually internalise the writing requirements for the purpose and audience. Our children actively join in this process as they share in the creation of the model. Finally, children work closely with their ‘critical friends’ to edit and evaluate their drafts.
Here at Carr, we know that knowledge is power so we are building up our word knowledge by using Vocab Ninja! In every year group there are words of the week which are taught, explored and used in writing. The challenge for the children is to use them as many times in their writing as they can (where appropriate) and the challenge for the teachers is to use the ninja words when filling in their weekly VIP Learner Award. Will the children spot their Ninja word when Miss Ryder reads it out in her Friday assembly?
In years 3-5 there is a class set of Chromebooks ready to use during English lessons for many purposes: research, thesaurus and dictionary support, publishing power! In year 6, the children all have their own Chromebook which supports them to become 21st century learners and develop their independence. When the teacher sets the children an assignment on Google Classroom, each child’s writing can be viewed on the interactive whiteboard, the teacher can make comments and the writing can be edited and improved with immediate feedback. Children love our brilliant chromebooks - we are incredibly lucky to have them!