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To develop a love of reading is crucial because it impacts directly on our pupils’ lives so we build this on firm foundations.
The aim of Pre-Prep is to provide an excellent start to every pupil’s education by helping them to develop a thirst for reading and thus an enthusiasm for learning. Reading is taught in a variety of ways. Children follow a programme to learn phonics. They have numerous opportunities to encounter the written word as we aim to both stimulate and satisfy their curiosity about the world within school and beyond. Children take home a wide selection of books to share with their parents and this provides many opportunities for conversation. Sometimes the books are for the children to read independently; other books will contain more challenging vocabulary which will enrich their experience of language and these are read together with parents.
In Middle School, with continuing encouragement and careful teaching, more advanced reading skills are nurtured and by the end of Year 4 the
children should read with fluency and accuracy across a wide range of genre. Their skill at decoding should give them the confidence to approach more challenging texts and, more importantly, to choose to read for pleasure.
In the first two years of Upper School we seek to build on the children’s enthusiasm and skills as we further their understanding of the writer’s craft. We will discuss the techniques that writers use to convey their ideas, which leads, inevitably, to separating fact from opinion and understanding how to use language to heighten response, a crucial skill for young citizens. By the end of Year 6 our pupils should be familiar with both modern and classic children’s texts, diaries and autobiographies. They will have read non-literary texts in a variety of formats and use them confidently to open up their world.
During the final two years in Upper School pupils aim to become discriminating readers who are well able to engage with the ideas within a text and to respond to the issues within. They will be encouraged to analyse and evaluate spoken and written words and to understand the writer’s craft which underpins successful communication.
The teaching of reading, of course, moves in parallel with developing skills as a communicator, one who will be able to make their ideas clear through mastery of words, written or spoken.