We are proud of our reading rich environments throughout the school.

Reading is a key part of Herons Dale life and we see and value it as an important life skill that all children need to have access to.

At Herons Dale we have 4 libraries and the whole school is full of literacy rich environments. We have a fiction, non-fiction, sensory and outdoor library, all of which allow our pupils to develop their reading skills and also enjoy a love for reading.

At Herons Dale we use Song of Sound phonics programme and we chose this because of its creativity. Everything we do at Herons Dale is creative and it underpins our core curriculum values. As well as this, the programme is underpinned by a song, which again, supports our creative learning style at Herons Dale. The programme also divides learning up by daily sessions with a longer session once or twice a week to build and practice skills. This is important for our learners as it allows lots of practice, consolidation and allows pupils to apply and generalise learning. We have a wide range of books which support this phonics scheme as well as POPs books (plenty of potential).

As well as Phonics we have many other reading strategies that we use, these include; sensory stories, precision teaching, see and learn, trugs games, stories of key interests for individual children, guided reading, communicate in print symbols, puppets, audio books and as a school we follow a total communication approach. 

Reading strategies are bespoke for each pupil and our formal and semi-formal learners have their own reading record and these pupils read daily.  

As well as bespoke reading for pupils, reading is also an intrinsic part of cross curricular teaching and happens through all subjects, all of the time.

Reading for our engaging learner’s looks a little bit different, but still maintains upmost of importance and these learners are surrounded by literacy rich experiences all the time. Our engaging learners need to be able to develop reading skills and we teach this by developing sustained attention to visual, and auditory stimuli. This can be achieved through, intensive interaction, specialist room resources, our sensory library, cooking, attention autism, TACPAC and music.

Reading for our engaging learners is also strongly linked to communication. Resources used to develop communication skills develop the link between visual representations, and meaning, in a motivating, purposeful and functional way. These can be incorporated into all areas of the curriculum. This includes, now and next, PECS, photo communication, objects of reference, cooking and visual timetables.

Our engaging learners also follow early phonics skills which involve sound exploration and discrimination.