At Cranbrook Primary, children are taught to read independently using a variety of methods and schemes. They are introduced to a wide range of attractive and stimulating books in class book corners, and the school library, including classics, and modern literature from other cultures. Regular visits are made to our local library. Open our Core Text Map to see the texts children cover during their time at Cranbrook Primary School.
Big Cat Phonics
Like most schools, the children work their way through a reading scheme of banded books. By following the correct pattern, we can ensure the children are exposed to accurate levels of language and reading challenge. It is important the children work through these at a pace which right for them. When the children move from one band to another, we are not just looking at the words they can read, we are also looking at their inference and comprehension skills. The children have to be able to demonstrate they thoroughly understand what they are reading and why. In order for the children to get the very best from a book, they must be able to enjoy the text presented to them. We encourage the children to become reading detectives as they learn to pick apart the hidden messages contained within a story and help them to learn how to read for pleasure which in turn allows them to become engaged readers with a developed love for stories. We use the Collins banded reading scheme Big Cat Phonics, which follows the 'Letters and Sounds' scheme. These books are levelled so that children can progress through the books in levels of difficulty, reading deliberately patterned, simple, repetitive grammatical structures helps children to achieve early success. In addition to reading the physical books, children also have access to an online library. Click here for more information.
What is 'Accelerated Reader'?
Children from Year 1 upwards are taking part in the Accelerated Reader programme which helps us to manage and monitor children's independent reading practice. Each child picks a book at their own level and reads it at their own pace. When finished, the child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that the child has understood what they have read.) Accelerated Reader gives children and teaching staff feedback based on the quiz results, which are then used to help the child set goals and direct on-going reading practice.
As they read, children are taught to make appropriate notes in their Reading Journal, e.g. chapter summaries, character notes, etc. which will support them when carrying out their quiz. If children do not pass the quiz, teaching staff will support them by:
- helping the child to choose another book that is more appropriate
- ask more probing questions as the child reads and before they take a quiz
- pair the child with another student, or even read the book to them.
We are lucky enough to work with Beanstalk, a national reading charity. Beanstalk volunteers come to school twice a week to listen to selected children read and discuss their favourite books.
Drop everything and read!
We know the importance of children being read aloud to so every day at 3 o’clock, each class is read aloud to. This enables all children to share a range of texts during their time at our school.
We realise that once you have developed an appetite for reading, it can be quite expensive to constantly buy new books to read. At Cranbrook Primary, we regularly hold ‘Book Grabs’ to encourage children to read new books. This is an excellent way of recycling books, saving money and encouraging book recommendations amongst the children.
Oxford University Press - Word Gap
We’re proud to be a Word Gap Partner School in association with Oxford University Press. We’re committed to closing the word gap and improving children’s vocabulary and wider life chances. To find out more about the word gap, read the associated research and available resources here.
Our School Library
We were fortunate enough to have our library updated in 2018. Our brand new library was opened by Councillor Seán Holden. It is well stocked and is a hub for learning in school.
At Cranbrook Primary, our library is run by our Key Stage 2 Librarians and some of our excellent volunteers. Librarians man the library during lunchtimes, helping children to select new books and complete their Accelerated Reader quizzes. They also share stories together and complete book reviews with the children based on the books they have shared.
Visiting Cranbrook Library
Each class frequently visits Cranbrook library which is conveniently located at the end of our road. During the visits, children receive a tour of the library and a talk from a librarian who explains the services on offer. They also read books based on their topic and complete a quiz based on the knowledge they have acquired. The visits have created a real buzz around reading and it is great to see children accessing such a valuable service in the community.
“Visiting Cranbrook Library is really fun because I get to find new books.” Year 4 child
“The library has a range of exciting books for both children and adults.” Year 6 child
“Even I discovered new books in the library.” Member of staff
Strategies to support your child with their reading at home
There are many ways you can support your child whilst at home. Reading should, where possible, take place daily. Daily reading interaction allows you child to build their fluency and confidence skills which in turn, will make them better readers in the future.
Comments from Ofsted Report (2017)
Teachers use a range of effective strategies to teach writing. Linking writing to the exciting curriculum encourages pupils to write increasingly extended pieces. These allow pupils to develop their ideas and to practise their technical understanding of writing.
Much has been done to improve the teaching of reading. Teachers promote an enjoyment of reading. The library is well stocked. ‘Read with me’ sessions encourage parents to read with their child in school. Pupils receive rewards for becoming ‘home reading heroes’ by reading frequently at home.