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Why is reading so important?

At HCFS we intend to..

  • Provide a high quality English Curriculum that is relevant and engaging to all children;
  • Provide children with the skills to decode words in order to read fluently;
  • Equip children with the core foundations of reading to go on to research any areas they wish;
  • Ensure all children are confident readers, who can apply the skills learnt independently in a variety of situations;
  • Provide engaging and relevant reading materials and opportunities for reading that enable pupils to develop a lifelong love of reading;
  • Use reading to provoke thought within children – developing inquisitive readers who seek to ask questions about what they are reading;
  • Use parents as partners in their children’s reading journey;
  • Motivate children to obtain new knowledge through reading;
  • Ensure children understand how valuable their reading skills will be in the real world, and the opportunities this can provide for them.

Reading Comprehension Lessons

At HCFS, the purpose of a reading comprehension lesson is to teach children the skills needed to gather meaning and connect the ideas that are given to them on a page. Children are shown that the concept of ‘comprehension’ is used within life throughout the day; for example, comprehending how someone is feeling, understanding what someone is inferring when they talk.  The main concepts children focus on are:  Retrieval, Vocabulary (Word Meaning), Inference, Sequencing, Summarising, Prediction and Authorial Intent.

Reading comprehension lessons are delivered to the children in the following way:

Starter – Focuses on the concept of ‘RIC’ (Retrieve, Interpret, Choice) – 3 different questions are posed to the children on a given text, image or video, and they must use their comprehension skills to answer the question. Here we are focusing on children being fluent in the application of the skills.

Direct Teach – Focuses on the explicit reading skill children are focusing on within the lesson. Gives examples of what the skill is, and the types of questions that will appear as part of these. From KS2 onwards children are introduced to improving their reading skills with the aid of certain characters ‘Cassie Commentator’, ‘Arlo Author’, ‘Inference Iggy’, ‘Predicting Pip’, ‘Rex Retriever’, ‘Summarising Sheba’ and ‘Vocabulary Victor’, who help them remember key skills.  Within the direct teach children will complete a whole class example of reading an extract and answering questions about it, with the teacher modelling the reading comprehension skills needed to be successful.

Activity – Children complete an independent activity. This is usually timed, to prepare children for the speed needed within statutory assessments, but also how to pace themselves generally. These activities can also be differentiated to suit the children’s reading ability. Children learn how to keep track of their scores. The text that children read is tailored to the particular reading strand they are focusing on, with the majority of questions relating to that, however there will also be other types of questions to ensure children keep all of their skills sharp.

Plenary – A review of the session or challenge for the children moving forward.

For more information about what your child is learning, please speak with their Class Teacher.

  • Hatfield Community Free School, Briars Lane, Hatfield,
    Hertfordshire, AL10 8ES
  • 01707 276018