The school has recently purchased a new reading scheme: Bug Club. We hope that you and your child will love these books and enjoy reading them at home.
What is Bug Club?
Bug Club is a finely-levelled reading scheme, which ensures that all children can find books at exactly the right level for them. We have physical books to read as well as access to online versions of very printed title. Your child is able to read either the physical book or the online version. Please note that a new physical book will not be sent home until your child’s previous book has been returned to school. There will be a £5 charge for any lost books.
Using the online reading world
Each child has a unique homepage and can log into it by following these steps:
1. Go to www.activelearnprimary.co.uk
2. Enter the login details. Please see your child’s teacher if you need another copy of your child’s log-in details or school code.
3. Your child’s homepage will appear.
Reading a book online
Your child’s teacher will allocate books to your child according to their reading level. We use standardised assessments for this. These books will appear in the ‘My Stuff’ area of their personal homepage.
Your child does not need to finish the book in one sitting (this is particularly true for older children who have lengthy novels to read).
Throughout the books there are quiz questions for your child to complete. To answer a question, just click on the bug icon.
Your child does not need to finish all the quiz questions in one sitting and can come back to a book later.
When your child has finished all the quiz questions in a book, he or she will earn ‘ActiveLearn Coins’. By reading more books, your child will earn enough coins to ‘buy’ a reward (very similar to the way in which they can purchase items on Sumdog). The answers to the quiz questions will be sent back to our teacher site so that we can see how your child is progressing. We will also be able to assign more books for your child to read if the virtual book bag is running low.
When your child has finished a book, it will move to ‘My Library’. Children can read these books again if they want to, or they can choose new books from ‘My Stuff’.
Reading At Home
We ask that you encourage your child to read as much as possible at home. Every child has a B-Link Book which contains a reading record. We ask that you listen to your child read their Bug Club book and record a short note in their B-Link book a minimum of once a week. Your child’s teacher and/or teaching assistant will also listen to them read this book in school and record this in their B-Link book.
Your child will be allocated books at their current reading level. We use assessments in school to ascertain which reading level is matched to your child’s ability. Reading all books at one particular level does not mean your child will automatically move up to the next one. Our main focus is on understanding. Your child will only move up a level if we are confident they fully understand what they are reading. Being able to confidently decode and read out loud is only half the story – our main concern is that the understanding matches this. In order to support your child with their comprehension, please ensure they answer the “bug” questions independently and in as much detail as possible to show their understanding.
I’m Concerned My Child Is Reading Below Their Age-Expected Level
Given the disruption to your child’s education over the last two years, it is likely they will be slightly behind their age-expected level at the moment. We also appreciate that children progress and develop at different paces. We do however need to give opportunities for all children to thrive. Every teacher is however working extremely hard to provide the children with many opportunities to improve their reading during school time. Children must however also read their Bug Club books regularly at home in order to build on this. Ensuring a solid understanding of what they have read is as important as being able to read aloud with fluency; it is therefore essential that your child answers the online “Bug” questions in sufficient detail,
particularly in Key Stage 2 where lengthy answers are expected.
I Believe My Child Is On The Wrong Reading Level –Their Book Is Too Easy
Your child is allocated a book band based on their ability to understand and interpret what they have read, as well as their ability to decode words (read aloud accurately). We use levelled reading assessments for this and your child has been allocated their book band based on the outcome of these assessments. A child’s understanding may not always match their ability to read aloud. Reading comprehension is vitally important. The “Bug” questions on the online versions of the books assist with this skill. Your child’s teacher will continue to assess your child’s reading throughout the year and will amend their book band to reflect this.
My Child Has Already Read The Books They’ve Been Allocated
We will only amend a child’s book band if we believe they are ready for the next band. We use a variety of assessments for this. If your child has not moved up a book band despite having read all the books, it is because they are not ready to do so. They may have not read and understood the books correctly or rushed too quickly through the books to make enough of an improvement in their decoding and comprehension skills. It is important children read their books thoroughly rather than rushing through them. Furthermore, just like continuously practising times tables, repeating books will help consolidate and build confidence, especially when children are first learning to read. This is particularly important when children are reading sight words which cannot be decoded (broken down into known sounds) such as “was” and “some”. Repetition is key to learning these.
My Child Would Rather Read Their Own Books At Home
It’s wonderful that your child loves reading so much and we fully encourage children to read for pleasure at home. Unfortunately however, the majority of these books do not address the specific literacy skills your child must work on. Books at home cannot therefore be used as a substitute for your child’s Bug Club book. Furthermore, books at home do not contain the comprehension-type questions children need to be working on in order to improve their ability to understand and synthesise what they have read. Simply asking “What has happened?” or “Why did the character do that?” is not enough to improve and ensure age -appropriate comprehension.
Examples of Bug Club questions include:
– “What does the author want you to think about sharks?” (Year 2 – Purple A)
– “Which words and phrases in the text show you how the boy feels about moving to the Close? Use this evidence to help you describe his thoughts and feelings.” (Year 3 – Brown A)
– “How do the narrator’s ideas about fossils relate to his ideas about how his nanna’s story is built up?” (Year 5 – Blue A)
Furthermore, the Bug Club book focus on the child reading which needs to be done in addition to listening to parents read to children. This shared reading is vitally important but cannot be a substitute for children reading themselves.
What Will The School Be Doing To Help My Child Improve?
Throughout the week, your child will engage in many reading-focused activities including guided reading, shared reading and individual reading. Literacy is taught every day and your child will also have many opportunities in these lessons to improve their reading skills. In the Foundation Phase, children will also have access to reading-focused tasks in the enhanced provision. If your child is assessed to be reading significantly below their age-expected level, they will receive intervention support which will target their specific area(s) of need.
If you have any further queries about this reading scheme, please see your child’s teacher.