Literacy - Reading
Our intention is:
Reading for pleasure is an activity that has real emotional and social consequences. There is a growing body of evidence which illustrates the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational purposes as well as personal development. (DfE 2012)
A wide range of strategies are used to teach literacy at Millstead in order to best meet the needs of its pupils, many of whom have difficulty with auditory or visual processing, long and short-memory or other difficulties which are prerequisites to proficient reading and writing.
We use the National Curriculum, to help structure our Programmes of Study for Literacy but draw knowledge, skills and understanding from EYFS and Key Stage 1.
Developing a love of stories, books and reading at Millstead
Whole Class Story Time
Teachers and support staff tell stories to children regularly. The stories are chosen from a box of agreed, pre-selected books. The planning of books shared during story time ensures that a range of materials are used over the year and key stage, to avoid repetition and ensure that the children experience of wide range of high-quality texts.
& Bag Books
Sensory stories convey simple narratives using a mixture of text and complimentary sensory experiences. Each section of the story is accompanied by a sensory experience to help bring the story to life. When telling sensory stories, it is good to incorporate all the senses where appropriate so touch, smell, sounds, taste and visual stimuli. Sensory stories are appropriate for all children in school and enable them to access stories in many ways rather than just auditory involvement.
Sensory Story Umbrellas
Story umbrellas are a fun way of immersing a child in a story. Story props and sensory stimuli are displayed on the umbrella. These are props are brought around in to the child’s eyeline at the appropriate time in the story. Children are encouraged to reach out and explore the resources.
According to the Audio Publishers Association, audiobooks help “build and enhance vital literacy skills such as fluency, vocabulary, language acquisition, pronunciation, phonemic awareness, and comprehension”. Using audio books enables pupils to engage with a story of their choice without relying on an adult to read it to them. It is intended that pupils will be able to access good quality texts outside of school enabling them to make positive use of their leisure time.
The story massage programme offers a fun and fully inclusive way of combining the creativity of story, song and rhyme with the benefits of positive touch. Each line of the story is accompanied by a specific massage move.
Magazines & Comics
The Benefits of Comic Books & Magazines:
In some classrooms, teachers have transformed a physical space in the classroom to create a conducive, lively and inviting space for reading. Reading corners contain a range of reading material and formats appropriate to the level of development and interests of the children in the class group.
Reading for Pre-Formal Pupils
PMLD Cohort: simple stories are created by the class teacher. These may be based on a published story, or made up. The stories are told orally and with expression.
The stories are multi-sensory and at some point, all appropriate senses are covered. Each part of the story has a sensory event with an accompanying stimulus.
Through the use of sensory stories that are repeated over time, it is possible for children to begin to anticipate the order of events in the story, respond consistently to the stimuli and to show enjoyment during the story sessions. It is intended that one story is the focus for a half term which is delivered consistently by the staff team.
It is expected that there are sufficient resources provided so that the children can have opportunity to explore and interact with the sensory item without waiting for extended periods of time for their turn. It is appreciated that some resources will need to be shared to allow the children to develop anticipation and turn taking skills.
Complex ASC Cohort: simple stories are created by the class teacher. These may be based on a published story, or made up. The stories are created and delivered electronically to support engagement. Published stories are adapted by the addition of symbols, simplified text and musical cues where appropriate.
The stories are multi-sensory and each part of the story has a sensory element. Stories are told daily for a 2-week period to support anticipation, recognition of key part of the story and consistency of response to stimuli.
Stories are also used to develop basic skills in communication, language and literacy.
Developing pupils' 'pre-reading' skills is an essential part of the literacy curriculum at Millstead especially amongst our pre-formal and semi-formal learners. Pre-reading skills focus on teaching children to tune into sounds, remembering them and gradually learning to name them. This is done in lots of different ways, e.g. nursery rhymes, sound-based games, e.g. sound lotto or exploring the sounds different instruments make.
Reading for Semi-Formal and Formal Pupils
Class teachers either create their own stories (either based on a published story or made up) or choose books which are appropriate to both the age and stage of development of the children. Narrative books enable the children to become confident in repeated phrases, refrains and predictions in familiar texts.
Phonics is taught using the Letters and Sounds programme. This programme teaches phonics in a systematic way. Letters and Sounds promotes speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness and oral blending skills. A typical phonics session follows a set structure: Revisit and Review, (prior phonemes / graphemes) Teach (a new phoneme / grapheme) Practice and Apply. Pupils typically revisit the same phonemes and graphemes many times so they become embedded. We are therefore always on the lookout for how we reinforce our phonics across the school day.
Adults encourage reading strategies to help children decode texts with greater independence. We use the following stratgies to support independent reading:
Many of our pupils will remain at a pre-reading level and not all of our pupils will learn to read through phonics or whole-word recognition. Many go onto use symbolled text and, even for emerging readers, symbolled text is a useful tool in scaffolding their reading skills, allowing them to grow in confidence by reading more independently.