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Learning to Read at Gledhow - A Quick Guide


Ten Reasons to Love Reading!

1. Children who read often and widely get better at it.

2. Reading exercises our brains.

3. Reading improves concentration.

4. Reading teaches children about the world around them.

5. Reading improves a child’s vocabulary and leads to more highly-developed language skills.

6. Reading develops a child’s imagination.

7. Reading helps children to develop empathy.

8. Children who read frequently are more successful at school.

9. Reading is a great form of entertainment.

10. Reading relaxes the body and calms the mind.


To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

At Gledhow we pride ourselves on fully appreciating the importance of reading, as it enables children to be successful, independent learners in all aspects of the curriculum.

We approach reading from many angles. We follow a tightly-structured reading programme, based on colour bands to match each child’s ability. This enables children to develop their reading skills at an appropriate pace, matched closely to their reading skills.

We hear children read independently on a regular basis, and as part of a ‘Guided Reading’ group. In this way, we can closely monitor each child’s vital comprehension skills.

Each classroom has a broad range of ‘Books for Pleasure’, and we actively encourage all children to access these books at every opportunity.

We believe that learning to read is not simply a ‘mechanical’ process, one in which children learn to decode individual words. We believe that reading is based on developing comprehension skills: the ability to infer information and empathise with, and relate to, characters; the skills of skimming and scanning non-fiction texts to retrieve information; and the ability to use a contents page, glossary and index independently to further their learning and understanding.


How You Can Help?

Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out print. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a rich and wide vocabulary. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they learn to read.

Hearing your child read on a regular basis is one of the best ways to ensure your child fulfils their potential. Try to remember: reading is not just about possessing the skills to decode words they encounter. It is about your child’s ability to understand what they read; the ability to make inferences and predictions; and being able to empathise with characters and explain their actions with reference to the text.

For these reasons, we do not ‘rush’ children through the colour bands on our long-established reading scheme. Rather, we focus heavily on each child’s ability as a complete reader, not simply a technically-proficient one. If you do feel your child has been on a level for too long, please do not worry. Trust us! There is always a reason for this - we feel your child has more skills to master at their present level.

"A book is like a garden, carried in the pocket." — Chinese Proverb 

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