Read Aloud / Reading Spine:
Bignold, staff read aloud to children daily. At Bignold we have a Book and Poetry Spine. There is a rationale behind each book selected; each book has earned its place and a range of research pieces have been used to inform the choices. The spine has a wide range of genres including classic and modern stories. The characters in the books are representative of our community and a wide range of popular and lesser known authors are represented. Children are read to daily from the Reading Spine and beyond to immerse the children in a world of literature (please see read aloud section). Books chosen for the nursery and pre-school often feature rhyme. Rhyme helps text to be held in the memory, and supports children in their early attempts at independent reading. They can join in the reading of the rhymed text and this joining in represents many children’s first way into reading. (CLPE 1991, The Reading Book)
In the Nursery and Pre-school, the reading spine texts form the backbone to the literacy curriculum. In Reception and at the beginning of Year One to demonstrate our love of books a new book from the reading spine is unwrapped and celebrated. This book is read frequently. These key texts are then revisited throughout the year with small groups of children and become our class favourites.
Research has shown that reading challenging novels aloud to children, giving them a more engaged uninterrupted reading experience over a sustained period, repositions ‘poorer readers’ as ’good readers’. Although reading aloud has always been a feature of our school we have an agreed policy around how we approach this.
We have used research from Alex Quigley and David Didau to support this: reading aloud to students, especially weaker readers, is a good thing to do. Prosody – the sound and rhythm the words make – really aids comprehension, especially with difficult texts. The problem comes when children are expected to follow along at the same speed. Because they lack the fluency to do this their working memory overloads and derails comprehension. We want our children to be immersed in this experience and not to have a cognitive overload.