Principal Brian Schumacher places a strong emphasis on literacy in the Junior Years
Reading is one of the most important skills we can teach our boys. Research shows it is a predictor of future success, and outcomes for living are increased by learning to read fluently. Reading is not a natural skill like talking. It is a skill that needs to be learnt and practised in order to become fluent. We choose to read for pleasure or relaxation, to travel to other worlds and places or to find information and research. It is a life skill that underpins learning.
Learning to read is like learning to play football or learning to swim or to drive a car. Even though we can be taught the fundamental skills, unless it is regularly practised, then reading does not become fluent and embedded. That is why learning to read is something that requires partnership between families and teachers in order to develop the fluency and skills together. Without frequent practise, our boys are at risk of not being able to read with fluency and understanding.
At Rostrevor we teach our boys several strategies when learning the skill of reading. The first key area is oral language which is talking, listening, repeating, rhyming, singing and playing with words. We also use a sequential way of explicitly teaching letters and sounds.
We use decodable readers as the boys first books to provide successful attempts at reading with known sounds and letters. We share stories both through reading and orally. We introduce more words and discuss these books and we have the boys write letters, then words and then sentences and stories. However, we need our boys to be practising these skills frequently and that requires work at home.
Some strategies to help your son read at home:
At school, the teachers do many of these things as well because they know modelling these skills is as important as teaching them. At home, boys need to see that reading is important to you, just as important as football or swimming or learning to ride a bike or drive. Although we all have different aptitudes and interests for reading, it remains an essential life-skill, even if you don't consider yourself or your son 'academic'. At Rostrevor we believe that reading more is the top tip for making everything in school easier and for success - even in high level mathematics.
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