Teaching of Reading
Phonics – Word building
We faithfully follow the Read Write Inc scheme for phonics. The foundations for this are laid in Reception and continue until children are secure in phonics and fluent readers.
Formal teaching of phonics begins in Reception starting with teaching set one sounds and blending, ready for assessment after four weeks of phonics teaching. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (and Year 3 children who need it) children are grouped via Read Write Inc assessments to ensure they are receiving phonics teaching at the appropriate level.
Children receive phonics teaching until they have successfully completed the scheme. This is the pre-cursor to developing reading fluency and comprehension. Once children have completed grey level Read Write Inc they move on to the reading comprehension element which is taught in the phonics session.
Time for teaching phonics is ringfenced. In Reception in the Autumn Term, children start with 20-minute lessons which increases to an hour split across the day as children’s stamina improves. In KS1 children receive a daily 45 minute lessons. Recap sessions take place daily in Year 1 and Year 2 link their handwriting and spellings sessions to Read Write Inc. The ditties are also referred to across the curriculum, when the children are applying both their reading and writing skills.
For those children who are assessed, via frequent assessment in the lesson, as not grasping the sounds, catch up interventions will take place. Early intervention takes place for those children at risk of reading failure. Targeted children also have “Switched on Reading” sessions, focusing on developing their individual targets.
If children in Year 3 are not reading fluently, they continue to have daily phonics lessons to ensure they don’t get left behind. Those children, unless they are newly arrived from abroad, who do not meet the standard of the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 2 are referred to the school’s SENDCO for further assessment to identify if additional support is required.
The phonics lead is given dedicated time out of class to monitor and evaluate the impact of phonics teaching in every group, providing timely coaching and mentoring for staff where a need is identified. We adopt a fluid approach to the grouping of children with on-the-spot assessment taking place as soon as it identified that a child is ready to move groups.
All adults have been trained to effectively deliver Read Write Inc sessions and careful consideration is made of which adult is allocated to which group to ensure that the lowest attaining 20% children are receiving the highest quality phonics teaching available in the school.
Children’s home books are matched to the phonics sound being taught in their lessons so that their continued development can be reinforced at home.
Reading to learn
Within our Early Years Curriculum, children are read to at least twice a day. Our books, within the setting, have been carefully selected for different purposes in order to build their cultural capital and to encourage a love of reading from an early age. They will be exposed to traditional tales, nursery rhymes, text which opens the doors to the world and a selection of contemporary and modern literature which reflects life in the 21st century.
To continue the reading journey beyond the school gates, the children take home a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ book which they have chosen to share with parents. This book will not match the sounds they are learning, but it is a book to share with an adult so that children can discover a wide range of texts and begin to build a selection of their favourite reads, which they can to return to time and time again.
Fluency and comprehension
From Year 2 onwards, children have reading lessons focused on developing fluency to practice and gain automaticity. Children need to read a text several times before they can read it accurately with speed, aiming for 90 words per minute so that they are reading with sufficient fluency to focus on their understanding. These sessions use strategies such as ECHO, paired and performance reading with suitably levelled texts. Children are exposed to high quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts in these sessions. In KS2 children receive two, 30 minute sessions based on developing reading fluency. In Year 2, children have one fluency session per week.
In KS2 the same text that children read to develop fluency is then used for two half an hour comprehension lessons in a week. There is a clear focus to the sessions taken from year group progression statements. Teachers also use question level analysis to focus on gaps in knowledge.