X marks the spot

Today we drew treasure maps and made treasure islands and then thought about and described how to find the treasure.

We went around volcanoes, through tunnels, over bridges, in between quick sand and pirates and all sorts on our adventures!


Follow up to reading curriculum evening

Thank you to all the parent/carers who attended the reading curriculum evening on Thursday. It was great to have so many of you there and thank you for being such enthusiastic participants! We thought it would be useful to share some of what was covered in the session. 

We spoke about the importance of adults reading to their children as well as hearing them read from the book that has been sent home. This can present challenges in terms of fitting both types of reading into busy family lives. We shared strategies and tips for supporting reading routines at home.

  • Timings –  many people spoke about reading to their children at bedtime but hearing them read is sometimes better done at a time when the child isn’t tired eg in the morning or earlier in the afternoon. 
  • Seize the moment- take a book out with you in case that’s the time your child wants to read.
  • Share the reading of the child’s reading book. Eg a sentence or page each. It’s also fine to reread the same book. Make deliberate mistakes so your child can correct you.
  • Recording your child’s reading on a chart with rewards can work well as an incentive.
  • Use your library! Choose books together.
  • Read to your child from a wide range of reading material- non-fiction, poetry, comics, magazines, cereal packets!
  • Your child could read to a sibling, pet or a toy or read in unusual places such as in a den.

Parents were invited to write down questions for us to answer later:

Once a child knows the word, should she just read it or still sound it out?

The aim is for fluency and automaticity when reading, so when the child knows the word they do not need to sound it out. Encourage them to use phonics and sounding out for unknown words but to just say the word if they already know it.

How important is it to ask questions when reading?

Children need to understand what they are reading but in the very early days of them learning to read, they will be largely focused on decoding, which will be a huge cognitive load for them. You could ask one or two questions to check for understanding or alternatively reread the book to them yourself and then ask a few questions. It’s about finding the balance between making sure they understand the story and overburdening them with questions and putting them off reading. A huge benefit of you reading a range of books to your child regularly is the impact this has on their vocabulary development. Explain the meaning of unknown words and encourage them to ask you if there’s a word they don’t know.

What happens in reading time in the year one timetable?

Reading sessions are usually at 2:45 in year one and last for around 20 minutes. This is separate from phonics lessons which happen at another time in the day. In the reading sessions, the teacher and teaching assistant read one to one with the children. During this time, the children sit and read or look at a wide range of books independently. After that, the teacher will read a book to the class before home time. 

When do alternative spellings get taught in year one?

These are taught in phase five of our phonics scheme of work. The children in year one are currently on phase four so phase five will start later this term.

Other schools do spelling tests, why doesn’t Rosendale?

Teachers frequently set spelling tests. In year one this might consist of quick testing of the tricky words they have learnt. This would normally be done on whiteboards in the phonics lesson.

What is the provision for monitoring and/or supporting children with dyslexia and/or processing issues?

We monitor children’s progress in phonics and reading and based on that we provide interventions for children who are not meeting age related expectations. Teachers run additional phonics groups and teachers and teaching assistants provide additional one to one reading support. Support staff also run attention and language groups in year one which include work on phonological awareness. In the spring term in year two we introduce the computer based Lexia intervention to children who we think will benefit from the extra phonics, reading and spelling practice offered by the programme.

Is reading a physical paper book better than reading on a screen eg Kindle, iPad?

Generally, for developing good reading habits eg holding the book, turning the pages, we would recommend books in paper format. However, to develop wider reading and to engage reluctant readers, technology can be used as long as it is in addition to reading the child’s reading book from school.

Can the reception reading books be more interesting?

In the very early stages of reading, the books the children read need to be mainly decodable in order for the children to succeed at reading them. Because of this it is likely that the books they are given to read will be simple and repetitive. Books read to the class by the teacher and by parents at home will be pitched at a level where children can understand the book and be engaged by it but wouldn’t be able to read all the words themselves. 

Are there any online tools to support our children with reading?

In year one, the children have been introduced to an app on the school iPads called Teach Your Monster To Read. We are happy for the children to use the app at home. The children have been given usernames and passwords which they will have taken home last week. 

Would it be possible for you to share the book bands?

Can you recommend books suitable for different age groups?

This is a good list of recommended books for primary aged children.


Children in Need – PJ / Onsie Day

On Friday 15th November we are inviting all children and staff to come into school in their onesie or pyjamas, in return we are asking those dressing up to donate a coin which we will pass onto Children in Need. 

Children in Need is the BBC’s UK charity that raises money to change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. 


Thank you for your support.

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