As part of the Easter Reading Challenge, the children were asked to find a creative, safe but unusual location to read. The #caughtreading winner will win a book!  Find some of the fantastic photos we've received so far #caughtreading photos

At Castle Hill Primary School, we are constantly providing the children with a range of reading opportunities in order to develop passionate readers for life.

We instil this love of reading by promoting reading for pleasure. We do this through the use of competitions, the constant updating of our library stock, review recommendation displays, discussions in class, author visits and book awards.

We love DEAR

Each day, the children hear their teacher read in a session called Drop Everything And Read (DEAR). This session is extremely popular with staff and children alike as it allows the whole class to share the enjoyment of reading together and allows their teacher to demonstrate the skills expected of a good reader.

Vocabulary for reading

A large part of accessing more challenging texts is acquiring the vocabulary needed. To support our children, we have a ‘Word of the Day’ and those children who recall and apply this new vocabulary become Word Wizards so if you see a child with a Word Wizard sticker, please ask them to explain the new words they have been learning.

Reading Skills

In order for our children to become skilled readers with a deeper understanding - and therefore enjoyment - of the texts, we teach them how to read actively using these key skills:

  • Visualising
  • Asking questions as they read
  • Predicting
  • Summarising
  • Noticing meaning breakdown
  • Clarifying
  • Find VIP (very important parts)
  • Using background knowledge to make links

Question Types

To prepare the children for written comprehension questions, we also teach them how to identify question types and the skills they need to answer these. Sometimes these will be verbally answered, other times these will be written.

  • Look and find - They usually need to skims and scan for key words given in the question or possibly for synonyms of the key words.
  • Clue - These are inference questions and the children are taught to add the evidence to their background knowledge in order to work out the answer.
  • Writer’s toolkit - Here the children must recognise the purpose behind some of the writer’s choices such as why subheadings have been selected.
  • Language impact - The children need to use their visualising skills alongside their understanding of the text to evaluate why the writer might have chosen certain figurative language techniques and the effect it has on them as a reader.
  • Main idea - The children are taught to understand the gist of the text and should be able to summarise this. They need to also recognise the main theme that occurs.
  • Word meaning - They learn to identify the meaning of words in the context of the text they are reading. This is practised through cloze techniques, etymology, and context clues.

Book Talk!

Reading is not just about reading! Thinking, talking and re-evaluating ideas on the text are just are crucial to deepening each individual’s understanding, and therefore enjoyment, of the text. Therefore, getting the children discussing what they have read is vital! To maximise their opportunity for discussion the children sometimes lead their own reading (book talk) sessions, using the key reading skills and directed discussion questions. The groups can take on various roles and rate their performance as a team to ensure that everyone feels valued and has a chance to contribute.

Book Awards

Year 4 and SLS’s Non-Fiction Book Award.

Every spring, Year 4 become the judges of an information book award run by Hampshire’s School Library Service (SLS). This allows the children to experience 6 different information texts and allows the children to discuss their ideas and opinions surrounding the content, structure and presentation of each book.

Year 4 - 2018

We have been studying each book carefully and have voted for our favourite, which was Fantastically

Great Women who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst. Lots of other schools are participating, and we can't wait to find out which book will win the award!

Here's what some of us think about the books and the competition:

"My favourite book was Our Very Own dog, not just because it was a really fun book but it had facts about how to look after you own dog in it as well." - Kayleigh (Miss Wyers' class)

"My favourite book was Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World because you got to learn more facts about important women." -Mihir (Miss Light's class)

"My favourite was Oceans and Seas because I liked learning about the sea." - Alicia (Miss Light'sclass)

"I liked Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World because it was very inspiring and it tells people that they can do whatever they want if they just follow their dreams." - Aarohi (Miss Light's class)

"I enjoyed taking part because all the books were interesting and getting to vote. I hope Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World wins!" - Ethan (Miss Wyers' class)

Year 5 and SLS’s Illustrated Book Award

In the Autumn term Year 5 explore 6 different illustrated books to determine who they think deserves to win. They become book critics, discussing the picture, layout, font and overall enjoyment of the text.

Year 5 – 2018

This year was a very exciting year for our Year 5 judges because the winning author and illustrator visited our school to share their talents with the year group – and what an inspiring visit it was! Having sketched in front of the children, and inspired them with his creativity, the illustrator (Neal Layton) kindly donated his signed work to our library.

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